FPL helped to organize the letter from the Catholic college presidents to House members.
In their letter to House members, more than 90 Catholic educators urged them to “draw wisdom and moral courage from our shared faith tradition” that values human dignity: “We remind you that no human being made in the image of God is illegal.”
The Rev. Kevin Wildes, president of Loyola University New Orleans, said he hopes they can help make a difference, especially for “children who made no choice in this matter but they’re penalized for it.”
“I’m just hoping that we can nudge at least some of the Catholic members of Congress,” he said.
According to the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities, almost one-tenth of the 535 members of Congress are graduates of Jesuit institutions. That includes 11 in the Senate and 41 in the House. Among them: House Speaker John Boehner, a graduate of Xavier University in Ohio.
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While Congress Make Excuses, Presidents Release Letter Urging Action, Cite Theological and Economic Impetus for CIR
(Washington, DC) - Over 90 Catholic college and university presidents released a letter this morning urging Speaker John Boehner and fellow members of the House of Representatives to quickly move forward on commonsense immigration reform that fills both the moral duties and practical needs of our nation. Standing with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Catholic university and college presidents urged Members of Congress to recognize that our current “immigration system is so deeply flawed, and in such urgent need of repair, that inaction is unacceptable.”
The letter, released on a press call this morning, was spearheaded by the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities and Faith in Public Life.
“As educators, we know the nation’s truly indispensable resource is its people, particularly its youth; as presidents of Catholic institutions, we recognize the call to treat all with dignity,” said Rev. John Jenkins, C.S.C., President of the University of Notre Dame. “We urge lawmakers to adopt immigration reform that will both give aspiring Americans a path to citizenship and to becoming full contributors to our society, and to treat them with the dignity every human being deserves.”
Mary E. Lyons, President of the University of San Diego, spoke to the issue from her unique perspective as president of a university just miles from the U.S.- Mexican border.
“Our university sees firsthand that a broken immigration system that tears children from parents and militarizes border communities is not a moral or practical way forward. I’m proud to stand with my fellow university leaders in urging Congress to pass common sense reform that includes a path to citizenship. This is imperative if we wish to keep families together and help our nation meet the demands of a new global economy.”
Archbishop Jose Gomez, archbishop of Los Angeles, and chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration said he “…welcomes the support of the Catholic presidents for immigration reform. They are a welcome voice in this debate, as they see the potential and talent in newly arriving immigrants. Immigrants, especially youth, are important for our nation’s future and competitiveness. Educators understand the importance of investing in immigrant youth so they can become tomorrow’s leaders.”
And while the House of Representatives continues to delay much needed reform, individuals personally affected by America’s broken system urged Congress to act now and allow 11 million aspiring Americans the opportunity to contribute to our nation.
“America is my home. I grew up here, and I took my first communion here,” said Diego Sanchez, a DREAMer and 2013 graduate of St. Thomas University in Miami, Florida. “I want to keep giving back to our nation. But Speaker Boehner is keeping me, my family and millions of people just like us from earning our citizenship. We’re praying for him to do the right thing and stop standing in the way of common-sense reform.”
A survey just released from United Technologies and National Journal Congressional Connection indicates that the Catholic college and university presidents are not only in agreement with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, but with a majority of Americans (55%) who support a pathway to citizenship. Today’s survey follows months of polling demonstrating bipartisan support for common sense reform.
“Our Catholic faith teaches us to help the less fortunate than ourselves,” said John Garvey, President of The Catholic University of America. “More prosperous nations have an obligation to help those who come to their borders seeking security or employment. The United States – as the richest nation on earth – has the foremost obligation to do so. That’s why Catholics of all political persuasions should support comprehensive immigration reform.”
Catholic university and college presidents will continue to advocate on Capitol Hill and in their home states to urge members of Congress to pass a path to citizenship. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops will also circulate the president’s letter as part of their ongoing advocacy efforts, and the university presidents will personally be calling on their Members of Congress to step up to the plate.
“Not only will a roadmap to citizenship honor traditional Catholic principles of justice and solidarity, but here in Ohio it will strengthen our universities and help reinvigorate our economy,” said Dr. Daniel Curran, President of the University of Dayton. “The sooner Congress votes on comprehensive reform, the better off our nation will be.”
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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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Presidents Will Release Letter Urging Action, Cite Theological and Economic Impetus for CIR
On Thursday, July 18 at 11a.m. EST, 88 Catholic college and university presidents will release a letter during a telephonic press call to urge Speaker John Boehner and fellow members of the House of Representative to pass comprehensive immigration reform. Standing with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Catholic college presidents are urging Members of Congress to recognize that our current “immigration system is so deeply flawed, and in such urgent need of repair, that inaction is unacceptable.”
“As educators, we know the nation’s truly indispensable resource is its people, particularly its youth; as presidents of Catholic institutions, we recognize the call to treat all with dignity,“ said Rev. John Jenkins, C.S.C., President of the University of Notre Dame. “We urge lawmakers to adopt immigration reform that will both give aspiring Americans a path to citizenship and to becoming full contributors to our society, and to treat them with the dignity every human being deserves.”
The letter will also run as a full-page ad in Politico this Thursday.
WHO: John Garvey, President, Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.
Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., President, University of Notre Dame, South Bend, IN
Mary Lyons, President, University of San Diego, San Diego, CA
Daniel Curran, President, University of Dayton, Dayton, OH
Diego Sanchez, DREAMer, Bridge Project, graduate of St. Thomas University, Miami, FL
Rev. Tom Greene, S.J., Secretary for Social and International Ministries, Jesuit Conference
Stephen Schneck, Institute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies, The Catholic University of America
WHAT: Telephonic press call with prominent Catholic university presidents and others urging Congress to pass CIR
WHEN: Thursday, July 18 at 11a.m. EST
CALL INFO: 888-438-5524
Conference ID # 8517367
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(Columbus, OH) – Ohio Prophetic Voices, a collaboration of hundreds of Christian clergy and faith leaders throughout the state, celebrated the Senate’s passage today of immigration reform that includes a roadmap to citizenship for 11 million aspiring Americans.
In recent months, Senator Portman communicated that he would do what is best for the people of Ohio, and would never let the perfect get in the way of the good. He expressed sympathy for the plight of hardworking people who are trapped in the shadows by a broken system. He noted he has been studying the Scriptures regularly as he approached this historic vote.
Today Senator Portman stood with a small group of deeply anti-immigrant voices in voting against a long-overdue, bipartisan immigration reform bill.
“I am disappointed that Senator Portman was unwilling to reject partisan politics in order to support immigrant families and the values of the Ohio faith community on such an important vote,” said Pastor Rich Nathan of Vineyard Columbus church.
Ohio Prophetic Voices is disappointed and bewildered by Portman’s decision to vote “no” on this historic legislation. Despite thousands of phone calls and postcards and dozens of office visits lifting the heart of God and the stories of immigrants, Senator Portman allowed his narrow personal agenda to get in the way of joining an historic vote for 11 million people created in God’s image.
The Ohio Prophetic Voices campaign seeks to build a state-wide clergy network committed to moving a powerful prophetic narrative around racial and economic justice in their congregations and the larger public sphere. As the dominant narrative of individualism, scarcity and fear underpins a public agenda to limit government, increase the amount of private wealth for the few and sow division through racism and exclusion, we must put forth a bold vision grounded in our deepest faith values. By coordinating our message, linking our congregations in a common program of action and promoting a faith-rooted narrative into the public debate, we can unleash a faith-based movement which calls forth our yearning for community and connectedness, our belief that we have enough for all and a hope that we can build our common life if we do it together.
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