Catholic college officials urge Congress to pass immigration reform

July 18, 2013, 4:27 pm | Posted by
Pamela Constable, Washington Post
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FPL helped to organize the letter from the Catholic college presidents and faculty.

More than 90 Catholic university heads Thursday urged their fellow Catholics in Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform, saying that their faith “values the human dignity and worth of all immigrants.”

“We remind you that no human being made in the image of God is illegal,” they said in a public letter addressed to all 163 Catholic legislators, including House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

In the letter, the university presidents called for a path to legalization for all undocumented immigrants. The group asked the lawmakers to resist pressure from “powerful interest groups” and said that as Catholics, they have a “serious responsibility to consider the moral dimensions” of policies.

The letter comes as Congress has been grappling with proposals for a sweeping overhaul of U.S. immigration laws. Last month, the Senate passed a bipartisan measure that would give illegal immigrants a chance to become U.S. citizens, step up border security and increase visas for legal and skilled immigrants.

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‘Nuns on the Bus’ Traveling Road Show Presses Immigration Reform in D.C.

May 31, 2013, 5:43 pm | Posted by
Elizabeth Flock, U.S. and World Report
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FPL assisted with media outreach for the immigration bus tour.

Outside the Supreme Court Thursday, a somewhat unlikely bunch gathered: a group of nuns, just off a bus, shouting about immigration.

The “Nuns on the Bus,” a Washington-based Catholic pressure group that previously fought against GOP budget cuts and spoke at the Democratic National Convention, has now turned its attention to immigration reform as a massive reform bill is expected to hit the Senate floor in June.

To get their pro-immigration message across, the nuns are making a nationwide bus tour that will pass through 15 states, make 54 stops and cover some 6,500 miles. They began Wednesday near Ellis Island, the passageway for millions of immigrants to the United States during the early 1990s. The nuns will end in mid-June near Angel Island, once a processing point for many Asian immigrants and today known as the “Ellis Island of the West.”

Sister Simone Campbell, who leads the Nuns on the Bus, says immigration reform is a natural fit for the group. “Immigration is at the heart of our Catholic faith. It’s about community. We need to welcome the stranger, and treat the stranger as yourself,” she says.

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Traveling nuns draw crowd for immigration reform

May 30, 2013, 5:39 pm | Posted by
Laura Legere, Scranton Times Tribune
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FPL assisted with media outreach for the immigration bus tour.

They toured like rock stars but they arrived early and wore sensible shoes.

The Nuns on the Bus stepped out of their coach on Wednesday to the cheers of a standing-room-only crowd at the St. John Neumann Parish auditorium who came to listen to the sisters argue for an overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws.

Network, a national Catholic social justice lobby, made South Scranton the second stop on a 6,500-mile cross-country trek focused on raising awareness and support for immigration policies that protect family unity and workers’ rights and provide a pathway to citizenship for those already in the U.S.

The afternoon assembly at a Catholic parish with a large Latino congregation was as much about recognizing the city’s current cultural diversity – a product of new and old waves of immigration – as it was an effort to urge supporters to goad Congress into passing comprehensive immigration reform this summer.

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‘Nuns on the Bus’ kick off immigration tour

May 29, 2013, 5:45 pm | Posted by
David Gibson, RNS
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Faith in Public Life assisted with press relations for the tour.

With the Statue of Liberty as a backdrop, the “Nuns on the Bus” on Wednesday (May 29) kicked off a national tour for immigration reform aimed at giving a faith-based push to legislation that’s now hanging in the balance in Congress.

“We have got to make this an urgent message of now,” Sister Simone Campbell, head of the social justice lobby Network, which organized the tour, told a rally on the New Jersey side of the Hudson River.

“The next six to eight weeks is going to determine what we can accomplish,” Campbell said as she pointed to nearby Ellis Island, the American gateway for generations of immigrants. “The time is now for immigration reform.”

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Health care Clergy pushes Medicaid expansion

March 21, 2013, 5:59 pm | Posted by
Alan Johnson and Catherine Candisky, Columbus Dispatch
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Faith in Public Life coordinated the day of action.

The loaves were real, the fish were made out of paper colored by crayons, and the meal was meant for 99 people, not 5,000.

But members of the clergy said their delivery of baskets of “fishes and loaves” to members of the Ohio House yesterday symbolically represented the religious leaders’ support for expanding Medicaid to cover 275,000 more uninsured low-income Ohioans.

Never mind that the baskets ended up in the mailroom at the Riffe Center and not in the hands of legislators.

“It doesn’t take a miracle to do the right thing,” said the Rev. Timothy Ahrens Sr. of the First Congregational Church. “We are a people of abundance. We can feed our own people.”

Gov. John Kasich’s proposed Medicaid expansion has drawn wide support from the public, the clergy, business groups, hospitals and health- and mental-health-care providers. Still, Republican legislative leaders are looking far and wide to Texas, Alabama and Florida for alternatives.

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