IAUSA Irish Apostolate

Update on the Catholic Campaign for Immigration Reform  

Issue: # 87  November    2012
In This Issue
Bp McKeown Visits NYC
MRS/CLINIC National Conference
The Dupont Circle Hotel
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Current Articles 


Obama Committed to Immigration Reform: White House

 Chicago Tribune



Time to Legalize Our 11 Million Undocumented Immigrants 

Center for American Progress 



Five Reasons Why Time May be Right for Immigration Reform




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Bishop Donal McKeown Visits NYC


The Irish Apostolate USA, in collaboration with the Aisling Center and Project Irish Outreach, are coordinating a visit to the New York area by Most Reverend Donal McKeown, the Auxiliary Bishop of Down and Connor, Northern Ireland.  


Bishop McKeown serves on the Irish Episcopal Council for Emigrants (IECE) and would like to meet the Irish communities living in the New York area.  


We are pleased to announce that the Bishop will celebrate Mass on

Sunday, December 2, 2012

10:30 am

St. Barnabas Church

409 East 241st Street  

Bronx, NY 10470


He will offer prayers during the Mass for the communities affected by Superstorm Sandy.


A reception will follow in the Church Hall.


All members of the Irish community are invited to meet the Bishop.




Prayer Reflection about Hurricane Sandy

On the In All Things blog of America magazine, Fr. James Martin, SJ, contributing editor at America has offered the following prayer reflection about Hurricane Sandy:

A Prayer in the Storm

God of the Universe, at the dawn of creation, your Spirit breathed on the waters, making them the wellspring of all holiness. You created the oceans and rivers, and all that dwell within them, and at your word the wind and the waves were born. The seasons follow your plan, and the tides rise and fall on your command. In both calm and storm, you are with us. On the Sea of Galilee, when the disciples began to fear, Jesus showed that he was Lord over the waters by rebuking the storms, so that all would know that even the wind and the waves obey him. Creator God, we ask you to calm the wind and the waves of the approaching hurricane, and spare those in its path from harm. Help those who are in its way to reach safety. Open our hearts in generosity to all who need help in the coming days. In all things, help us to remember that even when things seem dark and stormy, you are in the boat with us, guiding us to safety. Amen.


IAUSA Signs On to Letter to House to retain the Diversity Visa
The Irish Apostolate USA was one of the faith organizations that signed on to a letter from the Interfaith Immigration Coalition to each Member of the House of Representatives supporting retaining the Diversity Visa.  As you may know, the recently introduced STEM Visa bill by House Republicans, which would grant visas to science, tech, engineering and math graduates would be initiated at the expense of the Diversity Visa system.

The letter reads:


On behalf of the undersigned faith-based organizations, we urge you to protect legal avenues for immigration to the United States, such as the Diversity Visa Immigrant ProgramThe Diversity Visa lottery provides up to 50,000 visas annually for immigrants who do not have access to employment- or family-based visas.  Until true reforms are enacted to provide meaningful avenues for legal migration, this program should not be canceled or replaced with visas solely for high-tech workers.  As people of faith, we recognize the inherent dignity and worth of every person and lift up the diverse contributions they make to our communities.  While scientists and engineers certainly benefit our society, so do the people who harvest our food, clean our offices, and care for our young children.


While we do not oppose an increase in the number of green cards available for persons with advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), we would recommend alternative proposals, such as H.R. 6412, that would increase STEM visas without eliminating other visa programs.


Congress established the Diversity Visa in 1990 to encourage and facilitate immigration to the United States from countries with historically low rates of immigration.  The program reaches beyond those with family or business ties in the United States and creates a mechanism for racially, ethnically and culturally diverse populations to lawfully immigrate that would otherwise not exist under other visa programs.


In Fiscal Year 2010, 48 percent of diversity immigrants were from Africa, and 19 percent were from Europe.  In the same year, only 6 percent of family- and employment-based visas went to persons from Africa, and only 9 percent went to persons from Europe.


Each Diversity Visa recipient must undergo background and security checks that are more rigorous than those required for persons entering the country by other means, such as through the visa waiver program.


Instead of eliminating the Diversity Visa Immigrant Program, Congress should pursue meaningful reforms to our broken immigration system that reflect our values as a nation of immigrants and the contributions and blessings immigrants bring to our economy and society. 

The New Congress

There will be 80 new members when the new Congress convenes in January. The National Journal has put profiles of all of them on their Web site here.


Leadership in the House and Senate remains largely the same. Republicans in the House will retain John Boehner of Ohio as Speaker. Eric Cantor of Virginia will remain as Majority Leader and Kevin McCarthy of California was reelected to the position of Majority Whip. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington was elected to the position of Chair of the Republican Conference, the number four leadership post. Rep. McMorris Rogers is the only woman in a top leadership post in the Republican caucus.


