Catholics urge Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform

.- Catholics from across the country will visit Capitol Hill this week and urge lawmakers to pass comprehensive immigration reform that is in line with proposals presented by the U.S. bishops.

The march on Capitol Hill is part of an April 17-19 conference that will bring together social justice leaders, diocesan directors, and others active in the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Justice for Immigrants campaign.

Mark Franken, executive director of the U.S. bishops’ Migration and Refugee Services office, will give the opening presentation. The theme for the gathering is “Offering Hope, Promoting Justice.”

Participants will share ideas, strategies and best practices for educating the Catholic community about key elements of the bishops’ immigration reform proposals.

The U.S. bishops have consistently advocated for comprehensive immigration reform that includes:

  • An earned legalization program that allows undocumented persons to earn permanent residency
  • A guest worker program that protects foreign-born workers and safeguards against the displacement of U.S. workers
  • Family-based immigration reform that reduces waiting times for family reunification
  • Restoration of due process protections for immigrants 
  • Policies that address the root causes of migration.

Other speakers at the three-day conference, held at the Hilton Washington, include Kevin Appleby, the director of the U.S. bishops’ Migration and Refugee Policy office; Frank Sherry, the executive director of the National Immigration Forum; and Mirna Torres, the director of legalization and advocacy for the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc.

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