Advocacy in the Gulf South region generally occurs at the state and local levels. This may involve testifying before legislative bodies, research on pending legislative or administrative issues, and collaborative action with others. Some examples:
May 23, 2015: Fr. Kammer testified in support of HB70 [LA]
Fr. Kammer outlined why Louisiana Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) should increase from 3.5% to 7% for the Ways and Means Committee.
April 29, 2015: JSRI supports SB241 [LA]
Dr. Mikulich penned a letter to the Louisiana Judiciary Committee in support of SB241, a bill that would reduce over-incarceration.
February 19: Catholic Day at the Capitol [MS]
Fr. Kammer spoke in support of criminal justice reform at the Mississippi Catholic Day at the Capitol.
August 5, 2014: Catholic Teach-In on the Child Migrant Crisis and Its Causes
JSRI hosted an evening to better inform the New Orleans community about Catholic teachings on migration as well as share personal testimony from recent New Orleans immigrants. From this event many participants and local Churches wrote letters to their represenatives and orgranized congressional visits urging for comprehensive immigration reform.
March 12, 2014: JSRI met with Senator Mary Landrieu [LA]
Fr. Kammer and Ms. Baudouin met with Senator Mary Landrieu about increasing the minimum wage.
March 11, 2014: JSRI met with Senator Jean- Paul Morell [LA]
Dr. Alex Mikulich met with State Senator Jean- Paul Morell to discuss death penalty legislation.
February 19, 2014: Catholic Day at the Capitol [MS]
Fr. Kammer addressed participants at Catholic Day at the Capital in Jackson, Mississippi about criminal justice reform.
August 29, 2013: Katrina Homeowners speak out for Comprehensive Immigration Reform
The Jesuit Social Research Institute held a press conference to mark the eighth anniversary of Katrina Hurricane and call for reform of the U.S. immigration system by highlighting the role immigrant laborers played in rebuilding New Orleans. Area homeowners, assisted by immigrant workers in rebuilding after Katrina, shared their experiences and spoke about why they believe our country needs compassionate and common-sense immigration reform.
These testimonies come at a time where the U.S. Senate bi-partisan bill for comprehensive immigration reform and the debate on immigration shifts to the House of Representatives. The Senate bill, passed in June, includes measures which would further strengthen the border, revamp our out-dated and inefficient visa processing system, protect the rights of American workers, and create a road map for earned citizenship for over 11 million undocumented immigrants living and working in the U.S.