Catholic Initiatives on Immigration Target Obama Administration
CHICAGO, IL March 6, 2009 --- In
response to the devastating impact that current immigration
laws have had on so many families, Congressman Luis Gutierrez of
Illinois, together with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, has
organized a national effort to gather testimonies in the form of
petitions from U.S. citizens and permanent residents about how
they themselves have suffered.
Francis Cardinal George, OMI, of Chicago will lead an interfaith prayer
event March 21 which will also be held in 18 other US cities. Domincans
are urged to participate.
Chuck Dahm, OP, (St. Albert) North American CoPromoter of Justice
recently said, "We need
to strengthen the official Catholic presence at these events as
well as urge all those we know who have been negatively affected
by current laws to attend."
According to fr. Dahm, the goals
of the present efforts are to urge the President and Congress to stop ICE
raids and deportations that are tearing families apart. Advocates
want to "enact compassionate comprehensive immigration reform
that fixes the broken immigration system that’s causing millions
of families to suffer."
"The so-called “illegals” are
so not because they wish to defy the law; but, because the
law does not provide them with any channels to regularize
their status in our country – which needs their labor:
they are not breaking the law, the law is breaking them."
Most Reverend Thomas Wenski,
Bishop of Orlando
In the next four weeks organizers will sponsor
interfaith events in more than 18 cities, many of which have a
strong Dominican presence, such as Providence, Houston, Las Vegas,
Phoenix, Los Angeles, San Francisco, etc.
President Obama supports the passage of comprehensive immigration
reform and promised during the campaign to move on this issue during
his first year in office. U.S. Senate Majority Leader
Harry Reid has stated that he expects immigration reform to be
taken up by the Senate by the end of 2009, and Senators John McCain
and Mel Martinez, both Republicans, have publicly stated that immigration
reform should move forward and that Republicans should support
The Catholic Church has historically held a
strong interest in immigration and how public policy affects
immigrants seeking a new life in the United States. Based
on Scriptural and Catholic social teachings, as well as her own
experience as an immigrant Church in the United States, the Catholic
Church is compelled to raise her voice on behalf of those who
are marginalized and whose God-given rights are not respected.