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America’s Worst Sheriff

published on: January 25, 2013

Sheriff Joe Arpaio, “America’s Worst Sheriff,” has been on trial for the last two weeks, accused of racially profiling immigrants and Latinos in his jurisdiction. The case wrapped up today, and the ruling is expected in mid-August. Because of this trial, examples of rampant and systematic racial profiling by Sheriff Joe and his officers are now a matter of public record. These records could be the cornerstone of future Supreme Court challenges to Arizona’s “Show Me Your Papers” Law. Continue reading

WOLA’s New Study Separates Rhetoric from Reality on Security and Migration Along the Border

published on: January 25, 2013

The Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) and Mexico’s College of the Northern Border (COLEF) have released Beyond the Border Buildup: Security and Migrants Along the U.S.-Mexico Border, a year-long study of the current security situation on the U.S.-Mexico border and the impact of both countries’ security policies on the migrant population. With presidential elections looming in the United States and Mexico this year, the border and migration are bound to become wedge issues in both countries’ political debates. Continue reading

Groups mark 10th anniversary of first detainees imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay

published on: January 25, 2013

Washington, D.C. – On January 11, 2012, the National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT) helped organize and lead national events in Washington marking the 10th anniversary of the day the first detainees were imprisoned in the U.S-controlled detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The 66 organizations co-sponsoring the events in Washington joined together in a call for the U.S. government to close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay. Continue reading

Business Transparency on Trafficking and Slavery Act

published on: January 25, 2013

Members of US SIF (The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment – Formerly the Social Investment Forum [SIF]) and The Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) submitted a letter to The Honorable John Boehner (Speaker, U.S. House of Representatives) and The Honorable Eric Cantor (Majority Leader, U.S. House of Representatives) seeking their support on the Business Transparency on Trafficking and Slavery Act (HR 2759). The letter strongly encourages them to support investors, companies, workers and consumers by moving this important legislation forward in an expeditious manner.

This letter was drafted, reviewed and contributed to by a broad coalition of experts and members of US SIF and ICCR.
Susana McDermott
Director of communications, ICCR
212-870-2938 Continue reading

Papal Message for World Food Day

published on: January 25, 2013

The Holy Father sent the following message to Jacques Diouf, director general of the United Nation’s Rome-based Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) for World Food Day (16 October). Continue reading

National Catholic Rural Life Conference

published on: December 25, 2012

Our mission is to apply the teachings of Jesus Christ for the social, economic, and spiritual development of rural America.
NCRLC helps rural people shape their futures and lead lives of dignity and piety by providing spiritual, educational and advocacy assistance.
Click here to read more. Continue reading

Bishops Urge Change to Outdated Nuclear Policy

published on: October 25, 2012

The Obama administration is currently weighing cuts in U.S. nuclear forces. Within weeks, the President will be making important, once-in-a-decade decisions on the Presidential nuclear weapons policy “guidance.” Continue reading

Gun Violence Still A Plague

published on: September 25, 2012

In the year since, over 30,000 of our fellow citizens have died as a result of gun fire; about 12,000 of them were murdered; another 60,000 were injured. It is quite clear that our “statesmen” have done nothing to stop this evil. So Edmund Burke was right. Continue reading

Bring justice home! Hold the Border Patrol accountable.

published on: September 25, 2012

A year ago this March, Carlos Reynaldo Lamadrid Guerrero, a U.S. citizen, was shot and killed by the U.S. Border Patrol near Douglas, Arizona. His family has still received no answers for his senseless death. Sadly, stories like Carlos’s are all too common. No More Deaths and partners document human rights violations by Border Patrol every day, like the ones captured in our 2011 report, Culture of Cruelty: Abuse and Impunity in Border Patrol Short-Term Custody.

CultureofCrueltyFinal Continue reading

Let Chicago’s Anti-Torture Resolution Inspire Your Own City

published on: July 25, 2012

In June 2012, the Illinois Coalition Against Torture (ICAT) produced a “How To Guide: Getting an Anti-Torture Resolution Passed in Your City” as a contribution to Torture Awareness Month. The guide is a useful tool for activists in cities across the United States who want to have their city declared a torture-free zone. It offers analysis and suggestions drawn from ICAT’s successful campaign to get an anti-torture resolution passed in Chicago. Continue reading

Punishment and Profits: Immigration Detention

published on: July 25, 2012

Punishment and Profits: Immigration Detention
Fault Lines investigates the business of immigrant detention in the US.

