IAUSA Irish Apostolate

Update on the Catholic Campaign for Immigration Reform  

Issue: # 92  April   2013
In This Issue
What's Ahead for CIR
Hill Briefing on Catholic Social Teaching
Summaries of Senate Bill 744
MRS/JFI Advocacy Day
Is Immigration Reform Possible?
Political Rivals share a Stage in Chicago
April 10th Immigration Rally in DC
Quick Links 


Current Articles 

Senate Hearing Reinforces Why Congress Needs to Pass Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Immigration Impact




Ryan Takes On a Key Role in Immigration

Wall Street Journal




The Facts on Immigration Today

Center for American Progress




GOP Mega Donor Backs Immigration Reform




Hatch: Immigration Reform Can't Wait

Salt Lake Tribune

Other Links 


Join Our List
What's Ahead for Comprehensive Immigration Reform
When Congress returns from their recess this week, the Senate Judiciary Committee will begin what is called a "mark-up" on the Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill, S-744.  


Sen. Leahy recently announced that the debate on S.744 will start on Thursday, May 9, with amendments submitted on Tuesday, May 7. Senators will have an opportunity to offer amendments to the bill as currently written.  These amendments could improve the bill for undocumented immigrants; others could tighten eligibility, etc.  The Irish Apostolate USA will be sending ACTION ALERTS to enlist your help in contacting your Senators about some of the amendments that are important.  PLEASE help us in this effort by forwarding the alert to your family and friends across the United States.

The Irish Apostolate's Board Members will be in Washington, DC during May 14-16 and will be visiting Senate offices to advocate for the passage of good amendments as well as the bill itself.

For those of you who were around in 2006-07, the Migration Policy Institute developed a Side-by-Side Comparison of the 2006, 2007, 2013 bills.  You can find this comparison here.

Webinar on How You Can Protect and Improve the Immigration Bill


Join the Interfaith Immigration Coalition for their monthly webinar to learn about upcoming amendments and what you can do to ensure a justice-seeking bill that welcomes the stranger and protects the common good.

RSVP Here to receive a link to the visual webinar presentation. 


What: Webinar on the Amendment Strategy in the Senate Immigration Bill
When: Monday, May 6th at 4PM Eastern Daylight Time
Call in #: 805-399-1000 Access code: 104402


Make sure to RSVP so that you receive an email directly you to view the visual part of the webinar. 


Hill Briefing on Catholic Social Teaching and Immigration

The Irish Apostolate USA was one of 14 Catholic organizations that sponsored two briefings on Capitol Hill for Senate and House staffers on Friday, April 19th entitled Catholic Social Teaching: Re-Framing Immigration Reform.   


Dr. Kristin Heyer, professor of theological ethics at Santa Clara University and author of Kinship Across Borders: A Christian Ethic of Immigration provided a Catholic moral and ethical framework to the immigration debate.

Kevin Appleby, Director, Migration Policy and Public Affairs of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, discussed the Church's position on current legislation in the Senate and spoke of the Church's general principles for immigration reform in the House.


Fr. Tom Groome, SJ and Fr. Clete Kiley were moderators for the Senate and Hill briefings, respectively.


Dr. Kristin Heyer's presentation "Catholic Social Teaching: Re-Framing Immigration Reform "can be found here.



Kevin, Kristin & Tom Greene
Kevin Appleby, Dr. Kristin Heyer, Fr. Tom Groome



Summaries of Senate Bill 744

 On April 16, the Senate "Gang of 8" introduced a Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill entitled 




Since then several of our leading immigration advocacy groups have produced summaries of this bill.  Here are links to the most comprehensive summaries:


American Immigration Lawyers Association

Section by Section Analysis




Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc.




