The Oregon Faith Report - Faith News from Oregon

Local Archdiocese joins Immigration Reform efforts

February 17, 2010

The Archdiocese of Portland joins the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in urging Justice for Immigrants
By Portland Archdiocese,

The Archdiocese of Portland will participate with other dioceses around the United States in urging Congress to pass immigration reform.  The campaign Justice for Immigrants is being led by the U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Migration.  The Archdiocesan Office for Justice and Peace/Respect Life will coordinate the Justice for Immigrants postcard campaign beginning February 17, Ash Wednesday, and on the following weekend of February 20 – 21.

In a letter to the priests of the Archdiocese, Archbishop John G. Vlazny wrote “Whether the migrants arrive legally or not, one the fundamental requirements of our faith, based on the teachings of Christ himself and Catholic social teaching, is care for aliens and newcomers.  Comprehensive immigration reform is the right step towards ensuring this care.”   Archbishop Vlazny noted that the Archdiocese of Portland has an established pastoral goal of “serving the cultural diversity in our midst more effectively.”

The Bishops of the United States have stated that the current system for migrants is broken and harmful to human dignity.  The Bishops have called for a reform program which is:

•    Workable and includes a fair and realistic path to citizenship;

•    A new worker program which provides participants a meaningful opportunity to obtain permanent residency;

•    A temporary worker program to allow migrant workers to enter safely and humanely;

•    A family based immigration reform which allows families to be reunited more quickly.

In his letter to priests Archbishop Vlazny acknowledged that some question why the Church is involving itself in this issue:

When the last serious discussion took place in Congress about migration reform, I received many letters that were critical of the Church’s stance concerning our undocumented sisters and brothers.  Why do we care?  We do because we remember the words Jesus shared with us through the 25th chapter of St. Matthew’s Gospel, “For I was a stranger and you welcomed me.”

The Archdiocesan Office of Justice and Peace/Respect Life has distributed postcards to the parishes of western Oregon.  The parishes have been asked to make the postcards available to parishioners on Ash Wednesday, February 17, and the weekend of February 20 – 21.  Postcards will be gathered and forwarded onto the Oregon congressional delegation.


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Discuss this article

Robert February 17, 2010

The scriptures also say to obey the laws of the land.

Chris February 17, 2010

Maybe the Catholic church should put some of their money into improving the quality of life in some of the countries where we get illegals from.

James February 17, 2010

Well, let’s review the facts and see through this move for what it is. In many articles I have read church attendance is down. Churches are shuttering and congregations are consolidating in the few remaining establishments there are. We know that “immigration reform” really is the politically correct term for legalizing illegal MEXICAN and LATIN AMERICAN illegal immigrants who are primarily of Catholic faith.
I guess since we can’t produce anything else here in this country, why should faith be any different. The Church is following the prominent business model: don’t innovate, import!

Brittancus February 17, 2010

Every patriotic American and legal resident can accomplish something to halt or recede the illegal immigration occupiers of our nation, which includes contacing ICE. We all know the astronomical costs in hospital treatment, education, prison and unrevealed government entitlement. Americans must stand together and demand all immigration laws be rigidly enforced. Our own impoverished, hopeless people remain in terrible poverty, will our politicians have been heavily influenced by open border lobbyists. We need a in-perpetuity E-Verify verification program to differentiate from illegal and illegal workers for each state internal use.Every worker who has been employed for 30 years or just hired–MUST–be identified in every company. In addition the 287 (g) federal program that has not been established by every state, county or city police department.

This program also-MUST–be established and paid for by the government to train local police to apprehend illegal foreign nationals. Including in the SAVE ACT law, is the rescinded NO-MATCH-LETTER, that identifies discrepancies in cross-references a possible bogus name that doesn’t correspond with a Social Security number. The No Match letter must be resurrected, including Homeland Security Secretary Napolitiano who has compromised under handily slowed ICE audits and raids on businesses using illegal aliens. Our government has even been reckless in underfunding the Southern border fence, that as stated in The Secure Fence Act (Pub.L. 109-367) was enacted October 26, 2006 was meant to be constructed in as a two tier fence. Each one of these laws have been silently either underfunded or secretly smothered, so it became weak in enforcement.

