WASHINGTON (May 17, 2007)—The Catholic bishops' Justice for Immigrants campaign is urging the nation's 63 million Catholics to pray and lobby for changes in U.S. immigration law May 20-26.
The campaign, called "A Million Prayers Initiative," asks Catholics to lobby and pray on behalf of immigrants nationwide, their families, and members of Congress.
Information on the campaign can be found at http://www.usccb.org/mrs/jfi/millionprayers.shtml.
"This is a most critical time in the comprehensive immigration reform debate with legislative solutions being proposed by both the President and Congress, said School Sister of Notre Dame Jane Burke," manager of Justice for Immigrants.
"The U.S. Senate will be considering this legislation during the next two weeks. They need our prayers and need to know that we are calling for a just and equitable immigration reform bill, one that will make a vital difference in the lives of those who will live by its mandates. Our voices are essential to the passage of this crucial legislation. There are many ways to raise our voices but two in particular are called for at this moment – advocacy and prayer."
The week of prayer precedes Pentecost, the Church feast which celebrates the coming of the Holy Spirit.
Catholics are asked to prayer a special Justice Prayer to guide thousands of advocates as they work to influence the passage of a just and humane comprehensive immigration reform bill in the U.S. Congress. This legislation will affect millions of human lives—those working, paying taxes, strengthening communities, and enriching the moral fiber of our country with a brilliant resurgence of cultural diversity.
The campaign also calls on Catholics to call their senators and educate the public on the U.S. bishops' five immigration principles
* To make family a priority in immigration law
* To insist the worker programs contain protection for U.S. and migrant workers
* To allow for an earned legalization program for the undocumented in the country
* To restore due process protections
* To respond to the economic, political, and social root causes of migration.