Immigration Reform-If not now, when?
The State of Play
It is sounding more and more as if we may see some kind of immigration reform legislation move forward in the House before the August recess. More and more Republicans of every stripe are speaking privately and publicly about the need to get something done in this Congress.
Folks who know more than I do are suggesting that there is a “legislative window of opportunity” that may be open from May 19 to July 31. There could be 3-4 packages of legislation that would address:
• Border security
• Interior enforcement using state and local law enforcement
• Some kind of Dream/Kids Act that will not include parents
• Legalization with NO “special” pathway to citizenship
• An increase employment-based visas
• A mechanism that would reduce the family backlog
At this point there is a lot of speculation coupled with both hope and fear. Of course we hope something or someone will break the log jam that continues to cause so much suffering in our immigrant communities, but we also fear what House authored legislation will look like. Whatever the outcome, this may be our last best chance to accomplish justice for immigrants in the 113th Congress.
Immigrant advocates are gearing up around the country. There will be plenty of opportunity for you and your folks to get involved. Here are a few of the immediate actions that are being planned.
• May 29th Catholic Bishops from across the country will be in Washington to pray for immigration reform and to lobby key members on the Hill. The day will begin with a Eucharistic Liturgy at St. Peter’s Church on Capitol Hill. The flyer is available at: [ http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?f=0011RdXhfq8flnvjJqtY9AH5hAzM27Zf8Puw614P8Cuj6iKQxJrVEz52AxBEhXoVmE7MleaLFtw_pNUTyQrUmtaOR5cYzC4GhH1vaXODRp_xGVYmSfh3fx2AxA-ehDbSRtk_WkIPzTpoLVUdaLRDVGJcKoWfFf7OA2mPPog7fLuY-Zc9QsKwSiSX4C1DL04fUPrL-12DE5OTUPqelFHCPlbF_j9wmVdETsxzqYYnT3b5zAFBzQzGgAVlg==&c=&ch= ]http://www.justiceforimmigrants.org/documents/Bishops-in-Washington-flyer.pdf. Here are a couple of ways that you can participate:
• Invite your Representative and Senators to attend. Fax the flyer to their DC office, along with a brief note inviting them to pray for families separated by our broken immigration system at the Ascension Thursday liturgy at St. Peter’s, 313 2nd Street SE, Washington, DC 20003
• Join your own prayer for that day to the pleas of our immigrant community.
• Join Justice for Immigrants’ Pentecost days of prayer and action. Designed to be used from June 2-8, the Pentecost toolkit contains prayers, daily reflections, and suggested actions, including suggestions for some very creative direct action. It is attached and available on line at: [ http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?f=0011RdXhfq8flnvjJqtY9AH5hAzM27Zf8Puw614P8Cuj6iKQxJrVEz52AxBEhXoVmE7WZKtOYc7SYsc-Svv4E9x8K1qhZnTKU4JZi1WCl0pQeHp8UdrFs31zp2jkFBWXMDWvrL0Keb9pv2DxplGKo7JjR0lZT0q5GExji-WLzTEjUDrCfsnqN_oRMZrf5ivMs-vc_6Ea0Gq34iTW_M3G8kKLY7P9668jifCTzRTmo8Q0dEKrlUKe-Yz8winVEiSkHDw&c=&ch= ]http://www.justiceforimmigrants.org/documents/PENTECOST-AND-IMMIGRATION-TOOLKIT.pdf.
You’ll have the opportunity participate in a number of call-ins:
May 29 call 855-589- 5698 to be connected to your Representative’s DC office. Ask her or him to bring legislation to the floor that:
• Includes a path to citizenship,
• Preserves family unity, and
• Employs safe and humane immigration enforcement practices.
o June 6 call 855-589- 5698 to be connected to your Representative’s office district office. The message is the same.
o June 13 call 855-589- 5698 to be connected to your Representative’s office district office. More of the same-We want fair and compassionate immigration reform NOW!
We will also be developing messages that you can share on social media. So get your face booked and your tweets twittering!
If there is any way we can help you multiply your prayer and action, please don’t hesitate to be in touch.
Finally, thanks to each of you for all you are and all you do every single day to build a community of peace, justice, and integrity of all God’s creation!
Ann Scholz, SSND, PhD
Associate Director for Social Mission
Leadership Conference of Women Religious
8808 Cameron St.
Silver Spring MD, 20910
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