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Migration Week — making immigration reform a moral priority

January 7, 2010, 2:41 pm | Posted by Dan Nejfelt

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops is currently observing “National Migration Week” to lift up immigration reform as a moral issue and a political priority. On a press conference call yesterday that has generated numerous media hits across the country, several bishops and Catholic immigration reform advocates called for action in Washington to pass legislation this year. From the Miami Herald’s report on the call:

Stepping up the pressure on President Obama, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on Wednesday urged the administration to make legalization of millions of undocumented immigrants a priority to enhance national security and improve the nation’s battered economy.

Though the Catholic Church has been in favor of immigration reform for years, the announcement of the campaign Wednesday marked the first major new effort by U.S. church leaders to demonstrate commitment to the issue which the White House has indicated may be the next major legislative priority after healthcare reform.

The campaign consists of a multitude of efforts, such as the launch of a new web site and action alerts, as well as a postcard campaign that will generate hundreds of thousands of messages to Congress. Catholic News Service also noted that

Elsewhere around the country, Catholic, interfaith and nonreligious groups small and large held immigration-related events. They ranged from press conferences, simple prayer services and educational events to a walk from Miami to Washington by four students hoping to bring attention to the situations they and others face.

Recent and ongoing issue campaigns in the faith community (such as the mobilization for healthcare reform) have included a variety of coordinated actions aimed at influencing key legislators across the country, effective media outreach that produces broadcast and print coverage, and strategic timing. The effort to enact comprehensive immigration reform is taking on these characteristics as well.

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