BY ISN STAFFMay 29, 2014

“Catholic Leaders Call On Speaker Boehner To Pass Immigration Reform”

catholic-leader-letterNational Catholic leaders, including ISN executive director, Christopher Kerr, sent a message to Speaker John Boehner on May 29, in a letter calling on the U.S. House of Representatives to pass “humane and practical immigration reform.”  The letter which was sent to Speaker Boehner’s office was also published in a full-page advertisement in the May 29 print edition of Politico.  The letter was timed to coincide with a push by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) that included a mass at a Catholic parish adjacent to Capitol Hill, a number of bishops making legislative advocacy visits to the offices of Congressional leaders, and an advocacy call-in day sponsored by the USCCB’s Justice for Immigrants campaign.

The letter also dovetails with another effort initiated this week by ISN to engage Jesuit institution alumni in the U.S. House of Representatives.  ISN is currently circulating a letter on immigration reform for alumni of Jesuit high schools and universities to sign-on to, calling on fellow alumni in the House to act on immigration reform.  The letter calls on the representatives to embrace the “Jesuit spirit of generous service to people in need and a persevering commitment to the common good” and “seek comprehensive immigration reform without delay.” 

LETTER TO SPEAKER BOEHNER:

Dear Speaker Boehner,

We write to you as fellow Catholics with heavy hearts and a profound sense of urgency. As the House of Representatives still delays passing comprehensive immigration reform, mothers are torn apart from children, migrants are dying in the desert and our nation is weakened.

Mr. Speaker, how can we fail to act?

Legislative obstruction in the face of preventable suffering and death is not only a failure of leadership. It is immoral and shameful. The eyes of our God — who hungers for justice and commands us to welcome the stranger and bind the wounds of those left by the side of the road — are on us.

Are we deaf to the cries of families and aspiring Americans separated by a broken system?

We stand with U.S. Catholic bishops who will celebrate Mass on Capitol Hill this week, and who come once again to advocate for humane and practical immigration reform.

Will you pray with us that the House of Representatives puts aside partisanship and passes comprehensive reform?

Pope Francis reminds us that a “globalization of indifference” prevents us from seeing that every migrant, regardless of status, has inherent human dignity. As Catholics who share your commitment to the sanctity of life in the womb, we must not be complicit in the suffering of migrants dying in the shadows. Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston, who has called justice for immigrants a “pro-life” issue, spoke during a Mass on the U.S.-Mexico border last month of the “unmarked graves of thousands who die alone and nameless.”

Is our nation so callous that we fail to weep for those nameless lost? We pray that you and your colleagues in the House have the moral courage to show real leadership and act.

Sincerely,

Rev. Larry Snyder
CEO Catholic Charities USA

Rev. Thomas H. Smolich, S.J.
President
Jesuit Conference

Patricia McGuire
President
Trinity Washington University

Rev. Daniel Groody, CSC
Director of Immigration Initiatives, Institute for Latino Studies
University of Notre Dame

Rev. Stephen A. Privett, S.J.
President
University of San Francisco

Donna M. Carroll
President
Dominican University

Rev. Kevin Wildes, S.J.
President
Loyola University New Orleans

Rev. Clete Kiley
Director for Immigration Policy
UNITE HERE

Rev. Charles Currie, S.J.
Executive Director
Jesuit Commons

Rev. Drew Christiansen, S.J.
Distinguished Professor of Ethics & Global Development
Georgetown University Rev. Michael U. Pucke
St. Julie Billiart Parish
Hamilton County, Ohio

Rev. Anthony Kutcher
President
National Federation of Priests’ Councils

Sr. Simone Campbell, SSS
Executive Director
NETWORK, A Catholic Social Justice Lobby

Stephen F. Schneck
Director, Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies
The Catholic University of America

Sr. Sally Duffy, SC
Executive Director
SC Ministry Foundation, Cincinnati, Ohio

Moya K. Dittmeier
Executive Director
Conference for Mercy Higher Education

Rev. Leonir Chiarello, C.S.
Executive Director
Scalabrini International Migration Network

Donald Kerwin
Executive Director
Center for Migration Studies of New York

Francis X. Doyle
Associate General Secretary (retired)
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

Rev. Fred Kammer, S.J.
Director, Jesuit Social Research Institute
Loyola University New Orleans

Rev. John Baumann, S.J.
Founder
PICO National Network

Christopher G. Kerr
Executive Director
Ignatian Solidarity Network

Patrick Carolan
Executive Director
Franciscan Action Network

Sr. Pat McDermott, RSM
President
Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas

Sr. Carol Zinn, SSJ
President
Leadership Conference of Women Religious

Sr. Patricia Chappell
Executive Director
Pax Christi USA

Francis J. Butler
President
Drexel Philanthropic Advisors

John Gehring
Catholic Program Director
Faith in Public Life

Gerry Lee
Director
Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns

Christopher J. Hale
Senior Fellow
Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good

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