Cardinal Launches Immigration Justice Campaign

Catholic News Service, Jan. 16, 2006

LOS ANGELES—Cardinal Roger M. Mahony of Los Angeles used the Jan. 14 observance of Archdiocesan Migration Day to announce the launch of an immigrant justice effort.

Called the Justice for Immigrants Campaign—A Journey for Hope, Cardinal Mahony said in a homily at a Migration Day Mass that the campaign would “remind Catholics of the wonderful history of migrants coming to this country from the earliest days and the church’s constant outreach to them.”

He said the voices of the people of the Los Angeles Archdiocese will now be joined with “thousands of our fellow brothers and sisters” in what is a nationwide campaign.

The cardinal also announced the creation of a steering committee of local clergy and lay leaders involved in immigration reform and the protection of immigrant rights to carry out the goals of the national Justice for Immigrants Campaign of the Catholic Campaign for Immigration Reform, launched last May by the U.S. bishops and other Catholic organizations.

Its goals are: educating Catholics and others about the benefits of immigration to both the immigrants themselves and to the United States; strengthening public opinion about immigration’s positive contributions; advocating just immigration laws that promote legal status and legal pathways for migrant worker and their families; and organizing Catholic legal service networks to help immigrants gain access to the benefits of reforms.

Migration Day is “a day in our church that serves as a reminder of our migrant roots and the struggles of others in their difficult journey to establish a new life in this country,” Cardinal Mahony said in his homily. “Sadly, many are still suffering in their journey.”

Each year the U.S. church observes National Migration Week, which took place this year Jan. 8-14.

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