Immigration

As migration rises worldwide, pope calls for international cooperation

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis called for greater international cooperation to improve conditions for the world's rising numbers of migrants and called on the media to combat prejudices that make immigrants unwelcome in their new countries.

The pope's words came in his annual message for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, which will be celebrated Jan. 19, 2014. The message was released by the Vatican Sept. 24.

"Contemporary movements of migration represent the largest movement of individuals, if not of peoples, in history," the pope wrote.

Push on immigration legislation builds on prayer, fasting and preaching

WASHINGTON -- Faith-based advocacy in support of immigration reform is taking a multi-pronged approach as Congress resumes after the August break, with prayer and fasting being added to letter-writing and public speaking.

Over the weekend of Sept. 7 and 8, dioceses and parishes in 22 states focused on the Catholic Church's teaching on migration in homilies and other activities.

Personal side of immigration highlighted

Three School Sisters of Notre Dame, Theresa Ann Zannmueller, Sister Rose Cecile Espinos and Judy Bourg, paused in the desert along a border area.

While volunteering at the Migrant Resource Center in Agua Prieta, Mexico, this summer, Sister Rose Cecile Espinos saw firsthand the personal side of the immigration debate.

She tells of a woman who had been living in the United States for 28 years without documentation, moving to Milwaukee and having children who are U.S. citizens. The woman recently traveled by bus to visit a friend in Texas who was ill. The bus was stopped by immigration authorities some 50 miles from the border, and everyone on board was required to prove their citizenship.

Senate immigration bill passes, moves to uncertain fate in House

WASHINGTON -- The diverse coalition of faith, labor, business and civil rights activists who are trying to rework the nation's immigration system celebrated the June 27 Senate passage of a massive reform bill.

The bill moves to the House, where Speaker John Boehner has said he would not allow it on the floor unless a majority of Republicans support it, which they do not. Instead, the House is taking a piecemeal approach, with separate bills focusing first on border security.

Immigration reform rally cites benefits of pending legislation

Javier Orozco, director of Hispanic ministry for the Archdiocese of St. Louis, spoke June 30 during a rally at the World's Fair Pavilion at Forest Park.seeking comprehensive immigration reform. Speakers included other faith leaders, immigrants and refugees and elected officials.

Chanting “USA” and “Si se puede (Yes we can),” supporters of immigration reform attending a rally June 30 that spilled outside the World’s Fair Pavilion in Forest Park touted economic and other benefits from pending legislation in Congress.

The U.S. Senate on June 27 passed a comprehensive immigration reform bill that had received support from the U.S. Catholic Conference and other Catholic groups. The bill now is headed to the U.S. House of Representatives.

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.

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