Sunday, July 28, 2013


These final days of July in the House of Representatives are crucial for meaningful progress on behalf of our immigrant brothers and sisters, and for progress on comprehensive immigration reform.  However, mixed signals continue to emanate from the House.

Most approaches to solving the immigration mess tend towards being punitive and greatly limited in their scope and timetables.  Very different from the Senate which passed a comprehensive package with bipartisan support.

If the House fails to pass any meaningful immigration reform before adjourning for the five-week August recess, the likelihood that a decent bill can be passed after Labor Day is slim.  In September, all of the House focus will be on the mid-term elections of 2014.  And both major parties are only concerned about taking seats away from the other party, not the overall good of the nation and the many critical issues which face us all.

The August recess offers all of us a unique opportunity to meet with our own House representative, and to urge him/her to consider and vote for a comprehensive approach to immigration reform--not a piecemeal effort which would take decades to embrace the 11 million unauthorized people living in our midst.

These local area meetings are critical because the only people House members listen to are constituents with the voting power to retain them in office, or to replace them.  It is crucial that these meetings be organized with actual constituents, not others of good will but who live in another House district.

Parishes can play a crucial role in enhancing these district level meetings by getting parishioners who live in the district to sign a letter which can be brought to the local area office of the House member.  No other step has as great an impact and influence on the House member than knowing how large numbers of his/her constituents feel on a given issue.

Much prayer and work remains, but the summer recess could be the most crucial time we have in trying to get the House to pass a measure close to the one which passed the Senate.

St. Toribio Romo, patron of migrants, pray for us!