IAUSA Irish Apostolate

An Immigrant's Musings - December 2012



There is an old Buddhist proverb that goes:  "When the pupil is ready, the master appears." And, at last, now that the dust is settling after the elections of 2012, we see very positive signs coming from our elected representatives promising C.I.R. (Comprehensive Immigration Reform) in 2013.


This is an indication that both parties in Congress, finally get it, and are now ready to work together to make it happen. That said there remains much hard work in delivering an acceptable bill, which is capable of passing both houses.


So, what would such a bill look like, I hear you ask? I have often stated in the past that any comprehensive immigration reform bill needs to have the following elements.

  1. Border security: this needs to be addressed in a smart way, one that deals with controlling who comes and goes from the country in an orderly and humane fashion.
  2. We need a common sense approach to dealing with the millions of law-abiding folks who are out of status in the country at this time. That also means offering a path to citizenship to those who are willing to learn English, and undergo a background security check. In this way, no serious alien criminals will be able to remain in the country. This will also include the Dream Act, which allows young people who were brought to the country as minors to become permanent residents.
  3. It also needs to include a guest worker provision and in particular the Ag Workers bill. In order that we truly deal with the labor needs of our country, we also need a provision to deal with "future flow."
  4. It is important that any new immigration bill would deal with the need to balance visas for family re-unification with, the needs of our economy, in particular the demand for high skilled labor.
  5. Lastly, the new bill needs to address the restoration of "due process" provisions that are sadly lacking in our current immigration laws.


There are signs as I go to press that such a bill can be forged over the next year. Senators Graham and Schumer together with majority leader Reid and McCain have all voiced support for such a push.


On the House side, significantly, we have seen Speaker Boehner and Chief Whip Cantor offering support. The champion on the Democratic side is our own Congressman Luis Gutierrez of Illinois.


In conclusion, the promise of passing a comprehensive immigration bill can with, hard work and political compromise, be achieved in the New Year and that is something that I look forward to very much.




On behalf of all our staff at Chicago Irish Immigrant Support, I take this chance to wish one and all, a blessed Christmas with a prosperous New Year.


The message at the heart of the Good News is expressed beautifully in a favorite hymn of mine: It is by: Susan G. Wente.



Make us true servants to all those in need,

Filled with compassion in thought, word and deed;

Loving our neighbor, whatever the cost,

Feeding the hungry and finding the lost.


Lord, make us prophets to cry out the way,

Telling the nations of mercy's new day.

Let us break barriers of hatred and scorn,

Speaking of hope to all people forlorn.


Lord, make us healers of body and mind,

Give us your power to give sight to the blind,

Love to the loveless and gladness for pain,

Filling all heart with the joy of your name.







Should you have any comments, questions or suggestions, please feel free to contact me at:  sliabhanoir@yahoo.com or 773-282-8445


Fr. Michael Leonard

Chicago Irish Immigrant Support





YOU CAN FIND FR. LEONARD'S "MUSINGS" FOR THIS PAST YEAR ON THE CHICAGO IRISH IMMIGRANT SUPPORT WEBSITE:  http://www.ci-is.org/monthly-articles/an-immigrant-s-musings/



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:    Irish Apostolate USA 
Geri Garvey, Administrator
Irish Apostolate USA
Phone/Fax:  301-384-3375     Email: administrator@usairish.org