IAUSA Irish Apostolate

Update on the Catholic Campaign for Immigration Reform  

Issue: # 98  November   2013
In This Issue
When Will We See CIR?
Bishop Kirby Visits Chicago
Oireachtas Delegation Comes to DC
Updates from the Hill
Toolkit for BIA Recognition
Quick Links 


Current Articles 


Boehner Says Prospects for Immigration Reform 'Absolutely Not' Dead




Immigration Viewpoints


Center for American Progress 

Other Links 


Join Our List
When Will We See CIR?
At this time it doesn't look like we will see any immigration bills being brought to the floor of the House of Representatives.  Although Speaker Boehner recently announced that "immigration is not dead," he did not give a timetable of when he will bring a bill(s) up for a vote.  House Leadership claims that there is just not enough time in the calendar by the end of this year.

This is very discouraging to all of us who have worked very hard this fall informing our Congressmen/women how important immigration reform is to us.  There have been rallies, protests, town halls, and prayer vigils around the country by various groups - faith, business, agriculture, DREAM activists, law enforcement.

Polls continue to show that there is widespread support for immigration reform that would include a path to citizenship after people paid fines, back taxes, were of good moral character, and learned English.  When will our leaders in Washington listen to these voices?

This fall there has been several courageous Republican Members of the House who have stepped forward to co-sponsor HR-15.  They are Jeff Denham (CA), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL), and David Valeo (CA).  There are now a total of 190 co-sponsors on this bill, which is very similar to the Senate bill which was passed in June.  A lot of attention has been given to other moderate Republicans in the House to encourage them to also support this bill.  Time will tell if our efforts have been successful.  
2014 will bring continued efforts by immigration advocates to bring a bill to the House floor for a vote.  We hope we can count on your continued efforts in the New Year!
Immigration Laws Should Reflect Our Values, Not Politics Or Fears
by Sr. Simone Campbell, NETWORK

A few days ago I stood with immigrants and faith leaders at the foot of the U.S. Capitol, the site of many rallies for immigration reform in recent years. But we weren't there to rally. Instead, we were gathered to pray and to fast for immigration reform. The next day, I was back at the Capitol, this time helping to deliver more than 11,000 pro-reform postcards to the House of Representatives. These postcards had been gathered by my organization from constituents in all 50 states, and they were in addition to the 10,000 we delivered this past summer.


I find it personally incomprehensible that the fight for comprehensive reform has gone on for so long when everyone agrees that our current system hurts immigrants and our entire nation. It is more than a cliché that we are a nation of immigrants. When did Washington forget that?


Read the entire article here. 

CLINIC Resources on CIR

In preparation for passage of comprehensive immigration reform, CLINIC is growing the largest network of grassroots non-profits providing charitable legal immigration services.  CLINIC supports its affiliates to respond to the current needs of low-income immigrants and prepare non-profits to serve the expected needs of undocumented immigrants seeking legal status and eventually citizenship under new immigration laws.  

This webpage is a resource for non-profit legal immigration programs, their stakeholders, and immigrants who will benefit from favorable immigration reform.  The webpage seeks to help programs:

  • Understand the need to legalize undocumented immigrants;
  • Educate people of faith and other advocates on the issue;
  • Inform immigrants on how to prepare for immigration reform;
  • Increase or start legal immigration services in their non-profits.  
Visit this website often to keep up-to-date on new developments and resources.




Looking up Congressional Legislation

As you may know, for many years, you could go to www.thomas.gov to find the text of Senate and House legislation.


Currently, the Library of Congress, is transitioning  beta.congress.gov  into its permanent role as the official site for federal legislative information from the U.S. Congress and related agencies, the Library will be making changes to the URLs used to access THOMAS, the Library's public-facing legislative information system.


As of November 19, the mail URLS for Thomas (http://thomas.gov and http://thomas.loc.gov ) will be redirected to the beta.congress.gov  system.  This will continue until late 2014.




       Immigration Poll


About 71 percent of voters surveyed nationwide said they would back an immigration bill that contains the following provisions: border security, an expanded visa program for high-skilled workers and agricultural workers, an employment verification system, a pathway to citizenship for undocumented children and legal status for immigrants in the United States illegally.



As for a pathway to citizenship, 73 percent would support it if it includes requirements to cough up penalties, learn English, pass background checks, pay taxes and wait at least 13 years, according to the poll.

Read the story  in Politico 


Fast for Families Going on at the National Mall in DC



 Vice President Joe Biden Makes Surprise Visit to Fasters

VP reiterates support for immigration reform, calls on House to act now; second Republican Rep. David Valadao stops at "Fast for Families"


WASHINGTON, DC - Following Speaker John Boehner's affirmation yesterday that immigration reform is "absolutely not" dead, Vice President Joe Biden made a surprise visit to the "Fast for Families" tents

on the National Mall in support of the immigration reform fasters who are going into their 11th day without food.
Vice President Biden told staff and fasters, "As my father would say, come hell or high water, we're going to win this." The strong support for immigration reform was expressed to fasters as Eliseo Medina of 
SEIU, Cristian Avila of Mi Familia Vota and Dae Joong Yoon of NAKASEC, who have been fasting since Nov. 12, exchanged their testimonies with the vice president. Others who have been fasting in solidarity also heard from Vice President Biden.

The three core fasters having been abstaining from food and have vowed to continue until they can no longer sustain or they are medically prevented from continuing their efforts.
"Fast for Families" on the National Mall has welcomed the visits of many members of Congress, including the second Republican to surprise fasters, Rep. David Valadao (R-CA) who came to see fasters after the vice president. The first Republican congressman was Rep. Jeff Denham (R-CA).

Every day advocates and faith leaders join fasters in solidarity by abstaining from food for a limited time, from 1 to 7 days.

"As Vice-President Biden understands and reiterated, fixing America's broken immigration is both a moral imperative and the key to our economic future," said Rev. Derrick Harkins, Senior Pastor at D.C.'s Nineteenth Street Baptist Church and a participant in the meeting with Vice President Biden. "The question that remains is how much longer Speaker Boehner will choose to inflict needless pain and suffering on aspiring American families."



First lady recognizes immigration fasters







WHITE HOUSE BLOG (Muñoz Post): Visiting the Fast for Families in Support of Immigration Reform
By Cecilia Munoz, Director of the Domestic Policy Council





HUFFINGTON POST: Advocates Fasting for Families Embody the Strength and Determination of the Immigration Reform Movement
By Janet Murguia, President, National Council of LaRaza



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