National Immigration Law Center 





MRS_JFI/ CLINIC Advocacy Day in Washington, DC
Join CLINIC and the Justice for Immigrants Campaign (JFI) for a day of Congressional advocacy on behalf of the immigrants we serve across the country. Advocacy Day will take place on Tuesday May 21, 2013 as part of CLINIC's 16th Annual Convening.   We will start the day with a preparatory session which will include how-to advocacy tips and a review of talking points and messaging. Then we will head to the Hill where you will meet with your Senators and Representatives to let them know how important immigration reform is to their constituents. We know from experience that hearing directly from constituents has a powerful effect on the decisions made by our members of Congress. Take advantage of this opportunity to advocate for those who need immigration reform to pass!

Registration is free, but required. Please consider bringing your clients, coworkers, or other interested constituents who support the Church's principles for immigration reform.  


Is Immigration Reform Possible?...an update from the USA

Bishop John Kirby, Chair of the Irish Bishops' Council for Emigrants

Irish Bishop Conf Logo Once again the possibility of a path to citizenship for the undocumented Irish in the United States of America is hitting the headlines here in Ireland. Having been disappointed in the past it would be fair to say that we are cautious, indeed extremely cautious, before we utter words of hope that speak of the possibility of a resolution for our undocumented Irish emigrants in the United States. However, it is fair to say that wheels are in motion on the issue of immigration reform in Washington D.C once again.


Currently there is a bi-partisan group, that is Republicans and Democrats, known as the "Gang of 8 Senators" which has been meeting for months with a view to introducing a comprehensive immigration reform bill sometime in the next two weeks in the U.S. Senate.  This bill would be comprised of many elements including: Border Security, Provisional Legalization and a Path to Citizenship, a Guest Worker Program, an Agricultural Program and a program for undocumented children referred to as DREAMERS who were brought to the USA when they were young by their parents who are also undocumented. Last year the Obama Administration formulated a plan whereby the DREAMERS can obtain temporary legal status so they cannot be deported. This outcome for the children of the undocumented shows both the power and the importance of the legislative process in the United States. It shows that outcomes can be achieved if the necessary political will exists.  


To read the entire article, go to the IAUSA website.



Political Rivals share a Stage in Chicago 

for Immigration Reform

by Billy Lawless, Chair, CELTS

Finally light at the end of the tunnel for 50,000 undocumented Irish in the US.



Ryan, Gutierrez and Lawless
Cong. Luis Gutierrez, Billy Lawless, Cong. Paul Ryan

Memorable and historic can only describe the City Club of Chicago Monday's luncheon as two rival congressmen, one a conservative Republican and the other a liberal Democrat, shared a stage not once but twice to confirm their commitment to comprehensive immigration reform.  Chicago Celts for Immigration Reform Chairman Billy Lawless greeted both legislators and thanked them for their leadership on the issue.


Former Romney running mate and darling of the fiscally conservative tea party movement, Paul Ryan, and his equally cherished champion of immigration reform Democrat Luis Gutierrez showed Chicago that the rancor and division normally associated with Washington politics can indeed be put to bed, if only on one issue: namely immigration reform.




April 10th Immigration Rally in DC

There were estimates of 35,000 people in attendance at the Immigration Rally in Washington, DC on April 10th.  Coming from across the United States by bus, train, and caravan, they arrived in DC to urge passage of a comprehensive immigration reform bill. This event took place less than a week before the Senate "Gang of 8" introduced their bill - S. 744.


The rally was organized by several immigrant rights' groups, with the Alliance for Citizenship and the Service Employees International Union as key organizers. Members of faith and ethnic communities were also present.


Many of you will remember the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform rallies in DC in 2006-07 with many of you participating wearing the "Legalize the Irish"

A few members of the Maryland Ancient Order of Hibernians and some Irish nationals attended this year's rally and were kind enough to send me a photo to share with you.
April Rally w Kelly and Marie
Kelly O'Keefe from County Clare holds the sign with Sr. Marie Lucey of the Franciscan Action Network.

 Photo taken by Jack O'Brien, Historian, AOH District of Columbia State Board.



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