Thursday, March 25, 2010

Immigration March -- Statement and Slideshow

Just tying up some loose ends from last weekend in the midst of a hectic week. First, here are Cardinal Roger Mahony's remarks -- alternating between English and Spanish -- made on the National Mall last Sunday in support of immigration reform:

Archbishop of Los Angeles

March for America: Change takes Courage and Faith

March 21, 2010

I am so proud to be here today.


Citizens, residents, immigrants… We are here today to call upon our lawmakers to fix a broken and immoral immigration system -- one which preys upon the vulnerability of immigrants and their families; one which benefits from their labor without offering the protection of our laws; and one which drives human beings into the hands of smugglers and to their deaths in the desert!

¡El presente sistema de inmigración NO ESTA TRABAJANDO!

¡Tenemos un sistema inmoral que toma ventaja de los inmigrantes y sus familias; un sistema que beneficia de su labor sin la protección de nuestras leyes; y un sistema que manda a seres humanos a las manos de coyotes y hasta la muerte!

Hoy estamos aquí -- ciudadanos, residentes, inmigrantes -- todos unidos para que nuestros lideres puedan escuchar claramente la voz de nuestro pueblo inmigrante y de los millones de Americanos quienes apoyan una reforma migratoria.

Nosotros hemos visto el impacto de las leyes migratorias y las continuas redadas:
Nuestras comunidades inmigrantes viven con miedo…
Niños están siendo separados de sus padres…
Trabajadores están siendo explotados por un sistema que los mantiene como una permanente clase inferior que vive en las sombras de la sociedad.

Hoy compartimos con nuestros líderes y la nación esas historias que vemos todos los días.

Historias como la de María y Juan quienes vinieron a este país cuando eran niños. Tienen hijos nacidos aquí, hablan inglés, trabajan duro, pagan impuestos, y contribuyen en su comunidad como voluntarios. Son ejemplos del sueño Americano, pero viven cada día con el miedo que pueden ser separados de sus hijos.

Esa es una pesadilla que fue hecha realidad para la familia de Gabby, una niña de solo catorce años. Ella y sus hermanos, todos ciudadanos, perdieron a su padre que fue deportado hace cinco años y ahora viven con el miedo que su mamá también será deportada dejando a los seis niños completamente solos.

We are all here because we have seen first hand the impact of our immigration laws and continued workplace raids:
Our immigrant communities are living in fear…
Children are being left without their mother or father or both…
Workers are being exploited by a system that keeps them as a permanent underclass living in the shadows of society.

Today, we want our leaders in Washington to hear those immigrant stories we experience everyday.

Stories like that of Maria and Juan who were brought to this country when they were just children. Juan works the graveyard shift as a security guard. Maria works and takes care of their children who are US citizens. They speak English, they pay taxes, they volunteer in their community -- they work day and night to provide for their children. Their lives are here in the United States. They could be the picture of the American Dream, but they live each day with the fear that they will be taken away from their children.

Something that happened to little Gabby, an American citizen, who’s father was taken away at 5 a.m. from their own home when she was just nine and her baby brothers were only two. While most 14 year olds spend their free time hanging out with their friends, Gabby spends her free time taking care of her brothers while their mother tries to make ends meet, and all of the children have nightmares that one day “La Migra” will come and take their mother too.

But regardless of their pain and suffering Gabby’s mom holds out hope that Congress and the President will pass immigration reform, so her children, after five years, can once again feel the warmth of their father’s embrace and never again have nightmares that they will be left alone.

As Americans, as a nation of immigrants, we can’t just turn our backs on our immigrant brothers and sisters. We can do better…We must do better… We must pass comprehensive immigration reform!

On behalf of the U.S. Catholic bishops, I want you to know that the Catholic Church stands with you and is in this fight until the end. We will not stop advocating on behalf of our immigrant brothers and sisters, and we will continue to defend their right to be full members of our communities and nation.

Como una nación de inmigrantes, no podemos rechazar a nuestros hermanos inmigrantes. Podemos y debemos mejorar esta situación. ¡La solución es una reforma migratoria ESTE AÑO!

Les aseguro que la Iglesia Católica seguirá luchando a lado de todos ustedes hasta que se realice una reforma. No vamos a parar de abogar por los inmigrantes y seguiremos defendiendo sus derechos como miembros de nuestras comunidades y esta nación. ¡Vamos a seguir llamando a nuestros líderes que paren con la política antiinmigrante y pasen leyes migratorias humanas!

Me despido con las palabras de Raúl, un estudiante universitario de Los Angeles con un futuro en el limbo por falta de papeles. El me dio este mensaje en inglés para nuestros líderes y la nación.

I leave you with the words of Raúl, a university student who was brought to this country when he was only one year old. He wants to contribute all his talents and skills to this country -- the only home he’s ever known. Through no fault of his own he is undocumented, and his future is now in limbo. Raul gave me this message for our elected officials and our nation:

“View us as human beings; view us as brothers and sisters…
We’re here to work hard and contribute to society…

We don’t want to harm anyone…

We want to come together as one for a better future.”

Despite the fact that our broken immigration system is failing Raul, he dreams of a better future not just for immigrants, but for all of us.

I ask you to remember Raul, Juan, Maria, little Gabby and the millions more who continue to suffer.

This is not about politics…

This is about real human beings.

You are in my prayers, and God bless you all.

Todos ustedes están en mis oraciones, y que Dios los bendiga.

Also from the immigration events last Sunday, Catholic News Service has launched a slideshow of photos from the Mass preceding the march at St. Aloysius Church in Washington, as well as from the march itself. Great shots, as always, from CNS.

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