Friday, April 20, 2007

excerpts from: Catholic immigration advocates head to Hill to push for reform

excerpts from an Catholic News Service report by Patricia Zapor:

Catholic News Service
– A workable comprehensive immigration reform bill on the table, more sympathetic leadership in Congress and a "this year or maybe never" incentive are prodding immigration advocates to action.

After a day and a half of briefings and strategizing with advocates who work on immigration every day, activists from more than 66 dioceses took their campaign for immigration reform to Capitol Hill April 19.

"It is terrifying, the prospect of a bad bill or no bill happening, considering the number of people who are involved in this," said Frank Sharry, director of the National Immigration Forum. Sharry was keynote speaker for the April 17-19 Justice for Immigrants national gathering organized by the U.S. Catholic bishops' migration awareness campaign of the same name.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has said he plans to bring immigration legislation to the floor for debate and a vote the last two weeks of May.

As of mid-April, there was no Senate legislation in the mix, but a House bill, H.R. 1645, had the backing – at least as a starting point – of many in a vast coalition of business, agriculture, union, civil rights, ethnic and religious organizations.

It is called the Security Through Regularized Immigration and a Vibrant Economy Act, or STRIVE Act.

At an April 18 session of the national gathering, Sharry was optimistic about getting an immigration reform bill signed into law this congressional session. He said the turning point in the debate about how to tackle immigration problems was the passage last year of a House bill packed with strict enforcement measures and little to deal with problems such as the demand for workers that cannot be filled by existing visa allotments.

When that bill and a more comprehensive Senate version could not be reconciled and neither became law, Sharry said, the American people got fed up with both the current state of immigration problems and with congressional inaction.

The House bill contained several problematic provisions, including one that would have criminalized the act of providing help to illegal immigrants. Anger at the prospect of that bill becoming law galvanized hundreds of thousands of people to join rallies and marches around the country last spring...


A USA Today/Gallup Poll conducted in mid-April found 78 percent of a random sampling of Americans favor giving illegal immigrants a pathway to legal status and citizenship.

An assortment of polls over the last six months showed between 57 percent and 65 percent of people nationwide and 83 percent of Californians favor providing a path to legalization. California has been at the forefront of immigration problems and activism...



Anonymous said...

I hope the ILIR does not believe the White House proposal is a workable reform bill. At first blush, it makes no sense whatsoever. How could a family of 5 be expected to come out of the shadows if it means paying an exorbitant amount of money (over $60,00) as a penalty and application fee. It makes me think that President Bush is not really serious about an earned path to citizenship and would rather the immigrants go home, after they have served their usefulness in the agricultural fields of America.
Where does that leave the Irish construction workers, nannys, bartenders, waitresses etc. ?

Peter Nassey

Anonymous said...

Were the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform among the activists in Washington DC on the 19th? I did not see them mentioned anywhere.

Bull Coleman

Anonymous said...

I was looking at the Photo Gallery from Dublin.
I wish there were more photo's of the people in attendance instead of several photo's of the same people.


Anonymous said...

There seems to be a very small number of people who were photo worthy in Dublin.
I had 10 family members and friends there, but they are not in any picture.

Seven or eight pics in a row of Enda Kenny.....he is a good looking man....but give me a break.


Anonymous said...

Peter Nassay ,there is nothing cavered in stone just yet wait on till there is a bill passed or on the house or senate floor before you start your crying
Tom Murphy

Anonymous said...

Tom, what makes you think I was crying?
I was talking about the Z visa that is proposed by the White House.
I am very well aware that the Flake/Gutierrez bill was introduced in the House in late March. Also the Senate will be introducing a bill in late May.
I am hopeful that the compromise that comes from both those bills will make a lot more sense than the Bush proposal.

I am happy.....happy....happy. See no tears

Peter Nassey