Immigrant rights demonstration in Los Angeles in early April. This action is leading up to larger protests against American immigration law on May 1.
Originally uploaded by Pan-African News Wire File Photos.
Mass Demonstration and Rally to be Held on May in southwest Detroit
For Release April 29, 2007 Archdiocese: Ned McGrath (w) 313-237-5943 | (h) 313-886-4114 LUUM (Latinos Unidos/United de
Michigan): Rosendo Delgado 313-887-1849
Bishop Flores to Meet with Media
Michigan Bishops Issue Statement on Federal Immigration Legislation With immigration reform front and center in this weekend’s news (Sunday Free Press, 4A) and with demonstrations planned in Detroit and across the country for Tuesday, May 1, the Roman Catholic bishops of Michigan have issued a statement affirming the rights of immigrant workers.
For more information on the May Day Rally & March in Detroit log on to http://mecawi.org . The event will start at Patton Park on West Vernor and Woodmere beginning at 10:00 a.m. There will be a march to Clark Park for a rally with music and community speakers.
Signed by the seven diocesan bishops of Michigan and issued by the Michigan Catholic Conference, the public policy voice in the state, the statement proposes that the laws of the United States conform to three principles:
1. Immigration legislation should permit the prompt reunification of families.
2. Immigration legislation should open a path toward legalization of undocumented workers currently living and working in the United States.
3. Immigration legislation should create an efficient system for the future entrance of temporary workers as well as permanent legal residents. Detroit Auxiliary Bishop Daniel Flores met with media representatives to discuss federal immigration legislation and the Michigan Bishops’ Statement at 5:15 p.m. on Sunday, April 29, in the sun room of Holy Redeemer Church, 1721 Junction, Detroit.
The sun room connects Holy Redeemer rectory with the church and is accessible through the garden. To reach it, park on Junction and walk past the bell tower to the little garden behind the tower. The walkway in the garden leads to the sun room.
In his remarks to the media and in a homily at a Mass following the briefing, Bishop Flores related Catholic social teaching on the immigration issue with Tuesday’s feast of St. Joseph the Worker.
English and Spanish versions of the statement are available for download at
Statement of Roman Catholic Bishops of Michigan
on Federal Immigration Legislation
April 29, 2007
We, the Roman Catholic Bishops of the state of Michigan, wish to add our voices to the ongoing public debate regarding the rights and responsibilities of immigrants, particularly those of Hispanic descent. As shepherds who understand the needs of our people, we speak in communion with all the Bishops of our nation. We also build on the long-standing social justice tradition of our Church, a tradition which teaches the dignity of every person and our responsibility to work against any injustices which would compromise the dignity of immigrants, especially workers and their families.
For the sake of justice toward immigrant laborers, we propose that the laws of our nation should conform to the following principles:
1. Immigration legislation should permit the prompt reunification of families. Our current immigration system imposes an unbearable burden upon the families of many immigrants. Spouses and minor children of permanent residents working in the United States often wait eight years in order to receive a visa necessary for the reunification of the family. The law itself places workers in the position of having to make an impossible choice: they must choose between immigrating to the United States without documentation and, therefore, without the protection of their rights or working within the legal system but at the expense of an indefinite separation from their families.
2. Immigration legislation should open a path toward the legalization of undocumented workers currently living and working in the United States. The economy of the United States enjoys the benefits of immigrant workers but without providing recognition of their dignity as workers. Legalization should not impose intolerable burdens on workers—such as severe monetary sanctions and family separations.
3. Immigration legislation should create an efficient system for the future entrance of temporary workers as well as permanent legal residents. Justice requires that immigrant workers have the same benefits, salaries, and labor protections enjoyed by other American workers. Immigration reform should facilitate the unity of families and allow workers the possibility of secure movement from the United States to the land of their birth. While the Church recognizes the importance of secure borders, such concerns can be addressed without jeopardizing good and respectful working relationships among employers and employees, whether they are from the United States or from another country.
We invite everyone—Catholics and non-Catholics alike—to take an active part in the promotion of a just and realistic reform of the immigration system in the United States. We ought to make known to our representatives in Congress the urgency of this problem with hopes that they will, this year, arrive at a real solution.
On May 1, we celebrate the feast of Saint Joseph the Worker. We look to Saint Joseph as the husband of Mary, the Virgin Mother of God, the guardian of the child Jesus and a humble laborer, a carpenter. As St. Matthew’s Gospel reminds us, the Holy Family knew firsthand the experience of migrant peoples; they also modeled the dignity of human labor and the sanctity of family living. As we celebrate this feast and many gather around the world to affirm the dignity and rights of workers, in a special way, we join our
voices with those of the Hispanic immigrant workers. We thank God for their presence and gifts, and pledge to work together with all people of goodwill for the recognition of
their civic rights.
His Eminence Adam Cardinal Maida
Most Reverend Patrick R. Cooney Archbishop of Detroit Diocese of Gaylord Most Reverend Walter A. Hurley
Most Reverend James A. Murray Diocese of Grand Rapids
Diocese of Kalamazoo Most Reverend Carl F. Mengeling
Most Reverend Alexander K. Sample Diocese of Lansing
Diocese of Marquette Most Reverend Robert J. Carlson
Diocese of Saginaw