Immigration is Abuzz in the Headlines

The United States Supreme Court is set to review the legality of Arizona SB1070, the contentious immigration law that was passed a few years ago. According to BBC, the Supreme Court will review four provisions that were blocked by a lower appeals court:

· requiring officials to check the immigration status of anyone arrested and allowing police to stop anyone suspected of bein an undocumented immigrant
· making it a state crime to reside in Arizona without legal documentation
· banning all undocumented immigrants from working in the state or applying for a job
· allowing police to arrest a person believed to have committed a crime that could lead to deportation, even if the crime occurred in another state

See this BBC article for further details on the Supreme Court case.

While the Supreme Court prepares to hear this case, the Catholic Church in the United States has been doing some prep work of their own.

NETWORK, a National Catholic Social Justice Lobby, along with approximately 50 other civil rights, faith and community organizations filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court urging the court to affirm the blockage of the four provisions. The fifty page report argues that SB1070 will harm U.S. Citizens, misapprehends the federal immigration scheme and cannot be implemented constituionally. For further information click here.

The USCCB (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops) released news that they, along with other faith leaders, called upon the President and Congress to reassert authority on immigration law. As the Supreme Court is working to review state authority of immigration, the USCCB called upon the President and Congress to enact immigration reform legislation “as soon as possible” in order to secure federal power over immigration policy. For further information click here.

Great examples of putting feet to the Gospel message and a glimpse of the Kindom.

-Elizabeth Fairbairn, St. Joseph Worker & Justice Office Intern

Women’s History Month Reflection

As we move into the first week of April, I am called to reflect on March – Women’s History Month.
A single experience of March that comes to mind is the 11th Day Prayer for Peace – Celebrating Women—hosted by the St. Joseph Worker Program. The time spent with friends and in front of the computer for the planning of this event is memorable, and yet what that time provided is what resonates: to learn more about women who have laid the path for me, especially those from the CSJ community.
During the service, we recalled the lineage of women leadership that has come before all of us. Women who fought for the rights we enjoy today, who infuse society with love and passion that we carry in our hearts, and who opened the societal perceptions of women. In the narrative of this lineage, our hope was to name the unnamed sheroes that make up so much of this lineage, especially members of the CSJ Community who have gone uncelebrated and unnamed despite the large contributions provided.
With the help of Jill Underdahl, Mary Kaye Medinger and Mary Kraft, we were able to name and more fully understand three Sisters of St. Joseph from our lineage. Sister Jackie Slater (1934-1984) who integrated her values and relationships within her community as she served three terms on City Council representing the diverse Sixth Ward of Minneapolis. Sister St. Mark Wirtz (1904-1962) who had a deep passion for all of creation and carried this passion into her many positions at the College of St. Catherine as an Ornithologist. Finally, Sister Rita Steinhagen (1928-2006) who’s actions are often recognized within the great lineage of social justice leadership, but we chose to highlight the motivation for her work which was steeped in her experiences and relationships with people.
Several weeks after that beautiful service in the Our Lady of the Presentation Chapel, I still have a burning curiosity for the fullness and depth of the lineage of women which leads to my heart, mind and feet. I encourage everyone to learn a bit more about one woman who has inspired you as a leader– with the caution that once you learn a little you will be captivated.
–Elizabeth Fairbairn, St. Joseph Worker & Justice Office Intern