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.
Public officials, activists and religious leaders packed into World’s Fair Pavilion in Forest Park this afternoon to rally for immigration reform, calling on members of the U.S. House of Representatives to move forward with a plan that cleared the Senate last week.
St. Louis native Vin Ko runs a pick up soccer league in St. Louis that he said brings together everyone from CEO’s to new immigrants.
More than just potential economic benefits, he said the nation needs immigration reform because it’s the right thing to do.
Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) cut cake and scooped ice cream during a ceremony to celebrate the volunteers who helped restore and now staff the Amtrak station in downtown Kirkwood.
“We are celebrating the best of this community, which are the kind people who decided this train station is worth saving,” McCaskill said. “It’s now recognized as one of the best train stations in the country.”
McCaskill also read a letter of thanks from Vice President, and vocal Amtrak supporter, Joe Biden.