Then how can Pelosi tell us, that our fence is secure, when Arizona-Tucson sector border officers explain that “Out of ten (10) illegal immigrants, only one (10 is caught.” I think anybody who believes our country has just 12 million illegal people, will believe just about anything Washington reports. Could they be giving this number, as they hiding the truth as they are readying to his us with this non-nonsensical AMNESTY? Not only will it have millions streaming across the Canadian and Southern border, before the act is signed? While millions more will try and slip through the enforcement net, for a future AMNESTY. Were you aware that Bush set up a Social Security totalization treaty with Mexico, with loopholes so illegal aliens could access billions of dollars? Are you also aware that massive numbers of tourists and students have for decades were never expected to leave our shores. Learn more at NUMBERSUSA & JUDICIAL WATCH for the truth.

What excuse do politicians have to sell American jobs overseas, while importing discount labor. Enact amendment to the 1986 Simpson-Mazzoli bill, don’t use propaganda to say the laws were broken–when never enforced. Tell your Washington and state Senators and Representatives what–YOU–want, and not–CONSPIRE–with the special interest lobbyists? Here’s the Capitol Switchboard number 202-224-3121 ONE LANGUAGE, ONE FLAG AND DEPORT–ALL–ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS. IT CAN BE DONE WITH THE NEW GENERATION OF E-VERIFY.

FAEN February 17, 2010

Robert, Chris, James, Brittancus:

If you honestly think that either party is going to advocate deporting 12+ million people youre plain nuts!

Legalizing the undocumented men and women who are ALREADY here will give our economy a 1.5 TRILLION dollar boost over ten years. And lets not forget the back taxes etc that the undocumented will be legally paying into. It’s not like we couldnt use the money after G.W.’s reckless policies.

We would know who the undocumented are and in this day and age thats vitally important.

The whole system needs to be revamped. I hear this all the time from people like us who had the sheer good fortune of being born here. You probably know little to nothing about how the system ACTUALLY works…or doesnt in this case. People in dire situation wait for 20 years at times just to be able to move. Some even longer. Most people who are separated from their familes arent willing to wait that long. Thats the human condition. Like I said earlier, we need to scrap the present system and start with a newer, better, more stream lined system that also includes better border enforcement.

I also hear almost all the time that undocumented immigrants steal our jobs. Really? You think Americans are willing to pick fruit and work in awful meat factories when they could work at Starbucks and get just as much if not more money? Give me a break! Farmers themselves will tell you when they put ad’s out for American workers they get none because they have better places to work at.

This is simply xenophobia. Screaming about it wont make the undocumented vanish. Screaming abot it and coming up with insane unpractical solutions will only make the problem worse. The time for you to stop acting like children and sit down and start talking like adults to figure out a better more humane system is now.

Here’s hoping that ALL of us can sit down and come up with a solution that makes sense.

Peace be with you all.

T February 17, 2010

I want to cut to the front of the line too.

AMNESTY FOR ALL CRIMINALS. Not just illegal aliens.

Linda Huerta lectured at Willamette University recently.

“Immigrants have to ‘borrow’ social security numbers to participate in the United States economy.”

Why bother having laws at all? Law makers continue to pass laws and

enforcement continues to fail to enforce.

The country is a joke.

FAEN February 18, 2010


No one jumps to the head of the line. The undocumented will have their status changed so they can live and work but will still have to wait many years before they can get their Green Card or their citizenship. Also I believe in that time if they commit a crime they are out of the program and deported.

alice June 3, 2010

As a Catholic, I do not agree with the stand the Church is taking on this situation of illegals. Illegal is illegal.All laws need to be obeyed. Much of what the church pastors are doing is because of the fact that they are not an average Ameican that has to feed a family, work for a living pay taxes, school our children, deal with crime committed by illegals. Watch the young Mexican men who come here to work and have no woman of their own, lust for our young American girls. Social justice is not about helping illegal people. Mexico needs to take care of it’s people. That is where the Social Justice should be focused.

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