Prior year advocacy activities include the following:
On October 29th, JSRI signed on to two advocates' letters to officials of ICE, Homeland Security, and others regarding the difficulties facing people with mental disabilities in immigration proceedings and detention.
Dr. Susan Weishar is quoted in The Times Picayune of New Orleans in an October 9th article entitled, "Hispanic groups lambast Vitter for 'racist' TV spot." In her words, "It is poisonous to the political discourse that Sen Vitter continues to scapegoat people who came to Louisiana to help us rebuild our homes and businesses after Katrina." This followed an earlier letter of Dr. Weishar published in the September 26th Picayune entitled, "Demonizing students won't fix immigration" on the defeat of the DREAM Act in Congress, led by Senator Vitter.
As part of a collaborative effort with the Louisiana Catholic Conference, the Hispanic Apostolate of the Archdiocese of New Orleans, Puentes, and the Stone Center on Latin America at Tulane University, Fr. Fred Kammer, SJ, prepared testimony on House Bill 1205 in the Judiciary Committee of the Louisiana House of Representatives. On April 15, May 13, and May 27, 2010 he attended meetings of the committee in Baton Rouge requesting to testify on the bill and its later substitute. Each time the bill was deferred, the third time after a negative vote of the committee on an amendment. A summary of points of his testimony had been distributed to members of the committee prior to the final deferral, after which the bill could no longer be considered and was "dead" for the session.
On April 6, 2010, Fr. Fred Kammer, SJ, signed on to a letter to Speaker Pelosi and Chairman Miller in support to the Local Jobs for America Act (HR 4812) to create a million public and private sector jobs in local communities. See articles on unemployment in April JustSouth E-newsletter under "Publications" »
On March 15-16, Anna Chavez helped the Justice for Immigrants committee of the Archdiocese of New Orleans to plan and present six workshops designed for clergy and laity of the Archdiocese on the scriptural and theological foundations of the Church's welcome for immigrants and practical strategices for promoting the campaign for comprehensive immigration reform. Fred Kammer, SJ was the presenter for two of the workshops. On the following day, Anna met in Grand Coteau, LA, with delegates from Louisiana dioceses working on the campaign.
On February 9, 2010, Fr. Fred Kammer, SJ, together with a small delegation of Louisiana residents representing Catholic Charities and the St. Vincent dePaul Society, braved the record DC snowstorm to meet with staff of US Senators Mary Landrieu and David Vitter and Congressman Joseph Ahn Cao to urge passage of comprehensive health care reform, systemic immigration reform, and various international initiatives including assistance and debt relief for post-earthquake Haiti.
On January 13, 2010, staff met with the Director and Associate Director of the Louisiana Catholic Conference to see about ways of expanding collaboration. From that meeting staff are working on briefing papers on migration in anticipation of proposed anti-immigrant legislation (Anna Chavez), a briefing paper on payday loans (Alex Mikulich), and a multi-year strategy to address the death penalty (Mary Baudouin and Alex Mikulich).
On November, 20, 2009, Fr. Fred Kammer, SJ wrote US Senator Mary Landrieu to urge her to vote in favor of health care reform consistent with Catholic social teaching and positions urged by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
On May 7, 2008, Fr. Tom Greene, SJ presented testimony before the Louisiana House Criminal Justice Committee on House Bill 1157, which would make it a crime to provide housing to undocumented ("illegal") immigrants.
On April 24, 2008, Fr. Tom Greene, SJ presented testimony before the Louisiana House Committee on the anti-immigrant Criminal Justice Bills 24, 25, and 26.
The Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC) drafted a legal analysis of the state of Louisiana House Bill 24, 25, and 26 which proposed Anti-Immigrant Legislation in Louisiana. Read CLINIC legal analysis »
On October 4, 2007, Fr. Tom Greene, SJ submitted written testimony before the House subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security, and International Law entitled, "Detention and Removal: Immigration Detainee Medical Care." Read Fr. Greene's testimony »