Immigration is a key issue in the US presidential election, with the Republican candidates trying to demonstrate their tough stance on undocumented immigrants.
Watch the video here. Continue reading

2012 Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good Voter Guide

published on: June 25, 2012

The goal of this guide is to help Catholics think about the political issues of the day in light of the Church’s teachings about the common good. We encourage everyone to read the guide, share it with friends, show it to your pastors, and get the word out: In these contentious political times, the social justice tradition of the Catholic Church is needed more than ever. Continue reading

Holy Father Denounces Human Trafficking for Sexual Exploitation and Organ Harvesting

published on: May 25, 2012

Vatican City, 23 April 2012 (VIS) — The Holy Father has written a message for the seventh world congress on the pastoral care of tourism, which begins today in the Mexican city of Cancun. The message is addressed to Cardinal Antonio Maria Veglio, president of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples, and to Bishop Pedro Pablo Elizondo Cardenas L.C., prelate of Cancun-Chetumanl. Continue reading

As Supreme Court Considers Arizona Law, Faith Leaders Call upon President, Congress to Reassert Authority on Immigration Law

published on: May 25, 2012

WASHINGTON–In letters sent April 24, on the eve of oral arguments to the Supreme Court on Arizona’s immigration law, 15 religious leaders urged President Barack Obama and the 112th Congress to “reassert your authority” and move to enact immigration reform legislation “as soon as possible.” Continue reading

Recent Letters Echo Bishops’ Consistent Message that Federal Budget Must Form ‘Circle of Protection’ around ‘the Least of These’

published on: May 25, 2012

WASHINGTON—As Congress began working on the FY 2013 budget and spending bills this week, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) wrote several letters that repeated and reinforced the bishops’ ongoing call to create a “circle of protection” around poor and vulnerable people and programs that meet their basic needs and protect their lives and dignity. The bishops’ message calls on Congress and the Administration to protect essential help for poor families and vulnerable children and to put the poor first in budget priorities. The bishops’ letters oppose measures that reduce resources for essential safety net programs. Continue reading

Children Reduced To Slavery

published on: May 25, 2012

There are 400 million children living in conditions of slavery in the world today. International missionary organisations and NGOs have denounced this on the occasion of the World Day Against Child Labour which is celebrated on 16 April. Many of these children
work manufacturing goods which are then sold to Europe and the West in general. Continue reading

The Gray Box: An investigative look at solitary confinement

published on: April 30, 2012

A few weeks ago, on the fifteenth anniversary of his first day in prison, Osiel Rodriguez set about cleaning the 87 square feet he inhabits at ADX, a federal mass isolation facility in Colorado.

“I got it in my head to destroy all my photographs,” he writes in a letter to me. “I spent some five hours ripping each one to pieces. No one was safe. I did not save one of my mother, father, sisters. Who are those people anyway?”

Such is the logic of the gray box, of sitting year after year in solitude.
Read full article here

The Gray Box from The Dart Society on Vimeo.

Continue reading

National Copycat Landscape

published on: April 25, 2012

On April 23, 2010, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed into law SB 1070, the nation’s most punitive immigration legislation at the time. Since then, a number of states have considered passing similar “papers-please” racial profiling legislation. Despite the fact that some copycats were approved in a handful of states in 2011, many more of these bills failed across the country. The 2012 session has had even fewer states attempting to address immigration at the state level. The following is a summary of state legislation in 2012 and in years prior. Continue reading

50 Faith-Based Groups Join Legal Brief Urging Supreme Court to Overturn Arizona’s Anti-Immigrant Law

published on: April 25, 2012

As the Supreme Court prepares to take up legal challenges to Arizona’s controversial immigration law (SB-1070), more than 50 prominent Catholic, Protestant and Jewish groups [including CMSM and LCWR] signed on to an amicus curiae brief arguing for suspension of the law. Continue reading

USCCB Immigration Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah: Welcoming Address (excerpts)

published on: February 22, 2012

It seems as if time is up as well in terms of waiting for comprehensive immigration reform, at least if you believe some people in Washington. But it is the American public, including the Catholics, who will decide the final outcome. So many people—so many of you—have worked so hard these past years to achieve what seems like an elusive goal. Yet, we must never give up hope, and I fully believe that one day we will be successful. In the meantime, we must always keep focused as we advocate for immigration reform in this complex and constantly changing landscape in our country today. Continue reading

