Monday, May 01, 2006

Chicago's Day With Immigrants

Yellow-and-gold banners? That's a Catholic church, folks -- one of many along today's largest pro-immigrant march and rally in Chicago, which police estimated at a turnout of over 400,000.

Thing to note: while the English on that banner uses the word "journey," "lucha" is Spanish for fight -- i.e. "Your fight is our fight."

He may have been in Rome last week on a round of dicastery meetings, but Cardinal Francis George -- the resident cardinal closest to Benedict XVI and de facto head of the nation's hierarchy -- was home today, where he spoke at the rally and assailed the current immigration-reform package working its way through Congress.
"Respect is the reason we are together this afternoon," George says. "Families should not be divided. Husbands should not be separated from their wives, or mothers from their children."

"People who have been part of this country's social and economic fabric for years should not now be treated as if they do not count, as if their contribution can simply be dismissed and they, sent away," the cardinal adds.

George calls on the U.S. to "clean up the inhuman situation that marks our borders and shames us all," and on Congress "to enact comprehensive immigration reform legislation."
Masses were also offered across the country in suffrage for the Catholic church's firm push for what its leaders have termed "humane, comprehensive and just" immigration reform measures different than the ones presently on the table.

Susan M. Richter