To the Editor:
“I was an immigrant and you welcomed me” was the billboard’s message adapted from Matthew 25:35 and posted in Des Moines, the Quad Cities, Dubuque, Cedar Rapids, Sioux City and Clinton, Iowa, in 2011. Billboards were sponsored by Sisters United News, a group of communicators representing 12 Catholic sisters’ congregations in the Upper Mississippi River Valley.
This message is still relevant today. This nation has a long history of welcoming immigrants and sheltering refugees. Persons and families who migrate in search of protection or for a better life should be protected from harm and should be welcomed.
Compassionate and bipartisan comprehensive immigration policy reform is needed, and includes a realistic path to earned legalization for people in the United States without status. Work is needed for the restoration of refugee settlements, relief for families, an end to needless deportations, and the closure of family detention centers.
The upcoming viewing of the movie “Papers,” tells the story of undocumented youths and the challenges they face as they turn 18 without legal status. Approximately 2 million undocumented children were born outside the U.S. and raised in this country. These are young people educated in American schools, hold American values and know only the U.S. as home. Currently, no path to citizenship is available for these young people. The movie will be shown May 18 at 6:30 p.m. at 841 13th Ave. N., Clinton. See www.clintonfranciscans.com for information.
Nancy Miller, OSF
Franciscan Peace Center