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5/30/2014 11:48:00 AM
Time for immigration reform
Catholic News Service photo
Immigration reform advocates hold signs during a May 21 meeting on the issue at the Shrine of Our Lady of Charity in Miami.
Catholic News Service photo
Immigration reform advocates hold signs during a May 21 meeting on the issue at the Shrine of Our Lady of Charity in Miami.

To the Catholic Sentinel:

Now is the time for immigration reform. Encourage your Congress persons to enact laws that provide legal paths for immigrants to work in the United States and fill in labor force gaps.  Pass laws that provide a path to citizenship for undocumented persons and preserves family unity. Restore due process to our immigration policies.

For the past two years I have been visiting detained immigrants who are jailed waiting for their court cases.  The majority of these men and women are hard-working, contribute to the work force and are strong family members. Most have not committed any crime and are jailed because they did not have appropriate documentation. They have come to this country for a better life for their families and some have fled from a dangerous country. If sent back to their country, they could be killed.

Many have been in the U.S. for 20 years and when detained have lost their jobs and their families.  Some will be deported to a country where they have no job and no family. In 2013, more than 400,000 people were deported from the U.S.

Providing legal status for undocumented immigrants and reforming the visa system increases increases tax revenue, investments, and jobs.

Maria Zeimen, Chicago







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