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In the News
Justice for Immigrants, Welcoming the Stranger, Joe Rubio, Arizona Interfaith, Organizing in Arizona
AZ Interfaith Meets with Sen. McCain, In Support of Immigration Reform
Monday, August 12, 2013
Taking full advantage of the August recess, Arizona Interfaith leaders met with Senator John McCain for frank conversation about the prospects for comprehensive immigration reform. Judicatory leaders and key Arizona clergy discussed with the Senator how to broaden Congressional support for reform that includes a path to citizenship.
community organizing in Arizona, Social Justice, Interfaith, CIR, Welcoming the Stranger, Justice for Immigrants
Migrant Reform Protests Urged
Arizona Daily Sun
Thursday, August 8, 2013
Roberto isn’t a legal Arizona resident, but he has a dream of becoming one.
He also has a 2-year-old daughter with a serious illness who needs his care.
Now, thanks to a traffic stop, an arrest and the start of deportation proceedings, he is on the verge of losing both....
Community Organizing in Texas, Texas IAF, Justice for Immigrants, Interfaith Ministries
COPS / Metro Challenges Rep. Lamar Smith, Stance Shifts on DREAMers
San Antonio Express-News
Monday, July 8, 2013
At a meeting at his district office last week, Rep. Lamar Smith said something that surprised members of Communities Organized for Public Service/Metro Alliance, a church-based advocacy group that supports comprehensive immigration reform.
According to a COPS/Metro member present at the June 24 meeting, the Republican congressman listed reform measures that he could support, including tightened border security, a guest worker program and the DREAM Act....
Community Organizing in Texas, Social Justice, justice for the immigrant
Central Texas Bishops Call for Immigration Reform
Austin American Statesman & Univision
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
In a prayer service and press conference organized by Austin Interfaith, Central Texas Bishops and clergy from six religious denominations “pressed Tuesday for reforms centered on keeping families together and allowing unauthorized immigrants to earn legal residency with a path to citizenship….
Immigration, Public Safety
Senate Sends Driver’s Licenses for Undocumented Immigrants Bill to Gov’s Desk
CT News Junkie
Thursday, May 30, 2013
A bill that would allow undocumented immigrants to apply for a driver’s license received final passage Wednesday night as a group of advocates watched from the Senate balcony. Congregations Organized for a New Connecticut, a nonpartisan interfaith group, pushed for the legislation in meetings with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle and encouraged them to move forward with it. The organization of about a 15,000 people was founded in 2011, but this was their first full-court press for legislation. It was an uphill battle. All four bills that would have permitted these drivers’ licenses died in the Transportation Committee, but the organization with the support of Rep. Juan Candelaria of New Haven was determined to find a vehicle for passage.
Interfaith Group Takes Leading Role In Political, Civic Issues
Monday, May 27, 2013
Congregations Organized for a New Connecticut has played advocate for social and economic justice since the nonpartisan interfaith group's founding in November 2011.
Most recently, CONECT successfully pushed for legislation to enable undocumented immigrants to acquire driver's licenses. The group argued the move would not only allow undocumented immigrants to feel secure driving their kids to and from school and themselves to and from work, but would benefit all motorists because immigrants would have to be tested on their driving skills and would be able to register their cars and buy insurance.
Social Justice, Immigration Reform, Medicaid Expansion, community organizing in Arizona
Yuma County Clergy Fight for Immigration Reform & Medicaid
Sunday, May 26, 2013
Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas joined nearly 100 members of churches of different denominations from the area who gathered … to organize a campaign in favor of not only a new immigration law but also efforts of Gov. Jan Brewer to expand the state’s health program for the poor: the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS).
Weighing IDs For Illegal Immigrants
Wall Street Journal
Monday, May 6, 2013
Connecticut Democrats are rallying around a plan that would allow people who are in the U.S. illegally to get driver's licenses, making the state one of several to consider the idea this year.... The plan's advocates say it would ensure these immigrants are given proper driving tests and allow them to get car insurance. The proposal could also provide additional state revenue from registration fees and car taxes. "This is a population that has been here for many years and must drive to conduct their lives, and bringing them into the system will benefit the general public," said the Rev. James Manship, co-chairman of Congregations Organized for a New Connecticut, a coalition of religious groups.
