IAUSA Irish Apostolate

Update on the Catholic Campaign for Immigration Reform  

Issue: # 90  February 2013
In This Issue
Timetable For CIR
Press Conference
JFI Update
Immigration Clips in the News
AFL-CIO and Chamber on CIR
Quick Links 


Current Articles 

Why Should We Support a Legalization Program for Unauthorized Immigrants?

Immigration Impact



Overhauling Immigration Law: A Brief History and Basic Principles of Reform



Meet The Key Players Who Will Determine The Fate Of Immigration Reform
Business Insider  


Conservatives Claim Immigration Groups Hijacked Party

ABC News 


Other Links 


Join Our List

Possible Timeline for a Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill

A lot has been going on in Washington this past month on many different levels.  The Senate and House have both had hearings on some aspects of immigration reform with speakers such as Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano stating that the Border is Secure to others, such as Mark Krikorian from the Center for Immigration Studies, saying that it's NOT.


Scheduling these hearings in the Senate and House is a good sign that the topic is being given serious consideration by the respective Judiciary Committees.


In the meantime, faith and immigrant advocates are meeting with Members of the Senate and House to encourage them to produce a CIR bill.


Do we have a timetable?  Maybe..  There are a lot of things that can interfere in the process, but we hope to see a bill from the Senate Judiciary Committee by the

end of March.  


The Senate Judiciary Committee could schedule a "Mark Up" of the bill during April whereby both Democratic and Republican Members of the Committee could make changes and offer amendments to the bill.   


 If all goes well this far, Senator Reid would have to schedule Floor time for the entire Senate to debate the bill and offer amendments.  This would most likely occur between

Memorial Day and Fourth of July.




The time is NOW.


There is a lot of pressure from anti-immigrant groups to Members of Congress to kill the bill or make it enforcement focused.  We have to contact our Members in the SENATE and HOUSE and let them know we support Comprehensive Immigration Reform that includes a path to Citizenship.


An easy way to do this is to send an electronic postcard through the Justice for Immigrants' website.  All you have to do is give your name and address so that the program can send the electronic postcards to the correct Senators and Representative.    Here's the link to TAKE ACTION NOW:  

Once a bill is introduced, the JFI website will post other postcard messages.  Check back regularly!


Billy Lawless Speaks at February
Press Conference 

"My name is Billy Lawless. Chairman Chicago Celts for Immigration Reform.


I am an Irish immigrant and a business owner and I am here to tell you today that immigration is good for business and good for our economy.


I would like to commend the Senate Gang of 8 and the President for recognizing the value of immigrants to our economy and for their call for comprehensive immigration reform.


Immigration reform with a path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million undocumented workers in this country would generate $1.5 trillion over 10 years.  Compare that to the cost of mass deportations which would cost us $2.6 trillion!!  


Deporting all undocumented immigrants in Illinois would cost $11.4 billion in economic output, and nearly 120,000 jobs!


Immigration reform means a reliable legal workforce and an even playing field: Legalizing immigrant workers would protect honest employers from being undercut by unscrupulous competitors seeking to drive down wages by hiring undocumented workers.  Immigration reform would also assure employers that our workers are legally authorized, and would not be subject to raids or enforcement actions.


Senator Durbin has long led the fight for Immigrant injustice, 12 years since he first introduced the Dream Act. I now call on his colleagues in Congress and in particular the Senate Gang of 8 to make sure that as many of the 11 million undocumented as possible are included in any immigration reform bill but of course excluding those with serious criminal backgrounds.  We need to bring workers out of the shadows, not create another sub class by legalizing some and not others.


30% of the undocumented in this country are non hispanic and that figure includes thousands of Irish who are here paying taxes, starting businesses and raising families.  I ask our legislators to please include everyone in this reform bill and do not exclude men and women who want a fair shot at contributing to the life of this country. The Irish were very active in the recent Drivers license bill which was recently passed into law in Illinois.


Look at this tie I am wearing of President Lincoln. I went to see the film "Lincoln" last week. All about the abolition of slavery. President Lincoln stood his ground against the terrible abomination of the Black slavery and introduced the 13th amendment.


He righted a terrible wrong to a down trodden people.

Today our Congress needs to stand up and finally fix our broken immigration system.


Don't forget at one stage we were all Immigrants."


 Billy Lawless is the Chairman of the Chicago Celts for immigration Reform and a Board Member Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights.

Justice for Immigrants Update

Please start making plans now to set up immigration advocacy meetings during the Easter recess with the DISTRICT offices of your U.S. Senators and Representatives.   It is anticipated that the Senate Judiciary Committee will release a bill before that time.  The Easter recess is scheduled for March 25- April 5, 2013 and you should be contacting your Members' office as soon as possible so that you can secure a meeting during that time frame. 


The Interfaith Immigration Coalition is hosting a webinar on Monday, March 4 at 4 pm EST entitled Neighbor to Neighbor Visits, which are meetings that you set up with your Members of Congress and their staff to urge them to support humane immigration reform.  Never done a lobby visit before? No worries! They will walk you through the process step-by-step. 


March 4th Webinar/ Conference Call at 4 PM EST

Sign up here for the webinar 


Call In Number  805-399-1000

Code 104402


The Link for the  webinar/visual will be sent out on March 4th to all registrants. 

Immigration Clips in the News


Public Support for Immigration Reform


An ABC News/Washington Post poll conducted late in January and early February found that approval for President Obama's handling of immigration is at an all-time high. The same poll found that a majority, 55%, favor a path to citizenship for the undocumented. A Quinnipiac poll conducted during the same time frame produced similar results-56% of adults believed that undocumented immigrants "should be allowed to stay in the United States and to eventually apply for US citizenship." By contrast, only 10% believed that undocumented immigrants should be allowed to stay and never become citizens. 


Bibles, Badges and Business for Reform 


A variety of new voices are being raised in support of immigration reform. Conservative evangelical Christians, law enforcement and businesses (Bibles, Badges and Businesshave been meeting with Republican members of Congress to push for immigration reform.   


 Former Officials form Task Force   

On February 11, the Bipartisan Policy Center launched a high-level task force on immigration, which will be co-chaired by former Secretary of State Condeleezza Rice, former HUD
Secretary Henry Cisneros , and former governors
Haley Barber (Mississippi) and Ed Rendell (Pennsylvania). According to this release announcing the task force, the task force "will develop and advocate for consensus recommendations to guide national immigration policy." 
The task force will be directed by Rebecca Tallent, who was Sen. John McCain's point person on immigration when the Senate considered the Kennedy-McCain immigration reform bill. She had also been a staffer for former Congressman Jim Kolbe (R-Ariz.), another key ally in the immigration reform effort.


AFL-CIO and Chamber of Commerce Agree to Principles on Immigration Reform

Just last week, the AFL-CIO and Chamber of Commerce Presidents released a statement regarding agreement on principles for CIR.  Over the last months, representatives of business and labor have been engaged in serious discussions about how to fix the system in a way that benefits both workers and employers, with a focus on lesser-skilled occupations.  


They agreed that the following principles should guide legislation in the complicated and important area of addressing lesser-skilled immigration to our country:


First, American workers should have a first crack at available jobs.  


Second, there are instances - even during tough economic times - when employers are not able to fill job openings with American workers.  Those instances will surely increase as the economy improves, and when they occur, it is important that our laws permit businesses to hire foreign workers without having to go through a cumbersome and inefficient process.  


Third, we need to fix the system so that it is much more transparent, which requires that we build a base of knowledge using real-world data about labor markets and demographics.    


To read the entire article, go to the AFL-CIO 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