Immigrants and immigrant activists in Riverside have likely noticed an increase in support from the Catholic Church on a whole. The Church has been especially vocal lately on matters concerning U.S. immigration law and the changes that many believe are necessary.
This was seen recently in a Mass honoring fallen immigrants. The trek from Mexico to the United States is a very dangerous one. Many people don’t realize that a number of immigrants die in illegal crossings, especially in the desert areas that speckle Arizona, Texas and other border states. This is just another reason why deportation is scrutinized by immigration activists, since it sends people who risked their lives to get here back to a place where their lives are in danger.
Even though deportation has reportedly dropped 40% since 2009, there is still a lot of work to be done. Along those lines, the Catholic Church is one body that is standing up to the stalling of immigration reform. They have shown their solidarity with immigrants on multiple occasions recently, including a recent tour across the border where they are holding a Mass with people on the other side of the border. This is not only to show solidarity but also to honor those immigrants who died trying to make it to America.
Some people in the church claim that politicians are “holding [immigration reform] hostage”. While that wording is debatable, it is certainly at a stand-still right now. This means that anyone seeking citizenship may wish to contact an attorney who can help them navigate the legal waters and the issues that might arise because of stalled reform.
Source: Los Angeles Times, “Catholic leaders hold Mass at border to urge immigration overhaul,” Cindy Carcamo, Apr. 1, 2014