IAUSA Irish Apostolate

An Immigrant's Musings - February 2015

The Justice for Immigrants' campaign has developed a toolkit for you to use with your network to motivate people to take action for Immigration Reform during Lent.

You can access the toolkit on the IAUSA website.




As I begin to prepare this month's contribution, the GOP is going through the process of taking control of both chambers of Congress. It will be the first time since 2006 that the Republicans will be in charge of both houses. So many who follow politics in the U.S. are keen to know what kind of Congress will the 114th turn out to be.


The first point I'd make is this; I expect that any serious action will happen for the most part this year. I say that because the party leadership will proceed with one eye on the 2016 presidential race.  There is also the intriguing question as to how will the new power shift work out in practice with President Obama. Any legislation will have to be well crafted in order to receive Presidential approval. It is very clear that the Republicans are on opposite sides of the spectrum to Mr. Obama on most if not all issues, therefore, it is going to require a great deal of constructive bargaining in order for any significant piece of legislation to end with the President's signature.


With those obstacles in mind, the most likely areas for action seem to be jobs and the economy. The Republicans are set to reintroduce the Keystone pipeline project, which failed in the last Congress. The next area will probably be an attempt to do something for the highways program that is seriously underfunded. The highways are so vital to the economic wellbeing of the states it should be a "no brainer" for both parties to make progress on that area. One other area where there is a possibility of progress would be according to some commentators, the issue of tax reform. Mr. Baucus (D) and Mr. Camp (R) had drafted many ideas on how the tax system could be simplified and crucially how this country's system could be made more competitive with other countries. The result of the above mentioned members work would suggest that the new chairs, namely, Ryan and Hatch are in a good position to make a breakthrough on this important area which has the ability to make life easier for corporate America as well as for the individual tax payer.


And so that brings me to my usual topic, immigration. It is too soon to predict what the Republicans will decide to do on this thorny issue. Will the tail of the tea party continue to derail any efforts to find a comprehensive solution to fixing the broken system or will the Republican leadership try a piecemeal approach and see where that takes us.  



Benefits of Struggling


A man found a cocoon of a butterfly. One day a small opening appeared, he sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole.


Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could and it could go no farther. Then the man decided to help the butterfly, so he took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The butterfly then emerged easily.


But it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings. The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body, which would contract in time. Neither happened!


In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings.


It never was able to fly. What the man in his kindness and haste did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening were God's way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.


Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our life. If God allowed us to go through our life without any obstacles, it would cripple us. We would not be as strong as what we could have been.


And we could never fly. 


Author Unknown




Should you have any comments, questions or suggestions, please feel free to contact Michael Leonard at: sliabhanoir@yahoo.com.



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. 

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