Russian journalist Maria Vladimirova spent time in St. Louis this fall, and visited Chicago and Memphis. She recently sent in what she gleaned from Russian expatriates she met while in the United States. The following has been edited for space and clarity.
Pro-immigration reform groups are continuing to put pressure on Congresswoman Ann Wagner (R-St. Louis County). About 15 people rallied Monday in Kirkwood, calling for her to address comprehensive immigration reform.
Several people spoke at the rally. Some shared stories of being separated from family members after deportation, while others spoke about not being able to leave the country for a loved one’s funeral.
Lawrence Nwachukwu heads Basilico Engineering, a firm in St. Louis. He said he’s been trying to get his siblings to legally emigrate from Nigeria.
Nearly 100 activists rallied for immigration reform outside the federal courthouse in St. Louis this morning, calling on the U.S. House of Representatives to vote on a new immigration reform bill (HR 15.)
The bipartisan bill passed the Senate this summer and includes a pathway to citizenship and tougher border security, but has yet to be brought to a vote in the House.
Even though most of the political discussion in Congress is focused on fully funding the government, last Wednesday an immigration bill was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives.
On Saturday, a more than five mile interfaith “pilgrimage” from St. Cecilia Catholic Church in south St. Louis City to St. Alphonsus “Rock” Catholic Church in mid-town was aimed at returning immigration reform to the political forefront.
The march was one of 100 similar events held across the country.
The Archdiocese of St. Louis is urging pastors and deacons to preach this Sunday on the connection between Catholic social teachings and immigration reform.
Giovanni Madriz is Program Coordinator with the Office of Hispanic Ministry, and says the immigration reform package passed by the U.S. Senate is consistent with Catholic teachings.
“The bottom line is that justice and mercy have to guide our approach to immigration reform," Madriz says. "Those principles must be met, must be respected. Comprehensive immigration reform will be just law, will be merciful.”
Comprehensive immigration reform is critical to sustaining the Midwest’s role as a global leader in agriculture.
That’s the message from U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.
Vilsack told St. Louis Public Radio today that moving forward with the immigration reform plan recently passed by the U.S. Senate is key to retaining international talent that comes to this country to study in the plant sciences.