Last Chance for Immigration Reform in this Congress

Russel Testa Around the Province

The Province’s specialist on justice and peace issues reminds friars and newsletter readers of the two training sessions that the Province’s Office for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation has set for January and encourages all to work for the passage of the DREAM Act.

WASHINGTON — In the next two to three weeks, we have the opportunity to help realize success with our Provincial priority to work with our immigrant brothers and sisters.

It seems likely that the DREAM Act, which will enable young undocumented people who have been in the United States. for at least five years and graduated from a U.S. high school to gain legal residency through college attendance or military service, will come up for a vote. The House and Senate seem poised to address this with other business in the Lame Duck Session of Congress.

Justice for Immigrants, the U.S. Catholic Church’s coalition for immigration reform, is encouraging three types of actions over the next several weeks.

• Contact your members of Congress, especially your senators to strongly encourage their support of the DREAM Act.

• Create a document for use as a bulletin insert or newsletter insert to be posted the weekend of Nov. 27 or Dec. 4. The Province’s JPIC Office and Franciscan Action Network created a sample insert.

• Organize a public prayer, event or press outreach on Dec. 1 or 2 to call for DREAM Act passage.

All friars and ministries are encouraged to do all possible to help bring the DREAM Act to reality.

The struggle to support our immigrant brothers and sisters will not end with passage of the DREAM Act. The long effort to bring about comprehensive immigration reform will continue. To this end, the Holy Name Province JPIC Office is sponsoring two facilitator training sessions on how to host civil conversation on difficult topics. We will be focusing on issues on immigration.

The events are scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 15, 2011 in Raleigh, N.C., and Saturday, Jan. 22, 2011 in Providence, R.I. Information is available through the JPIC Office via e-mail at and phone at 202-527-7561.

Information about other justice and peace events being held around the Province is available on the Justice and Peace page of the Holy Name Province website.

— Russ Testa is director of the Province’s Office for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation.