June 2013 e-bulletin

June 19, 2013

Dear Columban Friend,

We just finished celebrating the Easter Season and the coming of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. The new life and the breath of the Holy Spirit has sent winds of change to Washington. The week after Pentecost, while our Advocacy Associate, Chloe Schwabe was on the border with the Columban Fathers and a group from the Catholic University of America learning about border issues, the Senate Judiciary passed a Comprehensive Immigration bill, S. &44, out of committee. This week the Senate votes on comprehensive immigration reform and the House will soon take it up.

As a hope-filled people we stand with our immigrant sisters and brothers and with our sisters and brothers around the world who are forced to migrate out of fear, hunger, lack of economic opportunity, and natural disasters. Please take time to read the reflections and updates, and to encourage your Members of Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform that puts the human dignity and worth of our immigrant sisters and others front and center.

One Body of Pentecost in the Texas Desert

By Chloe Schwabe, CCAO Advocacy Associate

My day began with a rousing homily at St. Pius Catholic Church from Father Arturo, who spoke on the Pentacost scripture and the importance of immigration reform. The scripture came to life for me when I went to the children’s detention center later that day. There we met youth who were from Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico, and El Salvador, in addition to the youth from Catholic University.

Read more

Reflections from Catholic University of America Students on their Border Immersion Experience

After a week of meeting academics, faith leaders, lawyers, and the undocumented themselves, we all left El Paso with a new sense of the border reality. Read some quotes from the Catholic University of America students here.

My First Week in DC

By Michelle Villegas, CCAO Migration Intern

This week I attended an immigration rally that the Asian American and Immigrant community put on. It was inspiring to see so many people of different backgrounds and faiths come out to support the dignity of immigrants and so loudly and clearly ask for a comprehensive immigration reform that will keep families together. Read more

Take Action on Immigration Reform

The Senate will continue debating their Comprehensive Immigration Bill. But some Senators are trying to kill the bill. Contact your Senators at 1-866-940-2439 to send the message: “As a person of faith, I want comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship, family unity, due process protections, and that addresses the root causes of migration. I oppose any amendments that obstruct the pathway to citizenship or add additional border security to what is already in the bill.”
The House is marking up several immigration piecemeal bills this week. Call your Representative to oppose bills that further push our immigrant sisters and brothers into the shadows at 1-888-787-9658. Use this scrip, “As a person of faith, I want comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship, family unity, due process protections, and that addresses the root causes of migration. I reject the punitive bills that the House Judiciary committee is considering that will criminalize my immigrant brothers and sisters.”

What the House Bills will do: The SAFE Act, an Arizona-style bill introduced by Representative Gowdy, would criminalize the 11 million undocumented immigrants, force state and local police to act as immigration agents, and encourage local and state law enforcement to practice racial profiling. The Agricultural Guest Workers bill by Representative Goodlatte would allow employers to exploit foreign workers, create fewer jobs and drive down wages for U.S. workers, and keep hundreds of undocumented workers in the shadows with no pathway to citizenship.

The Missionary Society of St. Columban Immigration Statement

In February 2012, the Missionary Society of St. Columban’s U.S. Region released a statement that outlines a vision for immigration reform in response to the Senate’s bi-partisan immigration principles and President Obama’s immigration principles. Read the Statement

The Columban Border Mission Center hosts Nuns on the Bus

After the CCAO joined with other faith-based and immigrant rights organizations to bid farewell to our friends, the nuns on the bus headed to the border. The Columban Fathers hosted the nuns on the bus from June 10th-11th at our center. They participated in local events as part of their national tour to raise awareness and build solidarity for comprehensive immigration reform.

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