Monday, November 19, 2018
Justice for Immigrants

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Immigration Prayer Card

USCCB Migration and Refugee Services


January 9, 2017 Presentation On Immigration
Sponsored by the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Our Lady of the Visitation Church, St. Leo the Great Church

Justice Prayer for Immigrants

Archbishop Schnurr on Immigration Reform August 2013

U.S. Catholic Bishops and Immigration Educational Website

Immigration Policy Center: Answers to the Toughest Immigration Questions

The SAFE Act is an interior enforcement bill that would grant extensive immigration enforcement powers to states and localities and eradicate effective federal government oversight.  The USCCB strongly opposes the SAFE Act, as it would place faith-based charities and Good Samaritans at risk of criminal prosecution.  It would also infringe upon a religious organization's right to minister to its flock, an infringement on religious freedom.  

Justice for Immigrants Parish Education and Organizing Manual


“Migrants trust that they will encounter acceptance, solidarity, and help, that they will meet people who will sympathize with the distress and tragedy experienced by others, recognize the values and resources the latter have to offer, and are open to sharing humanly and materially with the needy and disadvantaged.”  

---   Pope Francis


What you can do to promote greater solidarity with migrants!

 From Fr. Jim . . .

  “As a nation, we are in a critical moment of defining who we want to be moving forward and the Catholic community has an important responsibility in helping to speak out for justice.”  This is the message that I brought home with me when I visited the border in El Paso, Texas and I celebrated an interfaith prayer service with some immigrants, priests and religious leaders of all faiths and denominations with the Catholic Bishop of El Paso.

I was invited to come and meet Jesus at the border and there is no doubt in my mind and heart that Jesus is who I met.  I met the Lord in stories of more than 500 immigrant children who were ripped from their parents’ arms and are still separated, including 23 under the age of five.   I hear the Lord in the tears of the parents of a toddler who died after being released from a government detention facility in Texas.  I see the Lord in the stories I heard about psychologically wounded children being returned to their families, frightened to be hugged and lovingly united with their parents. This is the same Lord that I meet each time I hear about ICE performing raids on communities and workplaces throughout our country including Covington, Kentucky. 

Parents are suddenly not returning home from work.  This cloud of fear and darkness hangs low over immigrant families in Cincinnati and throughout Ohio as real possibilities to be the next targets.  With the zero-tolerance policy in effect, immigrants are being dehumanized, criminalized, and demonized. But in it all, the Lord remains ever so present asking us, “As a nation, is this who we want to be?”  Softly I hear, and I am reminded that “whatever we do to the least of our brothers and sisters, we do to Him.”

Also, I met the Lord, at the border, in the universal church that is impelled and empowered to speak out against the injustices to and the inhumane treatment of immigrant families.  The church’s voice is the Lord’s voice for the voice of the immigrant who has been silenced and denied.  The immigrant has no voice if it is not for the universal church, all faith-based communities and faith-filled people speaking out for them, caring for them, and treating them with the human dignity and respect that they deserve.

There are places such as Annunciation House and La Casa del Inmigrante who receive immigrants who have been released from detention camps to be joined with their families or who have been deported to Mexico.  When deported to Mexico, caregivers help them find jobs and give them a safe place to stay.  At Annunciation House, caregivers provide legal resources and medical help and try to create a more human environment and healthy family atmosphere until they are deported as a family.  Here, I met the Lord loving beyond conditions with compassion, and solidarity, and trying to forgive, heal, redeem and renew.  Here, I heard the Lord ask again, “As a nation, is this who we want to be?”  and I heard, as church this is who we must be.”   Again, I am reminded that “whatever we do to the least of my brothers and sisters, we do to Him.”

When I visited families of parishioner families in Guatemala this past June, the parents and grandparents of our parishioners implored us to keep working for comprehensive immigration reform and they wanted all of us to know that their children are not criminals.  I heard this at the same time the first group of detainee children were torn from their families at the border.  I had no response but to promise them that we will keep trying to care for their children as if they were our own and in the way that they would love them.  I’ve been to the border and I believe that as a nation we are in a defining moment of who we want to be and the Catholic community with the universal church, has an important responsibility in helping to speak out for justice, to declare that families belong together, that immigration detention is not a solution to family separation, and to continue to care for the immigrant in the way of Christ.



Pope Francis and U.S. Catholic Bishops Urge Us to Help Protect Vulnerable Immigrant Children and Mothers

Say Policy-Makers Must Warn of Dangers of Emigration, Promote Development in Countries of Origin

  

 



 

 

Instead of going to school, playing with friends,

and enjoying time with family, tens of thousands of children from Central America flee their homes embarking on a dangerous trek north to the United States.  Extreme violence and the lack of opportunity at home, and the desire to reunite with parents and other family members drive these kids to make the perilous journey without a parent or guardian. The number of unaccompanied children crossing the U.S. border has alarmingly increased, doubling every year since 2011. This year alone, as many as 90,000 children could arrive, creating a humanitarian crisis in need of our attention.  At the same time, nearly 40,000 young mothers with children have also entered the U.S. and are being placed in detention centers.  Learn more here. 

 

Earlier this week, at a colloquium in Mexico City, comments were read from Pope Francis. 

 

This humanitarian emergency requires, as a first urgent measure, these children be welcomed and protected.  These measures, however, will not be sufficient, unless they are accompanied by policies that inform people about the dangers of such a journey, and, above all, that promote development in their countries of origin.

 

 
To learn more:

www.usccb.org


Statement on the Occasion of U.S. Catholic Bishops’ Mass on the U.S.-Mexico Border

Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr

Archbishop of Cincinnati

March 27, 2014

On Tuesday, April 1, all the member bishops of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Migration will journey to the U.S.-Mexico border in Nogales, Arizona to celebrate a very special Mass. The prayerful event will be on behalf of the nearly 6,000 migrants who have died in the U.S. desert since 1998, as they desperately risked their lives to support themselves and their families. The bishops will highlight the human suffering caused by our broken immigration system, which provides far too few paths for legal migration and drives so many to such dangerous journeys of survival. The trip follows the example of Pope Francis, who, in his first excursion outside of Rome last year, traveled to the Italian island of Lampedusa to remember African migrants who died attempting to reach Europe across the Mediterranean Sea. On this occasion, I wish to join publicly my prayers with my brother bishops on the border.

For years now, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati has advocated for the restoration of law, order and respect for human dignity to our immigration system. Our current policies fail both to regulate migrant flows for the good of our nation and to honor the God-given rights of those seeking a better life here. The harrowing evidence for this is in the estimated 12 million people living in the shadows without documentation, and the thousands of migrants dying on our nation's doorstep because there is no legal way for them to otherwise get here. For the Archdiocese locally, the repercussions are seen in the breakup of too many good, immigrant families through deportations in our parishes, schools and agencies.

On the verge of this April 1st Mass, we find ourselves dealing with an Administration that says it stands with migrant families yet has deported more immigrants than any administration in U.S. history. And our Congress is sending the message that it is better to cast a "yea" vote for our current status quo of chaos and disorder, rather than to forge a compromise on any set of principals about how our nation's immigration system should even function. In the end, the victims of such complacency are the thousands of men, women and children for whose departed souls we pray. But, even more broadly, all Americans are negatively impacted when their communities and local economies are forced to manage the fallout from a national immigration system still in disrepair.

I urge all people of faith and good will to remember our migrant brothers and sisters on the occasion of this Mass. I encourage us not to give up hope that we can help our national leaders restore law and order and courageously welcome those whom we have called strangers as our nation's own.


Action Steps

What you can do to promote greater solidarity with migrants!

Provided by the Archdiocese of Cincinnati Catholic Social Action Office

1.   Support development efforts in other countries.

Parish twinning, Catholic Relief Services and other ministries organized by your local church are great opportunities to help poor and vulnerable populations in other countries find opportunities in their homeland, so they won’t need to migrate to secure their lives and dignities.  To learn more, contact:

·      Your own parish and find out what ministries it already has and how you can get involved;

·      Archdiocesan Mission Office about parish twinning: http://www.catholiccincinnati.org/ministries-offices/mission-office/parish-twinning/

·      Catholic Relief Services, the U.S. Catholic bishops’ overseas humanitarian and development organization: www.crs.org.

2.    Help migrants integrate into our parishes and communities.

The Church calls us to embrace migrants as our own countrymen and women. The Archdiocesan Hispanic Ministry Office can help: lgasparini@catholiccincinnati.org

3.    Urge Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform.

Call your elected representatives and encourage them to fix out broken immigration system.  Ask them for a reform that:

•  Provides a path to citizenship for undocumented persons in the country;

•  Preserves family unity as a corner-stone of our immigration system;

•  Provides legal paths for low-skilled immigrant workers to come and work in the United States;

•  Restores due process protections to our immigration enforcement policies and does not detain immigrant families, especially those with children, in substandard detention facilities;

•  Addresses the root causes (push factors) of migration, such as persecution and economic disparity.

Contacts

U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown:
(202) 224-2315

U.S. Senator Rob Portman:
(202) 224-3353

U.S. Rep. Steve Chabot:
(202) 225-2216

U.S. Rep. Warren Davidson:
(202) 225-6205

U.S. Rep. Brad Wenstrup:
(202) 225-3164

4.    Urge Administration to keep families out of long-term detention facilities.

After cancelling its child separation practices, the Administration’s “zero tolerance policy” is now resulting in costly, long-term detentions for entire families.  To do this, the Administration is proposing new rules that would make it possible to detain children longer than the current 20-day limit (established by the “Flores Settlement).  Encourage the Administration to not pursue this by submitting your comments to the proposed rule by Nov. 6.  https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2018/09/07/2018-19052/apprehension-processing-care-and-custody-of-alien-minors-and-unaccompanied-alien-children

5.    Urge Administration to set refugee levels at 75,000/year.

By September 30, the Administration will seek Congressional input concerning its maximum number of refugee admittances, a process called the Presidential Determination.  The Administration will seek input from the Senate Judiciary Committee.  Please contact your Senators, and urge them to raise our annual limit for refugees back up to 75,000.

6.    Catholic Charities of Southwestern Ohio – Immigrant-related services
Catholic Charities of Southwestern Ohio (CCSWO) provides social, emotional, and legal support to immigrants and refugees from all over the world. Consider supporting CCSWO efforts by volunteering with the Immigration Legal Services Department, Refugee Resettlement, and/or Su Casa Hispanic Center. More information on the website:  www.ccswoh.org/volunteer. If volunteering time is not an option, we also welcome spiritual and financial support!

7.    Support Maribel Trujillo and other separated families – Immigrant Accompaniment Campaign

Locally, the Archdiocese and Catholic Charities have supported many immigrants and the families from whom they’ve been separated.   Consider writing to a detained migrant to let them know that he or she is in your prayers.  Occasionally, when a local deportation case has risen to the level of a clear injustice, we have organized protests and requests to cancel deportation.  Stay tuned for such actions, especially in the upcoming retrial of Maribel Trujillo from St. Julie Billiart Parish.

 

St. Leo The Great Parish

Rev. James R. Schutte, Pastor
2573 St. Leo Place
Cincinnati, OH 45225
513-921-1044 ext. 21

 

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