Nancy Pelosi will retain her post as Minority Leader in the House. Others returning to top leadership posts on the Democratic side are Steny Hoyer of Maryland (Minority Whip) and James Clyburn of North Carolina (Assistant to the Democratic Leader).


For Senate Democrats, Harry Reid of Nevada will remain as Majority Leader. Richard Durbin of Illinois will remain as Majority Whip. Charles Schumer of New York keeps his job as Chair of the Democratic Policy Committee. Patty Murray of Washington will continue to be Chair of the Democratic caucus.


Angus King, the independent Senator newly elected from Maine, has decided he will caucus with Democrats, meaning Democrats next year will have 55 senators in their caucus.


Republican Senators will keep Mitch McConnell of Kentucky as Minority Leader. John Cornyn of Texas will be Minority Whip, replacing John Kyl of Arizona who is retiring. John Thune of South Dakota will continue to be Republican Conference Chair. John Barrasso of Wyoming will continue to be Republican Policy Committee Chair. Jerry Moran of Kansas will replace Sen. John Cornyn as Chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.


Both Parties Must Lead on Immigration

written by Ali Noorani, Executive Director, National Immigration Forum


Both parties have received an electoral politics wake-up call, courtesy of a diversifying America.

President Obama won re-election thanks in part to a 52-percentage-point spread among Latino voters, the nation's fastest-growing electorate, according to election eve polling.

In the America coming over the horizon, it is practically impossible to overcome such a number and win the race for president.
Even in Florida, with its large, Republican-leaning Cuban population, the Latino Decisions poll found that Latinos overall favored the president 58% to 40%.

While these trends worked to Democrats' advantage on the ground on Tuesday, that's not entirely good news: A demographically challenged Republican Party is bad for America.

As a nation, we are at our best when both parties work together to address difficult policy issues. And, in the case of immigration -- an issue of great concern to Latinos -- a bipartisan roadmap is good politics and great policy.

Bringing the country together around a common-sense immigration process is not a bridge too far. In fact, while partisan politics dominated the national debate, faith, law enforcement and business leaders have worked with immigrant leaders across the political spectrum to forge a new consensus on immigrants and America.

People who hold a Bible want change. "Christians can agree on basic values to guide our decisions and help heal our land," Luis Cortes, president of Esperanza, a Latino faith-based aid organization, said in a recent radio ad -- in which he shared air time with Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. It's not every day that the leader of one of the nation's largest Hispanic evangelical networks stands shoulder to shoulder with a Southern Baptist and presents a unified message.

People who wear a badge also want reform. At a recent Midwest summit on immigration, Lake County, Illinois Sheriff Mark Curran said, "We don't need higher deportation levels; we need to fix the system as it exists."

And job creators, people who own businesses, are yearning for common-sense reforms too. We know we need to find a solution when Larry Wooten, president of the North Carolina Farm Bureau, says, "The longer national political leaders ignore the issue or use it as a political wedge, the more our farmers suffer because they cannot find a sufficient labor pool to harvest their crops."

Post-election talk will focus on the president's mandate. Immigration is different from other issues because the mandate for reform is clear, and it's not only because of his vote margin among Latinos.

"Immigration is the most important thing to focus on if you're concerned about America as an economic power. It's not only good policy to have more immigrants to the United States ... (and) a path forward for those people who are here; it's also good politics."

That's Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, who added, "Hostility to immigrants is a vote-losing, not a vote-winning, issue."

When it comes to crafting a 21st century immigration process, Bibles, badges and business are ready to work with both Democrats and Republicans to reach a consensus.

Americans are ready for a just immigration system that treats all people with dignity and respect. Our leaders in Washington -- of both parties -- can and must deliver.

As we saw Tuesday, their electability may depend on it.


CNN article

An Analysis of the ACHIEVE Act vs. the DREAM Act
A simple but comprehensive analysis between the ACHIEVE Act, recently introduced by Republican Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison and Jon Kyl, and the DREAM Act has been made by First Focus, and can be found on their website

Join the Justice for Immigrants Campaign

The Justice for Immigrants Campaign continues to build its grassroots support for comprehensive immigration reform.  
If you want to be notified of immigration legislation updates , NOW is the time to join the JFI Action Alert list.  Sign up at: 
The Irish Apostolate USA is the umbrella organization for the Irish Immigration Pastoral and Outreach Centers in the United States, under the direction of the Irish Episcopal Council for Emigrants. 

Please visit our website for more information: 
Geri Garvey, Administrator
Irish Apostolate USA
Phone/Fax:  301-384-3375     Email: administrator@usairish.org