Immigration reform in Riverside, California is an issue that touches close to home for many. Since US citizenship is so fundamental to living in America, it could be said that immigration reform across the country is an issue of social justice. Many individuals and organizations like the Catholic Church are fighting for undocumented immigrants to have a path toward citizenship.
Legislators of the San Bernardino and Riverside counties were invited to a Catholic Mass in Yucaipa, focused on promoting immigration reform. The mass is being held to encourage lawmakers to support legislation that was passed in the U.S. Senate. The application process is considered by some to be flawed. While it is unknown how many Church members support this movement or how many believe the system to be dysfunctional, it is clear that one overarching goal is to reform immigration laws.
One bishop has stated that reform is “an urgent priority” because the current immigration system is responsible for separating families. However, the Church’s actions have attracted criticism from some, who believe that it is inappropriate for the religion to get involved while others have defended the Church, saying they are within their legal rights. At least one lawmaker sent a representative to the Mass but it is unknown if any other politicians attended.
This show of public support on the part of the Catholic Church could be a good way to start bringing awareness to the immigration issues on both a state and national level. Many people without documentation could face separation from their families if the legislation is stalled or tossed out. It may be beneficial in the meantime for any person facing immigration related issues to consult the experience of an attorney.
Source: The Press Enterprise, “IMMIGRATION: Catholic Mass focuses on push for reform”, David Olsen, Aug 30, 2013