To: Iowa Catholic Conference Legislative Network
NATIONAL CALL-IN DAY FOR IMMIGRATION REFORM
Tomorrow, May 29, is a national “call-in day” to Congress in support of immigration reform. To participate, dial this toll-free number, 1-855-589-5698, to be automatically connected to your U.S. House Member and ask them to:
- Vote for immigration reform,
- Support a path to citizenship,
- Preserve family unity, and
- Employ safe and humane immigration enforcement practices.
It’s important for both the supporters and opponents of these principles in the House to hear from us.
Some Catholic bishops are also traveling to Capitol Hill to urge the House of Representatives to take action. These bishops are also celebrating a Mass for immigrants at St. Peter Church in Washington, D.C. at 7:30 a.m. CST tomorrow. A live video stream of the Mass will be available by clicking on this link.
“Our trip to the border (in April) opened our eyes, even more than previously, to the human tragedies generated by our immigration system,” said Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, auxiliary bishop of Seattle, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Migration. “Bringing our experience, as well as the solidarity and spirit we felt with residents on both sides of the border, to our lawmakers in Washington is a natural next step.
“The only real solution to this broken system is action by Congress. We need a debate and vote on this issue. Inaction is equivalent to supporting the status quo, which Americans agree needs to be changed,” Bishop Elizondo said.
You can also visit our website for the Iowa bishops’ most recent statement on immigration reform.
In other news, we were pleased that Gov. Branstad signed House File 2468 last Friday. The new law provides a $2,500 state tax credit for expenses related to the adoption of a child. For our complete report on the 2014 Iowa legislative session from the perspective of the Iowa Catholic Conference, click on the link at www.iowacatholicconference.org.
The Iowa Catholic Conference board of directors met in Ankeny on May 15. The board met with Jenifer Bowen, executive director of Iowa Right to Life, and Maggie DeWitte and Lisa Bourne, executive director and interim executive director of Iowans for LIFE. The bishops are very appreciate of the work these groups are doing in the state. The board also discussed some revisions to the ICC’s most recent Faithful Citizenship document in advance of this year’s mid-term elections.
The Diocese of Sioux City, Briar Cliff University and Mercy Child Advocacy Center are sponsoring a conference on human trafficking June 17 at Briar Cliff University in Sioux City. Speakers include FBI Special Agent Anna Brewer, FBI Victim Specialist Kathryn Thomsen, Sioux Falls Police Lt. David McIntire, and Sioux City Diocesan Peace and Justice Commissioner Bernadette Rixner. Bishop R. Walker Nickless will provide the opening prayer. Admission is free; register at www.scdiocese.org/humantrafficking.
According to Catholic Relief Services, our brothers and sisters living in the Central African Republic need your prayers for peace and action now. Since March 2013, an estimated 20 percent of the population of the Central African Republic (CAR), as many as 900,000 people, has been displaced and at least 2,000 people have been killed.
You can help our brothers and sisters right now by:
- Praying for peace between now and June 1, 2014. Your prayers will be added to thousands of prayers being lifted up at the March for Peace in CAR on May 31. You can also include these special prayer intentions for Masses, or host a prayer service with your faith community.
- Learning more about the crisis by visiting the new CAR webpage.
- Taking Action – Urge your Members of Congress to speak out in support of a strong U.S. leadership role to bring an end to the violence and to help the CAR work towards peace and prosperity now.
Your voice matters!