Sr. John Says: Immigration reform needed


Photo credit/ Katlynn Whitaker

Sr. John Michele Southwick, I.H.M., Special Contributor to The Wood Word

“Who among us has wept for these things and things like these?”

In July, Pope Francis asked this question as he spoke to African immigrants on the Lampedusa island off the coast of Italy on July 8.

In doing so, he has asked all of us to “resist indifference,” work to reform immigration laws, and bring attention to the plight of all immigrants and those who struggle to find a home and seek freedom from poverty and oppression. He said Mass in honor of those who have died trying to immigrate and find a life for their families.

The U.S. Bishops called us in their Pastoral Letter, “Welcoming the Stranger Among Us: Unity in Diversity” to a conversion of mind and heart, imploring us to be in communion and solidarity with diverse newcomers. They offered a set of recommendations for just and humane policies. These are their recommendations:

·      Provide a path to citizenship for undocumented persons in the country

·      Preserve family unity as a cornerstone of the immigration system

·      Provide legal paths for low-skilled immigrant workers to enter and work in the U.S.

·      Restore due process protections to our immigration enforcement policies, addresses the root causes (push factors) of immigration, such as persecution and economic disparity

The bishops of Mexico along with the U.S. bishops acknowledged that the immigration system is badly in need of reform.

The Senate has already passed reasonable legislation and it is now up to the House of Representatives. Please consider using your voice to help those in need. Please call, write, or email the people who represent you. Go to for more information on how you can be part of the change.