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Peace & Justice Community
The Peace & Justice Committee sponsors a gospel reflection/discussion series Sundays after 9:30 a.m. Mass in Parlor 1 in the Parish Center.
For more information, please contact Mary at email@example.com or
Franciscan Pathways of Justice: Stop Human Trafficking
How Serious Is It?
Myth: Human trafficking is just another word for prostitution.
Myth: Human trafficking isn't an issue in the United States.
Myth: Only adults are trafficked.
"Human trafficking is a crime against humanity. We must unite our efforts to free victims and stop this crime that's become ever more aggressive, that threatens not just individuals, but the foundational values of society, families and communities."—The Pope Francis Chronicles Vatican City: December 12, 2013.
We can help stop this terrible crime against humanity by informing ourselves and being aware and present to what we see. We can all take action! Resources we can all access:
The Polaris Project: National Hot Line: 1-888-373-7888 (serves to eradicate human trafficking)
To learn more about human trafficking and how to recognize it:
Explore these web sites:
The date for our next presentation at St. Francis on human trafficking will be announced soon. Contact Richard for more Information: RichardH@stfrancisparish.com or 443-8084 x114).
Franciscan Pathways of Justice: Immigration Reform
Question 1: Who are the immigrants?
It is very common to have "mixed" family groups. As an example: Dad is a Lawful Permanent Resident; Mom is undocumented. Due to Dad's status, the children are U.S. citizens. Mom must return to her country of origin for five years before she can apply for citizenship. Does the family see that as realistic? Is that really humanitarian? How would that affect the children?
The "DREAMERS" are young people who were brought here as babies or small children and grew up and were educated in the U.S. Reaching adulthood, they have no resident status, so they cannot work or drive legally, nor do they have access to scholarships for higher education.
And then there are the men and women who have come here to escape extreme poverty at home. They take jobs that U.S. citizens do not want (field work, factory jobs, etc.). Part, if not most, of the money they make is sent home to help support their families.
These are but a few examples of who our immigrants are. President Obama's immigration reform program is a temporary fix. It would, however, give undocumented immigrants work authorization and a promise that they would not be deported. It would begin to define the features that are the face of those who are now moving through our lives anonymously.
Question 2: Why are there 11 million undocumented immigrants?
The answer to this question is rooted in the 1986 Immigration Reform Act which made it illegal to hire anyone without legal status or permission to work. This put a hugh burden on employers to check legal status, and many chose not to. There was also very weak enforcement by the Dept. of Immigration.
More than half of those who are undocumented are visa "overstays." They have entered the U.S. legally as a student or visitor, but then remained when the visa expired. There has been very little follow up or enforcement to prevent that number from growing.
"God will judge us on the basis of how we treated the most needy."—Pope Francis, July 8, 2013
"For I was a stranger and you welcomed me."Mt. 25:35
Question 3: Why don't they "get in line" and apply to come here legally?
Which line? The current status of undocumented immigrants varies; consequently, the process and timeline for legalization varies. For instance, undocumented siblings of United States Citizens have a 20-year-long line, while there is no line at all for spouses of United States Citizens.
Moreover, there are only a limited number of visas, so the demand outweighs the supply. This creates huge backlogs and long waits. Some have been waiting 20 years and more!
Question 4: What will the Senate's Immigration Reform Bill do?
Question 5: What will Immigration Reform cost?
Prayer for Migrants and Refugees
"Grant us the grace to welcome immigrants and refugees with Christian hospitality, so that these sisters and brothers of ours may find acceptance and understanding on their journey."
Question 6: What are the prospects of a bill passing the House?
Not very good.
• Both the Senate and the House make decision based on a wish for re-election.
• The House Speaker says that he will not bring the Senate bill to a vote at all.
• There is extreme resistance in the House to any "path to citizenship" for those here illegally.
Prayer for Immigration Reform
"Help all members of Congress to realize their responsibility to work for the common good; help them to grow in wisdom and compassion as they shape a just and humane comprehensive immigration reform bill. Spirit of Wisdom, enlighten them as they consider this issue."
For a list of resources on this and other aspects of immigration reform, contact Richard (RichardH@stfrancisparish.com or 443-8084 x114).