Please Meet With Your Federal Lawmakers During the March 2021 Recess

Use our March 2021 recess documents: 

a. Talking points in English and Spanish.

b. Congressional advocacy guide in English and Spanish.

 

Timing - why now? Now is the time for immigration reform. As Catholics, we have been working via the Justice for Immigrants coalition for 15 years for immigration reform and many of us have been working even longer in our diocesan capacities. This is a new opportunity to address immigration reform, and we urge you to prioritize this issue in the Senate and House as soon as possible.

● March-specific message for the House of Representatives. There is a limited opportunity before April 1st to bring two bills (1) the American Dream and Promise Act (previously H.R. 6) and (2) the Farm Workforce Modernization Act (previously H.R. 5038) to the floor for a vote. Both bills are bipartisan and passed the House in 2019. They would allow for a direct path to citizenship for roughly 6 million Dreamers, TPS holders, and farmworkers and their families. We believe they can pass again. o If you are speaking with a Democratic member of the House: urge them to indicate support to House leadership in bringing these bills to the floor for a vote by April 1st and don’t forget to urge them to vote for the bills as well. o If you are speaking with a Republican member of the House: urge them to vote for these bipartisan bills again if they are brought to the floor.

● What about President Biden’s bill, the U.S. Citizenship Act? The Catholic Bishops still welcome efforts to pass bipartisan immigration reform legislation with a direct path to citizenship for most, if not all, of the estimated 11 million undocumented people already living in the United States. Elements of any comprehensive immigration reform should: o Prioritize reunifying and keeping immigrant and refugee families together while preserving family-based immigration. o Ensure specific protections for farmworkers and essential workers. o Repair the asylum system and ensure due process. o Reform the immigrant detention system. o Adopt and include policies that address the root causes of migration.

● Why do Catholics care about immigration reform? As Catholics, we are called to welcome the stranger and recognize the human dignity of every person. The Church’s solidarity and service related to migrants and refugees stems from the belief that every human person is created in the image and likeness of God. In the Old Testament, God calls upon his people to care for the foreigner because of their own experience as foreigners: “So, you, too, must befriend the alien, for you were once aliens yourselves in the land of Egypt.” (Deut. 10:19) In his own life and work, Christ identified himself with newcomers and other marginalized persons in a special way: “I was a stranger and you welcomed me.” (Matthew 25:35)

 


Thank you!

Mission Statement

Grounded by our belief in Jesus Christ and Catholic teaching, Migration and Refugee Services (MRS) fulfills the commitment of the U.S. Catholic bishops to protect the life and dignity of the human person. We serve and advocate for refugees, asylees, migrants, unaccompanied children, and victims of human trafficking.

Who We Are

The Bishops' Committee on Migration sets broad policies and direction for the Church's work in the area of migration. The Committee oversees and provides guidance to Migration and Refugee Services, which is comprised of five offices, including the Office of the Executive Director, the Office of Management and Administration and several policy and program offices:

What We Do

The above MRS offices represent the bishops' interests in policy formulation and communication, advocacy, education, refugee resettlement, and other specialized services to at risk and vulnerable populations, such as victims of trafficking and unaccompanied minors. The Committee actively promotes the U.S. bishops' migration-related interests with public policy-makers at the national and international levels. Committee members and MRS staff periodically testify before Congress and meet with Administration officials to advocate the bishops' positions. Among the high priority policy concerns of the Committee is refugee protection and finding durable solutions to their plight. In this context the Committee occasionally arranges site visits to refugee areas of the world to witness the conditions of the refugees and to call for adequate responses on the part of the international community.

Resources

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