[COMM-ORG] PICO immigration organizing

Discussion list for COMM-ORG colist at comm-org.wisc.edu
Sat Nov 20 15:00:38 CST 2010

  From: Jaci Braga <news at piconetwork.org>

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Justice for Immigrants and PICO Network Come Together at National
Convening to Discuss "Immigration in a New Congress"

Schiller Park, IL -Last week more than 240 clergy, laity and faith
leaders from 37 states met in Illinois at the Justice for
Immigrants/PICO Conference entitled "Immigration in a New Congress." The
event consisted of faith perspectives, research results, and best
organizing practices. It was an opportunity for Catholics to gather and
discuss the post-election results and the feasibility of comprehensive
immigration reform, the DREAM Act or AgJOBS in the coming year.

Fr. Daniel Groody ( www.nd.edu/~dgroody


) from the University of Notre Dame gave a presentation on Catholic
Teaching and Migration, which underscored the Catholic faith tradition
of migration from the bible to present day. His discourse focused on the
many factors that affect migration patterns around the world. Whether it
is economics, environmental disasters or political realities, migrants
seek refuge and a stable life.

PICO leaders and organizers presented their best organizing practices
which ranged from the opting out of S-Comm in Santa Clara County and San
Francisco County, local towing issues, and immigrant integration efforts
which include bridge-building workshops consisting of immigrant and
non-immigrant participants.

Also participating in the conference was Assistant Director of Detention
Policy and Planning Phyllis A. Coven from the Immigration and Customs
Enforcement (ICE) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The
presentation from Ms. Coven focused on ICE's work to improve conditions
at detention centers and the online upgrades in helping to locate family
members who have been detained. After her presentation, Coven was asked
about opting out of S-Comm and said she was not authorized to discuss
the issue of S-Comm.

Towards the end of the conference, there were regional break-out
sessions which focused on local attempts at highlighting the issue of
immigration at local parishes, working to build bridges between
communities, parish organizing and the upcoming opportunity for DREAM
Act in the lame duck session.

Key outcomes from the conference included the difficult political
reality facing comprehensive immigration reform in the years ahead and
the tremendous opportunity in building capacity to keep the issue at the
forefront. Other key highlights included:

a) The growth of Latino Catholics across the country and the
significance of their vote in this past election;

b) The importance of developing uncommon allies &ndash; business, law
enforcement, and other faith denominations;

c) Widespread interest in community organizing from many Dioceses across
the country; and

d) Lifting up our common faith values and reminding ourselves that this
is God's work

Several research meetings were conducted by PICO leaders during their
staying Chicago which included Sisters of Mercy, Pat Murphy and JoAnn
Persch regarding their work in detention centers and their ongoing
vigils. A second research meeting was conducted with Joshua Hoyt of the
Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights around their
successful immigrant integration strategies over the years.

JFI and PICO are collaborating to engage Catholic parishes in helping
welcome new immigrants and create a just and humane immigration system.
For more information: visit www.justiceforimmigrants.org


and www.piconetwork.org


or contact Jaci Braga (jbraga at piconetwork.org).

Copyright (c) 2010 PICO
Our address is 110 Maryland Avenue NE, Suite 407, Washington, DC, 20002, USA

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