“To enter the United States from the border with Mexico would be a beautiful thing, as a sign of brotherhood and of help to the immigrants,” said Pope Francis, expressing some regret that his upcoming visit to the United States will be too short to accomodate a trip to the border.
Mexicans work more hours than any other people on earth. After Mexico, the hardest working people live in Chile, Korea, Estonia, Russia, Poland, and then the USA. Mexicans work about 45 hours a week. In a year, they work more than 500 hours more than people in the USA.
Concern for a path to citizenship enlivened a crowd at Congressman Mike Coffman's (R-CO) office today. Fr. Steve Adams of St. Pius X Roman Catholic Church of Aurora leads them in prayer before about 15 local clergy met with the Congressman's staff.
The meeting opened with prayer. Scripture reflections were offered by Rabbi Bernard Gerson of Congregation Rodef Shalom and Fr. Adams of St. Piux X. The Rev. Bonita Bock submitted a letter signed by 91 local clergy that advocates for humane immigration policies.
Summarizing the case for a path to citizenship, Sarah Hernandez told of her husband's deportation two years ago and the subsequent hardship on her family. "I am here asking for mercy," she said, "and to be treated like a human being."
Coffman's staff said that they meet frequently with various groups in regard to the immigration issue, and they believe they are well aware of the issues involved. The Congressman will offer no firm position until the current Senate bill is passed and heads to the House.
Hundreds of people jammed St. Therese Catholic Church in Aurora today in support of immigration reform. The gathering was part pep rally, and part political organizing. It was sponsored by Together Colorado, a coalition of religious and faith community leaders.
"We have communities and families here in Colorado that are suffering and we believe the only moral solution to our harmful immigration policy is full citizenship for the 11 million aspiring Americans and the only one that is consistent with our religious beliefs and American values," said Rev. Nelson Bock of Our Savior's Lutheran Church.
The gathering heard from several speakers besides Rev. Bock, including Fr. Steve Adams of Pius X Catholic Church, and several persons who had specific human problems related to current immigration policies.
At the center of the event was hearing from Sen. Michael Bennet and Congresspersons Jared Polis and Mike Coffman. Bennet and Polis both advocate a "path to citizenship," and their remarks were warmly received.
Mike Coffman gets credit just for showing up. Coffman is--or was until very recently--a tea party Republican. Among this constituency, anything that helps hispanics stay in this country is anathema.
Coffman's district--the 6th--has shifted out from underneath him. The lines were re-drawn by the 2010 legislature. The new 6th is now the "Aurora seat" and Aurora has a large constituency of minorities, hispanics in particular.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has targeted the seat in 2014, and former Speaker of Colorado House, Andrew Romanoff, has entered the race. Though Coffman won re-election in 2012, the vote was close, and his opponent was poorly-financed.
Together Colorado is a non-partisan organization which is affiliated with PICO, the nation's largest faith-based organizing network.
Photo: Cong. Jared Polis responds to questions from an over-flow crowd at St. Therese Catholic Church.
Undocumented workers, what some call "aliens," paid $11.2 billion in taxes last year while General Electric, one of the largest corporations in the history of the world, paid nothing--and got a $3.2 billion dollar rebate to boot.
The latest approach to immigration goes by the moniker of "self-deportation." Which means: We treat people badly enough so that they'll know they aren't wanted and then they'll up and leave. (See Kristallnacht, Germany, 1938.)
This idea is brought to you by people who, oddly, consider themselves Christians.