Connecticut General Assembly expected to let undocumented immigrants drive legally
New Haven Register
Monday, April 29, 2013
HARTFORD — The leadership of the General Assembly says the votes are there and they expect to pass a bill this session that would offer driver’s licenses to undocumented residents, citing reasons including training, insurance, revenue and safety.... CONECT, or Congregations for a New Connecticut, which represents some 28 different faith communities in the state, has lobbied hard for the changes since January, making arguments on the economic benefits of insuring all drivers and bringing new revenues to the state, but mainly on the safety aspect.
Community Organizing in Texas, Immigration, Social Justice
Houston Clergy Fight for Immigration Reform
Jewish Herald Voice
Thursday, April 25, 2013
Calling for humane immigration reform grounded in civil and human rights, some 40 Houston-area clergy came to the bimah at Congregation Beth Israel on April 23 to urge support for a bipartisan Senate immigration bill. In a press conference organized by The Metropolitan Organization, the religious leaders applauded the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 (S. 744)...
community organizing in Arizona, Arizona Interfaith Network, immigration organizing, Bishop Kikanes, Bishop Smith
Arizona Bishops & Clergy Strategize for Immigration Reform
Episcopal Diocese of Arizona
Friday, March 8, 2013
75 bishops and clergy from Lutheran, Jewish, Presbyterian, Catholic, Episcopal and Methodist faiths strategized on the future of immigration reform at an ecumenical gathering organized by the Arizona Interfaith Network.
Bishop Gerald Kicanas, of the Catholic Diocese of Tucson told the group that “today is a day to develop…strategies” and challenged clergy, asking “what can we do to mobilize our congregations?” Episcopal Bishop Kirk Smith asserted that “the current system is broken, cruel and an affront to God and man.” West / Southwest IAF
2,000 attend New Haven hearing on bill to give licenses to undocumented
The New Haven Register
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
NEW HAVEN — Carolina Bortolleto, an undocumented student from Danbury, came forward Monday to testify, not for herself, but on behalf of her parents, explaining what drivers’ licenses would for mean for them. “Sitting in the back seat I can see my mom shaking and praying if she sees the police behind us. ... ‘Pull over anywhere. Pretend we are stopping for coffee. Pretend we are stopping at this restaurant, because if the police stop us, we are going to be deported,” Bortolleto said of the daily fear they experience just driving to work or to school or the grocery store. “All these basic tasks that you take for granted, are filled with anxiety for me and my family,” said Bortolleto, who is a leader in CT Students for a DREAM. She was one of 2,000 people from around the state who came to Wilbur Cross High School where they filled the auditorium and spilled into the gymnasium and the cafeteria to testify on behalf of proposed legislation that would provide licenses to the undocumented
Let Immigrants Get Driver's Licenses
Monday, February 18, 2013
In a perfect world, everyone in this country would be here legally and be eligible for all of the privileges of citizenship. In the world we've got, however, there are some 12 million undocumented immigrants in the country, tens of thousands in Connecticut. The vast majority came here to work and gain a better life — the same reason people have been coming to these shores for nearly four centuries. As New York Times writer Adam Davidson recently observed, the immigrants mostly help the economy. But to do so, many need to drive.... Congregations Organized for a New Connecticut, a group of more than two dozen religious congregations from the southwestern part of the state, has researched the issue and believes that allowing an estimated 54,000 undocumented immigrants to get licenses would make driving safer and less expensive for everyone.
Working on behalf of the powerless
Monday, February 4, 2013
The angry letters practically write themselves. Illegal means illegal. Stop rewarding law-breakers. And on and on. Few issues lend themselves to demagoguery as easily as immigration. So the idea of allowing people referred to as illegal immigrants to obtain driver's licenses from the state of Connecticut will be a nonstarter to many people.
Churches and lawmakers pushing to allow undocumented immigrants to get driver's licenses
New Haven Register
Friday, January 4, 2013
NEW HAVEN — A coalition of churches and lawmakers will push this General Assembly session to allow undocumented immigrants to get driver's licenses as a safety issue that protects all residents. The effort is being led by CONECT, or Congregations Organized for a New Connecticut, which said some 200 community leaders are expected to attend a rally at 2 p.m. Sunday at St. Rose of Lima Church, 115 Blatchley Ave., to kick off the effort.