On 10 May 2005, U.S. Catholic bishops and leaders of a diverse group of Catholic organizations announced the official launch of Justice for Immigrants: A Journey of Hope. The Catholic Campaign for Immigration Reform.
Comprehensive immigration reform—including a broad legalization program—is the goal of the national campaign. Catholic organizations which have come together to launch the campaign intend to mobilize a growing network of Catholic institutions and individuals in support of its goals. The campaign also marks a new effort to educate and galvanize Catholics on the need for "justice for immigrants."
Speaking at a news conference held at Catholic Charities of the, Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick of the Archdiocese of Washington said the goals of this multi-year campaign are four-fold: 1) To educate Catholics and others of good will about the benefits of immigration and the benefits to the nation; 2) To strengthen public opinion about the positive contributions of immigrants; 3) To advocate for just immigration laws which promote legal status and legal pathways for migrant workers and their families; 4) To organize Catholic legal service networks to assist immigrants to access the benefits of reforms.
Cardinal McCarrick said the U.S. Bishops have grown increasingly concerned with the current public discourse surrounding immigrants, in which newcomers are characterized as a threat to the nation and not a benefit. "Anti-immigrant fervor on TV and radio shows, citizens attempting to enforce immigration laws, and, most disturbingly, the enactment of restrictive immigration laws are evidence of this negative public environment," the Cardinal said.
Some 20 Catholic organizations with national networks have come together to form Justice for Immigrants: A Journey of Hope. The Catholic Campaign for Immigration Reform. Member organizations include United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB): Migration and Refugee Services, Catholic Campaign for Human Development, Domestic Social Development, International Justice and Peace, Hispanic Affairs, Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC); Catholic Health Association (CHA); Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA); Catholic Relief Services (CRS); National Catholic Association of Diocesan Directors of Hispanic Ministry (NCADDHM); National Council of Catholic Women (NCCW); National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA); U.S. Jesuit Conference; Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR); Conference of Major Superiors of Men (CMSM); National Association of State Catholic Conference Directors (NASCCD); Catholic Migrant Farmworker Network; Roundtable Association of Diocesan Social Action Directors; The Irish Apostolate, USA.
For more information about this campaign, visit USCCB.
For more information about USCCB's anti-trafficking programs, visit US Conference of Catholic Bishops, Migration and Refugee Services (USCCB)
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