Battle for US immigration reform seeks Vatican support

Battle for US immigration reform seeks Vatican support

Battle for US immigration reform seeks Vatican support

A group of activists fighting to change US laws to give a path to legality for undocumented immigrants is heading for Rome and the Vatican, hoping to get Pope Francis to actively support the cause.

The pro-reform coalition is based in Los Angeles, and has enlisted the help of the Los Angeles Archdiocese in getting an audience with Pope Francis on 26 March, just one day before the iconic head of the Catholic Church is due to meet with President Obama. The group is small, comprised of just over a dozen activists and two youngsters whose parents are undocumented.

It hopes to be able to deliver a petition and over 1000 letters to the Pope, as well as to urge him to discuss the crucial need for immigration reform with the US president. The letters are all from children who, with their families, are threatened with deportation after some years in the USA as undocumented immigrants.

The group’s spokesman, 10-year-old Jersey Vargas, told reporters that his parents had come to the USA for a better life, adding that they’re not criminals. Jersey’s father is now in immigration detention and the family is terrified he will be deported, with his son promising he will tell the Pope how sad he is for his Dad.

Last Sunday after Mass, LA’s Archbishop Jose H Gomez gave the group his blessing and prayed that God would give them courage in standing up for the poor and their struggle for justice and dignity. The senior churchman asked his God to guide the country towards reform, allowing it to live up to its spiritual heritage of justice and freedom for all.

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