Fwd: [NMD Local] Postcards for Immigration Reform
- View SourceThis is a message to all Catholics in support of comprehensive immigration reform. Just in case the Catholic Diocese in your area has decided not to participate in this "Justice for Immigrants" (justicia para inmigrantes) campaign, you can read about it below and click on the www.justiceforimmigrants.org link below to express your views and pass it on to your parish priest.---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Maria Esther Aparicio <Maria.Aparicio@...>
Date: Fri, Feb 5, 2010 at 5:17 PM
Subject: [NMD Local] Postcards for Immigration Reform
To: NMD Tucson <coregroup@...>
Diocese readies 150,000 postcards for immigration reform
By Malea Hargett
February 5, 2010
Catholic Charities Immigration Services is coordinating the
diocese's postcard campaign to let the state's representatives
and senators know that Catholics support comprehensive
Maricella Garcia, director of the Little Rock office, said her
staff is working with the U.S. bishops' Justice for Immigrants
campaign to get the cards signed by parishioners around the
state and sent in a mass mailing to Washington.
Fifty thousand sheets of postcards have been ordered for
Arkansas. Each sheet includes three cards, two for Sens.
Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor and one for the parishioner's
In January the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said more
than one million sheets of postcards have been ordered.
Garcia said the immigration postcards will not be distributed
the same as previous pro-life campaigns. Instead of handing
the cards out during Masses, CCIS employees and volunteers
will man tables after Masses at various churches in February
and March. Garcia said the staff wants to be available to talk
to parishioners in person about their views and provide
feedback if needed. Also they need to ensure that only U.S.
citizens sign the cards.
"Permanent (legal) residents and others who shouldn't be in
the voting process can't be used as the reason why we have so
many cards (filled out)," she said.
But Catholics don't have to wait until the campaign comes to
their parish. Electronic versions are now available at
www.justiceforimmigrants.org. Through the Web site, supporters
can confirm their zip code and the appropriate postcards will
automatically be generated.
The text of the electronic and paper postcard says: "I am a
concerned constituent and agree with the U.S. Catholic bishops
that the U.S. immigration system is broken and is in need of
repair. I ask that this year you support immigration reform
legislation that keeps immigrant families together, adopts
smart and humane enforcement policies and ensures that
immigrants without legal status register with the government
and begin a path toward citizenship. Our families and
communities cannot wait!"
The campaign's theme is "We are one family under God."
Garcia said reform is needed because "it's the right thing to
"You have to do the right thing, even if it's hard," she said.
"The right thing do it is that the 13 million undocumented
people living in the United States and working here are able
to come out of the shadows and be full participants in
society. When they don't do that, crimes go unreported, people
are victimized, employers are free to hire people at lower
Garcia said immigration reform is a pro-life issue and should
be supported like abortion-neutral health care reform bills
and bans on abortion.
"It's about respecting life," she said.
Garcia said she is hopeful the federal government will allow
undocumented workers to pay the necessary fines and
application fees (likely to be around $2,000 a person) and
seek a way to become citizens. Federal immigration agents then
can focus on those here illegally who are committing felonies,
deport them and make sure they don't return. Garcia said the
government now spends its money and time on raiding businesses
and arresting workers, which often can separate parents from
their American-born children.
"We are focusing so much on workers ... They want to work and
help their families," Garcia said. "They are not trying to
hurt anybody. I am all for deporting criminals. ... We are
tearing apart families. We are hurting people unnecessarily,
and we are damaging the economy further."
"We need to stop targeting families and make it a fair
process. That is what all undocumented people want. ... They
are not looking for the easy way out. What they are looking
for is a way to legalize their status."
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