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Immigration and the Church

For those in San Francisco area: "Trust Act of 2012"

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If you are in the San Francisco area, you may be interested in this event about Secure Communities and what Catholics and people of other faith traditions are saying. NCR received a press release this morning:

 

Event to Stop the Deportations and the Separation of Our Families,
January 28th, 2pm, St. Mary's Cathedral
(1111 Gough St. San Francisco, CA)

 

On January 28th we are uniting as a city-wide, faith community (and especially the Catholic community) to announce our solution to the division of families, the increase of fear, and the lack of immigrant trust in the local police: the Trust Act of 2012 (presented in the State Assembly by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano). This act will help prevent further deportations caused by S-COMM (the text is still being drafted and will be discussed at the event). We will listen to the testimony of immigrant family members affected by S-COMM, we will share further information on S-COMM's now 55,000 deportations in California, we will participate in prayer, and stand with a variety of local and state government officials, police and sheriff's officers, and other public figures that support the immigrant community. We will do this so that our faith community's collective voice can be heard by the Governor in support of the Trust Act, against S-COMM, and in favor of family unity.

Immigration conference deals with the tough questions

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Putting the cart in front of the horse is one way to describe the federal government's pursuing immigration enforcement before immigration reform, according to participants at a recent conference here.

The three-day gathering was convened in Salt Lake City by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and its Migration and Refugee Services, and the Catholic Legal Immigration Network Inc. (CLINIC).

Quadriplegic immigrant dies after hospital returned him to Mexico

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The Chicago Tribune reports today this story:

 

"Sent back to Mexico by the Chicago-area medical center that had treated his crippling injury, the young quadriplegic languished for more than a year in a small-town hospital ill-equipped to handle his needs.

 

Quelino Ojeda Jimenez, who needed a ventilator to breathe, suffered two episodes of cardiac arrest in that facility as well as developing bedsores and a septic infection, officials said.

On Sunday, just 30 minutes into the new year, Ojeda died at age 21, said Jeromino Ramirez Luis, director of the General Hospital of Juchitan in Mexico, which took over his care from the smaller facility last month. Ramirez said the causes were pneumonia, sepsis and the effects of the spinal injury Ojeda suffered while working illegally in the United States."

 

Reactions in Ore. of new deportation policy

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PORTLAND, Ore. -- As Republican presidential candidates debate the volatile topic of immigration, federal enforcement officers are quietly enacting a new policy that could bring what one Oregon lawyer calls a "seismic shift."

Under new rules adopted by the Obama administration in 2011, deportation is reserved for felons, national security risks or repeat immigration offenders. Undocumented immigrants guilty only of minor legal violations and who have long and substantial ties in the United States would have their deportation cases set aside.

That could fulfill one demand issued by the U.S. Catholic bishops -- that immigrant families not be broken up over small offenses such as a broken taillight. Until now, agents have presumed that any violation could be a path to deportation.

The change is "a potential seismic shift in enforcement," said Geoffrey Scowcroft, an attorney who manages immigration legal services for Catholic Charities in Oregon. "We are in the very early stages of this, but this policy is as close to good news as we have seen in years," said Scowcroft, who helps immigrants negotiate the legal system.

Ala. governor rejects bishops' immigration plea

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (RNS) Gov. Robert Bentley won't support a repeal of the state's get-tough immigration law, rejecting a Christmas appeal from a group of top religious leaders.

"Gov. Bentley believes Alabama needs an effective illegal immigration law because the federal government has failed in its duties to enforce the law," wrote Bentley's press secretary, Jennifer Ardis, in an email.

'Posada' draws attention to immigration reform

CHICAGO -- Catholic advocates for immigration reform used a Dec. 16 "posada," a traditional Mexican re-enactment of Mary and Joseph's search for shelter in Bethlehem, to demonstrate the need to change the immigration system.

The posada was led by Chicago Auxiliary Bishops John R. Manz and Alberto Rojas and a couple portraying Mary and Joseph as they search for a place where they will be welcomed.

Letter to immigrants from 33 Hispanic, Latino bishops

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Note: The U.S. Hispanic and Latino Bishops released a letter to immigrants Dec. 12. Below is the text with the 33 signatories:

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LETTER OF THE HISPANIC/LATINO BISHOPS TO IMMIGRANTS

Dear immigrant sisters and brothers,

May the peace and grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ be with all of you!

We the undersigned Hispanic/Latino Bishops of the United States wish to let those of you who lack proper authorization to live and work in our country know that you are not alone, or forgotten. We recognize that every human being, authorized or not, is an image of God and therefore possesses infinite value and dignity. We open our arms and hearts to you, and we receive you as members of our Catholic family. As pastors, we direct these words to you from the depths of our heart.

Georgia rally decries prison's treatment of immigrants

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LUMPKIN, GA. -- Traveling down Interstate 85 and Interstate 185 into the Deep South, the desolation of the journey along almost-empty highways makes one wonder if the Stewart Detention Center will ever appear. Touted by critics as the largest private, for-profit prison in the northern hemisphere, Stewart is the prison where thousands of Latino immigrants are held for almost certain deportation, most of them for minor traffic violations.

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