Bishops Renew Poverty USA Campaign in Response to Growing Domestic Poverty

published on: January 25, 2012

WASHINGTON–With 15 percent of all Americans, including nearly 1 in 4 children, living in poverty, the Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development (JPHD) of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is renewing its poverty awareness campaign, Poverty USA, complete with a revamped website and a new social media presence and Poverty Awareness Month event in January. Continue reading

Migrations and New Evangelization

published on: November 12, 2011

VATICAN CITY, 19 OCT 2011 (VIS) – “Migrations and New Evangelization” is the theme chosen by Benedict XVI for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees 2012, which will be celebrated on 15 January 2012. Extracts from the English-language edition of the text can be found in the artcle. Continue reading

Faith Community Remains Resolved to Speak Out on Behalf of the Nation’s Most Vulnerable; Takes Fight for a Faithful Budget to Super Committee Member Districts

published on: November 1, 2011

WASHINGTON – The 11 religious leaders arrested on July 28 while praying on behalf of the nation’s most vulnerable in the Capitol Rotunda were in court this morning to discuss the misdemeanor, “Intention to Disrupt Congress,” charge brought against them. Continue reading

USCCB Chairman Applauds New Deportation Policy, Encourages Expeditious Implementation that Focuses on Immigrant Families, Youth

published on: October 26, 2011

WASHINGTON — Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Migration, applauded the recent announcement by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that prosecutorial discretion would be exercised on “low-priority” deportation cases. Continue reading

Archbishop Dolan Asks Nation’s Clergy to Preach on Poverty, Educate and Advocate for Poor and Jobless

published on: October 25, 2011

WASHINGTON — Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan of New York, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), urged bishops and other Catholic clergy nationwide to bring the issue of poverty into their homilies. He also underscored the need for educational and advocacy efforts on behalf of the poor and jobless. Continue reading

The Execution of Troy Davis

published on: October 11, 2011

On September 21, after a short delay, the state of Georgia strapped Troy Davis into a gurney and then killed him. He was pronounced dead at 11:08 PM.
Whenever the government intentionally takes the life of another human being, it deeply affects me. I can’t help but think of the family of the executed, the victims of the crime and the unnecessary pain and suffering that each of them must have gone through. Continue reading

UN Report Details Torture in Afghanistan – Coalition of people of faith say U.S. must act effectively to end Afghan torture

published on: September 26, 2011

According to a United Nations report released Monday, many detainees who were captured by NATO forces and transferred to Afghan custody have been subjected to torture by Afghan interrogators. In response, NATO has halted transfers of detainees to certain Afghan detention facilities and begun work on a plan to reform the Afghan detention system. Rev. Richard Killmer, Executive Director of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture, released the following statement today in response to these steps. Continue reading

The Dream Act

published on: September 25, 2011

The USCCB’s Justice for Immigrants Campaign is pleased to announce our Pray for the DREAM weekend and we encourage all interested parties to participate. Between September 18th and October 9th scores of dioceses, parishes and other faith groups will be planning events and/or incorporating petitions, homilies, and prayers into the Sunday Masses in support of our DREAM Act eligible students and youth. Continue reading

Statement of Catholic Bishops and Participants in Regional Consultation on Migration

published on: August 11, 2011

As Catholic bishops in charge of the pastoral care of migrants, gathered in San José, Costa Rica, June 1-3, 2011, with the participation of CELAM and CARITAS International and joined by religious and lay experts on issues of migration, we once again express our solidarity with our migrant brothers and sisters in this hemisphere who migrate in search of a better life. Continue reading

The United States’ Response to Human Trafficking Migration and Refugee Services

published on: July 25, 2011

The United States’ Response to Human Trafficking Migration and Refugee Services has published a new document, “The United States’ Response to Human Trafficking: Achievements and Challenges ,” that reviews the progress that has been made by the United States to address the scourge of human trafficking to date; identifies the areas in which U.S. efforts to prevent trafficking, protect victims, and prosecute traffickers have fallen short; and suggests steps for improving the U.S. response going forward. Continue reading