FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 8, 2013
Contact: Christopher Kerr, Executive Director
O – 216-397-2088
HUMANE IMMIGRATION REFORM IS THE CALL OF THE IGNATIAN SOLIDARITY NETWORK
Jesuit-affiliated individuals encouraged to advocate to Congress this Wednesday
UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS, OHIO – The Ignatian Solidarity Network (ISN) is initiating a national legislative advocacy effort entitled “Ignatian Family Immigration Call-In Day” for Wednesday, April 10, 2013. The national social justice organization is inviting members connected with Catholic Jesuit institutions around the U.S. to advocate for “humane” comprehensive immigration reform. This request comes in the midst of a nation-wide debate on immigration that could see movement in the coming weeks. Senators close to the legislation drafting process are suggesting that a U.S. Senate Bill could be introduced any day.
The Call-In Day coincides with two efforts by Jesuit-sponsored ministries to bring attention to “humane” approaches to immigration reform. On Wednesday, April 10, 2013, Rev. Sean Carroll, S.J., a Jesuit priest and executive director of the Kino Border Initiative, a bi-national Jesuit social ministry on the U.S. Mexico-Border) will give testimony at a special U.S. House Representatives hearing. At the same time, Jesuit institution groups including a delegation from St. Mary’s Student Parish, a Jesuit parish community in Ann Arbor, Michigan will be marching in support of humane immigration form during a national event on the Washington DC Mall. ISN Executive Director, Christopher Kerr noted the special importance of this day saying, “Our call for a national- effort to advocate for “humane” immigration reform this Wednesday is an act of solidarity with Fr. Carroll’s testimony and the St. Mary’s parishioners who will take to the streets. While Ignatian family members cannot be present in DC in person, we will be there in spirit and on the telephone lines.”
ISN immigration talking points for the call-in day will emphasize five policy elements: a clear pathway to citizenship that is not contingent upon a “secure border”, policies that keep undocumented families together; the enactment of Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act providing college-age individuals without documentation access to higher education, policies which respect the rights of workers, and special emphasis on protecting women and children who are often the most vulnerable and impacted the most by immigration laws. The immigration talking points were initially developed for a month-long advocacy effort entitled Ignatian Family Advocacy Month (IFAM). IFAM advocates visited 55+ legislators offices across the U.S. including twenty percent of the U.S. Senate during the month of February.
The Ignatian Solidarity Network (ISN) is a national social justice education and advocacy organization inspired by the spirituality of St. Ignatius of Loyola. ISN works primarily with individuals connected with Jesuit universities, high schools, parishes, and social ministries throughout the United States. Our constituencies include students, faculty, parish members and staff, alumni, current and former Jesuit Volunteer Corps members, and many others. ISN is based in University Heights, Ohio. More information is available at their website: www.ignatiansolidarity.net
Chris joined the Ignatian Solidarity Network (ISN) as executive director in 2011. He has over fifteen years of experience in social justice advocacy and leadership in Catholic education and ministry. Prior to ISN he served in multiple roles at John Carroll University, including coordinating international immersion experience and social justice education programming as an inaugural co-director of John Carroll’s Arrupe Scholars Program for Social Action. Prior to his time at John Carroll he served as a teacher and administrator at the elementary and secondary levels in Catholic Diocese of Cleveland. Chris speaks regularly at campuses and parishes about social justice education and advocacy, Jesuit mission, and a broad range of social justice issues. He currently serves on the board of directors for Christians for Peace in El Salvador (CRISPAZ). Chris earned a B.A. and M.A. from John Carroll University in University Heights, Ohio. He and his family reside in Shaker Heights, Ohio.