– On Thursday afternoon NETWORK’s “Nuns on the Bus” gathered with prominent labor leaders and immigration activists at the United Methodist Building in Washington, D.C., to urge Congress to pass commonsense immigration reform in 2013. Catholic Sisters on the 6,500-mile tour are urging lawmakers to support legislation that provides a roadmap to citizenship for 11 million aspiring Americans, promotes family unity, and protects the rights of all immigrant workers.
The tour is called “NETWORK Nuns on the Bus: A Drive for Faith, Family, and Citizenship.”
“Labor, faith, and immigration activist came together today to demonstrate that the immigration story is the glory of our nation, both its past and its future,” said Sr. Simone Campbell, executive director of NETWORK, a National Catholic Social Justice Lobby. “We urge Congress to create a roadmap to citizenship and pass comprehensive immigration reform now. It is ‘We the People’, as the 100%, who will create innovation to fuel the future of our nation.”
“Today is yet another indication of the growing momentum for commonsense immigration reform,” said Mary Kay Henry, International President of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). “This gathering of faith and labor leaders shows the breadth of our movement and illustrates the unity among our communities that is essential to getting immigration reform passed.”
“AFSCME members know that aspiring citizens contribute to our culture and are committed to our country,” said Lee Saunders, President of AFSCME. “Aspiring citizens want to stand with us. They want to join our fight for good wages, better working conditions and retirement security. And we are standing by their side in this struggle for the better life they deserve.”
Additional faith leaders, including Rev. Michael Livingston, National Policy Director of Interfaith Worker Justice, and local-area labor leaders, including Jos Williams, President of AFL-CIO Washington DC Metro Council, also spoke at the rally.
Featuring Catholic Sisters from around the country, and sponsored by NETWORK, the bus tour will continue from Washington, D.C., to historical landmarks, drive through the Southern states, the plains of Texas and border towns throughout the Southwest. Sisters will rally with community members at more than 50 faith-based agencies and local congressional offices to lift up the voices of both aspiring Americans and citizens who have been impacted by America’s broken immigration system. Catholic Sisters stand with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in calling for immigration reform that addresses the root causes of migration and provides a roadmap to citizenship for fellow neighbors, colleagues, and friends seeking protection from further senseless exploitation.