Senate passes immigration reform; Mo. Catholic Conference gave strong support

Maria del Alba Rodriguez and her sister, Rosa Maria Villalba, shouted slogans as people rallied for comprehensive immigration reform in April near the U.S. Capitol in Washington. Demonstrators urged lawmakers to support a path to citizenship for an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S.

Attention turns to the U.S. House of Representatives after Senate passage of a major overhaul of the nation's immigration laws.

U.S. Senate passed S.744, the Border Security, Economic Competitiveness, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013, by a vote of 68-32 on June 27. 

An earlier 69-29 vote in favor of a border enforcement amendment had indicated passage by a similar majority of the full bill.

Blunt, McCaskill called keys to immigration reform

The Missouri Catholic Conference (MCC) says Sens. Roy Blunt and Claire McCaskill of Missouri are keys to whether the U.S. Senate passes a comprehensive immigration reform bill.

The U.S. Senate is expected to vote on a major overhaul of the nation's immigration laws by as soon as July 4, MCC reported. The bill, S.B. 744, is sponsored by a bipartisan group of senators.

Immigration bill has hurdles to overcome, but supporters prepare for passage

People ralled for comprehensive immigration reform April 10 near the U.S. Capitol in Washington, urging lawmakers to support a path to citizenship for an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States.

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Comprehensive immigration reform legislation barely cleared its first hurdle in Congress in May with the approval of the Senate Judiciary Committee, but supporters are preparing for the work that must be done should the bill become law.

Venezuelan-Americans warn of future exodus if unrest at home continues

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- After a four-year labor of love, Valentina Peraza is almost finished creating a 7-foot-tall painting of St. Charbel, the Maronite monk and beloved saint of Lebanon, which she hopes to present to the parish of her childhood in Venezuela's oil-rich state of Monagas.

She has plenty of concerns about getting the painting to Venezuela; obtaining a copyright and assuring safe transportation of her work are among them.

La Posada Providencia reaches out to those seeking asylum

A pregnant woman, her husband and their 5-year-old daughter fled what they felt was life-threatening persecution in their home country. They entered the United States without documentation and were detained by the U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement.

Immigration seen as helping region; welcome mat urged

Slowly over the last year or so the need for immigration reform has been getting a new look, picking up support in the business community and, more recently, in the U.S. Congress.

Now comes word from recent studies that encouraging immigration to the St. Louis area and the state would bring economic benefits and stop a slide in population and income growth.

Reform of the system has long been a goal of many Catholics, including the U.S. bishops.

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