IAUSA Irish Apostolate

Update on the Catholic Campaign for Immigration Reform  

Issue: # 112

 February 2015

In This Issue
Fact Check: No Back Taxes in Immigration Action
More on Executive Action
Administrative Relief
Urge Congress to Support E.A.
Quick Links 
Current Articles 

Dozens of Mayors File Brief in Support of Immigration Executive Action


Immigration Impact 




Obama to seek Emergency Order restarting Immigration Programs


The Hill




Moving Forward to fix our Broken Immigration System


The Hill


Other Links 


Join Our List

US Bishops are Making a Renewed Push on Immigration 


Catholic bishops around the United States are ramping up their efforts to stymie anti-immigration forces, making direct pleas to their states' governors, testifying before Congress, and even using theatrics to draw attention to their cause.


Although the bishops have always supported President Barack Obama's executive order halting some deportations, there is a new sense of urgency, spurred by a federal court's temporary injunction last week that blocked implementation of the order. The injunction was in response to a lawsuit filed by 26 states challenging the president's action.

For example:

  • Archbishop Joseph W. Tobin of Indianapolis wrote an open letter, published in the Indianapolis Star Sunday, to Gov. Mike Pence asking him to withdraw Indiana from the lawsuit.
"This lawsuit, if ultimately successful, will force immigrants back into the shadows and expose them to deportation - which will lead to separating families, depriving children of their parents' love, removing young men and women from the only country they have known, and tearing the fabric of whole communities," states the letter, which also was signed by leaders of other Christian, Jewish, and Islamic communities.

"We are guided by two fundamental values upheld by our faith traditions: the inherent worth and dignity of every person, and the opportunity of each person to participate fully and equally in the communities of which they are a member," the letter continued.

  • Earlier this month, another Catholic bishop testified before a Congressional committee, urging lawmakers not to press on with "enforcement-only" immigration bills.

"Our country is judged by how we treat the most vulnerable," said Bishop Gerald Kicanas of Tucson, "and the removal of protections from children flies against human decency and violates human dignity. We should not punish these children, who themselves are innocent and are only seeking opportunity and safety."


Kicanas, who has been a leading voice for the bishops' campaign to enact comprehensive immigration reform, was in Washington to protest three bills that would strip down protections for undocumented children, including the repeal of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, implemented in 2012 to halt deportation of people who entered the United States as children.


According to Vatican Radio, Kicanas told lawmakers they should learn from past mistakes.

  • Last week, students from Catholic schools in Arizona created 200 white crosses and placed them around downtown Phoenix to commemorate those who have died trying to enter the United States.


According to the Arizona Republic, more than 2,300 people have died while crossing the Arizona desert, and 900 of those remain unidentified.

"We want to offer prayer for their souls, that God be merciful to them, and their families that I'm sure are very much grieved they never saw their loved ones again," Auxiliary Bishop Eduardo Nevares of Phoenix told the Republic.


In recent years, bishops from the United States and Mexico have celebrated Mass together along the US-Mexico border, distributing Communion through holes in a section of border fence.



To read the entire article, go to: CRUX



Congress averts DHS Shutdown with One-week Infusion of Funds

Agreeing on little else, Democrats and Republicans managed to come together late Friday to pass a short-term bill to keep the Homeland Security Department running one more week - though they made little headway on solving the underlying fight over President Obama's deportation amnesty.


The funding bill will keep agents on the border, screeners at airports and grants flowing to states through March 19, averting a partial shutdown that would have struck at midnight. Mr. Obama signaled he would sign the bill, but it was unclear whether the extra week would do anything to break the impasse, which has now raged for three months.


The House cleared the one-week extension on a 357-60 vote about 10 p.m., after House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who'd led her troops to block a three-week extension earlier in the day, urged an about-face and told them to vote for the shorter bill.


IRISH National Lobby Day in Washington DC


Building on the overwhelming success of last year's IRISH National Lobby Day in Washington DC, the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform (ILIR) will, once again, be kicking off the St. Patrick's Day Celebrations on Capitol Hill with our annual Irish National Lobby Day on the Hill, on March 4, 2015.

Building on this success, our emphasis this year will be on Republican members of the House Judiciary Committee. We will be letting them, and all their colleagues, know that the Irish American community supports immigration reform and Congress should too. Again, we will have a group from each state in Washington DC, meeting directly with their GOP Members of Congress, so this message is effectively delivered directly to our elected officials.

Please let us know if you are available to attend the Irish Lobby Day on the Hill and please also invite others you feel would be interested in attending.  In particular, we are looking for Irish American leaders from the following States: Florida, Texas, Georgia, Arizona, Idaho, Utah, Colorado, Michigan, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Iowa.  If you or anyone you know, from these specific states, are willing to come to DC on March 4, please contact us as soon as possible.



Update on the JFI Campaign


 Since the beginning of the New Year, members of the

Justice for Immigrants campaign began meeting with new Catholic Members of Congress, especially those in the House of Representatives.  Out of the 61 new Freshmen in the House, 23 are Catholic.  Our goal is to introduce ourselves and the JFI campaign, and inform them of the Church's position on "welcoming the stranger."  


At this time, there have been some serious anti-immigrant bills introduced in the House that we are concerned with and are hoping Catholics during Lent will take action and call Congress to oppose this type of legislation.

The JFI campaign created a Lenten Toolkit for Action on Immigration Reform.

You can access the Toolkit on the IAUSA website.





Join the Justice for Immigrants Campaign

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