Justice for Immigrants
You shall have but one rule, for alien and native-born alike. I, the LORD, am your God.
Background on Family Detention
The US immigrant detention system grew more than five-fold between 1994 and 2013.
In 1994 the daily detained population on a given day was 6,785 people. By 2013, that number grew to 34,260 – a figure mandated by Congress.
Exodus 20: 1-17
Then God spoke all these words:
Matthew 2: 13-14
So you too should love the resident alien, for that is what you were in the land of Egypt.
When they had departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you. Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him.” Joseph rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed for Egypt. He stayed there until the death of Herod, that what the Lord had said through the prophet might be fulfilled, “Out of Egypt I called my son.”
With the promise of the New Year comes National Migration Week 2015, celebrated by the Catholic Church January 4-10. The theme is “We Are One Family Under God,” and there is no better time to extend goodwill, so abundantly shared with loved ones during the holidays, to our migrant brothers and sisters in Christ.
The Feast of Pentecost is upon us! This is a time to celebrate the missionary outburst to share the evangelii gaudium, the joy of the Gospel, with all people. And, it is at this wondrous time that we join Catholics in prayerful action to repair our disjointed immigration system.
Pentecost is an ancient feast marking the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples:
Taking their message to Capitol Hill on May 29th, bishops emboldened Catholics to seek justice for immigrants through support for comprehensive reform. A mass, offered for the families of those separated by our broken immigration system, was concelebrated by six bishops at St. Peter Church in Washington, D.C. The prayers of principal celebrant Archbishop Thomas Wenski were clear: migration is a central narrative of our faith and nation’s history, and ensuring that laws evolve to uphold the dignity of migrants is a moral obligation.
After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”
The evening “Angela,” a woman in her early thirties, arrived at the shelter for women and children in Nogales, Mexico she was desperate to reunite with her husband “Tino” with whom she had traveled North two weeks before. The couple traversed the Sonora desert together and crossed the border successfully, but were picked up at a Border Patrol checkpoint in Arizona only days after entering the United States. The pair was separated upon apprehension and that was the last Angela saw of her husband. Angela described her husband to other migrants and service providers.
By Luis Enrique Jacquez, El Paso, Texas
After crossing the length of Mexico over ground to get to the border, “Luisa,” a 36 year old widow from the indigenous municipality of Tamazulápam de Espíritu Santo in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca, and her 20 year old son “Pedro” attempted to cross into the United States by walking through the harsh and unpopulated desert near Nogales, Arizona. Unlike most unauthorized migrants who attempt to cross the U.S. – Mexico border, Luisa and Pedro did not contract the service of a guide.
Raised in a tiny village in Galilee, my father, the eldest of 5 children, was raised by loving parents who made a meager living as poor farmers. My mother, who was raised in an orphanage from a young age by a community of Sisters in Jerusalem, married my father at seventeen. During my childhood, my father worked as a mechanic and my mother as a teacher. While our home was filled with love, my parents recognized that their children would have better opportunities for education, advancement, and success in the U.S.
Several government agencies including United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Federal Trade Commission, the Executive Office for Immigration Review, and the Department of Justice’s Civil Division have joined forces to participate in the Administration’s Unauthorized Practice of Immigration Law Initiative. Unauthorized practice is a subject familiar to CLINIC and its affiliates. The following guest blog is the second in a series of featured posts on this important issue: