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Immigration and the Church

Priest praises Mexican migrants bill

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MEXICO CITY -- A Catholic priest serving undocumented migrants praised new immigration legislation that would provide more rights and legal protections to the thousands of Central and South Americans traveling through the country toward the United States.

Father Jose Alejandro Solalinde, whose defense of migrants has brought death threats from criminal gangs and immense media attention for his outspoken advocacy, said the new legislation also discards potential sanctions against those working on behalf of migrants.

Bishops' conference to co-sponsor immigration talks

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In continuing with the push for more discussions on immigration, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and The Catholic University of America will host an immigration conference, “The Catholic Church and Immigration: Pastoral, Policy and Social Perspectives,” at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. on March 21.

Looking for resources on immigration reform?

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Parishes looking for more information and educational material on the U.S. bishops' views on immigration reform can be found at www.justiceforimmigrants.org, a site sponsored by the U.S. bishops.

Resources such as suggestions for homilists, statements from Archbishop José Gomez and others, answers to questions such as 'why don't they come here legally' and more are found at the Web site.

Currently, the campaign is encouraging people to send postcards (found on the Web site) calling for immigration reform to their representative and senators in the United States Congress.

Undocumented immigrant, experts share struggles at forum

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NEW YORK -- Thursday evening, Daniela Alulema looked out into the pews of the Church of the Holy Family and asked everyone gathered for a Woodstock Theological Center forum on migration to think back to when they were 14 years old.

“Now think about what would happen if, all of a sudden, your parents told you tomorrow you were leaving -- ‘We’re going to start a new life,’” she said. “That’s what happened to me when I was 14 years old.”

LA bishops: US immigration system 'immoral'

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LOS ANGELES -- In speeches the same day, Los Angeles' cardinal and its coadjutor archbishop talked about immigration in the United States, with one calling some of the rhetoric about the issue "not worthy of the Gospel," and the other saying the current system "is an immoral system that thrives upon the weakness and suffering of those without a voice."

Call for 'comprehensive and just' immigration reform

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The message "to welcome the stranger" reverberated throughout the weekend here at an immigration conference sponsored by the diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph. Panels of immigrants, bishops, church ministries, and immigrant aid groups urged reform during the conference, located at Rockhurst University.

After a Mass concelebrated by Bishop Robert Finn of the Kansas City-St. Joseph diocese and Bishop George Murry of the Youngstown diocese, some 200 conference participants heard keynote speaker Murry discuss the church teachings on immigration and the need to reform current U.S. immigration policies.

Read the full story here: Conference calls for 'comprehensive and just' immigration reform

Bishop Finn: Immigration laws require 'expanded vision'

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Bishop Robert W. Finn of the Kansas City - St. Joseph diocese Feb. 4 warmly greeted visitors to a two day diocesan Immigration conference, in a homily linking U.S. abortion and immigration laws, saying both are unjust and require change.

During a conference opening mass, he explained the biblical mandates which have moved him to support immigration reform and open his arms and heart to the undocumented.

Moments of hope - behind bars

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In the Fall of 2010 I was invited to celebrate the Eucharist in the detention center in El Paso. The detention center houses 800 persons who have been picked up by the border patrol for immigration violations. Most were from Mexico, but others were from Pakistan, Romania, and Africa. I passed through the security gates and saw uniformed officers, rows of border patrol SUV’s, barbed wire, cameras, grey bricked buildings. A patrol van was parked with the rear door opened.

I can still feel the terror that struck me when I saw the large box of steel shackles glistening in the sun. “Chains for human beings”, I thought. A different kind of slavery is still lurking in our midst. I realized I had just walked into the world where 800 people had exchanged their former identities to become “detainees” waiting “to be processed” and deported.

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July 18-31, 2014

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