The Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet are heartbroken by the recent events in Afghanistan.
Like people around the world, we are watching the unfolding events there with great sadness. We are also challenged by Pope Francis in his address to the 6th International Forum on Migration and Peace: “We have a duty toward our brothers and sisters who, for various reasons, have been forced to leave their homeland: a duty of justice, of civility and of solidarity.”
The United States has a clear duty of justice to those who risked their lives over the last 20 years as translators, interpreters and in other roles to assist the U.S. military in their efforts. We made promises to those workers that we must now honor. We urge our government to find ways to protect these vulnerable Afghans.
We also have a duty of solidarity with the women of Afghanistan, who in recent years have achieved some of the rights for education and professional development that should be afforded to all people. We urge our government and the international community to do all in its power to protect these rights for all Afghans.
Our charism calls us to love God and love the Dear Neighbor without distinction. We will not distinguish people by religion, color, gender or creed when they cry out for mercy. Let us all respond to our Dear Neighbors with love in this challenging time.
As a congregation, we have made a commitment to “deepen awareness of our complicity and work toward dismantling interlocking systems of oppression.” One such system of oppression is the existing immigration system in the United States. Our dear neighbors who are seeking asylum and better opportunities in the United States face a byzantine process that results in many living in constant fear of deportation and unable to access social safety net programs.
DREAMers are undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children (the term comes from the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors or DREAM Act, which never passed Congress). The United States is frequently the only home they have known. DREAMers are critical members of our community. They serve in our military. They are teachers and students. They are health care providers and front-line workers. They are our neighbors. Together with their families, they make our nation a better place.
More than 650,000 DREAMers have already benefitted from the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) policy, a program created by executive order that has allowed them to apply for driver’s licenses, social security numbers and work permits. Tens of thousands of DREAMers have pending applications for DACA, but that program remains in jeopardy as it is being fought in the courts.
Please take a moment to use our tool below and tell your elected members of Congress that these young people are essential members of our communities. They deserve a permanent solution and a road to citizenship now.
As Sisters of St. Joseph, love of God and our dear neighbors guides all our actions. Our love for our immigrant neighbors compels us to work for better systems to protect them. In particular, we support the measures in President Biden’s Build Back Better plan that would create a pathway to citizenship for some immigrant workers, and we encourage everyone to contact their elected officials to ensure they are passed.
The Build Back Better legislative package, which will most likely be considered through the reconciliation process requiring 51 votes rather than 60 votes in the Senate, has $1.2 billion in funding to establish and implement a pathway to citizenship for essential immigrant workers; farmworkers; people with DACA, TPS and DED; and their families. During August and September, while this legislation is being considered, we must watch closely and advocate strongly that this pathway to citizenship and the necessary $1.2 billion in funding not be stripped out of the bill.
Six million immigrant workers in our communities are at the frontlines, keeping us all healthy and fed during the COVID-19 pandemic. While they make up only 17% of about 156 million working people, immigrants are disproportionately represented in COVID-19 front-line occupations and essential industries, including being childcare workers, healthcare workers, custodial staff, school employees and farmworkers, to name a few examples. Immigrants, including 131,000 people with TPS and 200,000 people with DACA, are serving on the frontlines.
We are asking our congressional representatives to secure a pathway to citizenship for essential immigrant workers, farmworkers, people with DACA, TPS, and DED, and their families immediately as part of any recovery package being passed in reconciliation. Use the tool below to take action with us.
Join us for this month of education, engagement, action and prayer as we examine the crisis that plastics are creating for our environment. Every day in July, we invite you to join us in an action–either a short educational piece or an activity to complete. You won’t need more than five minutes for each, and we hope it will inspire deeper ecological awareness and conversion.
You can find the calendar of actions on our Plastic Free July webpage.
We will be posting about the daily calls to action on our social media accounts and using the hashtag #PlasticFreeJuly. Some of our daily posts will feature videos of sisters and associates who have made changes in their plastic consumption. If you use Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter, you can help this online campaign reach more people by liking, commenting and sharing our posts.
HR 1512, The Climate Leadership and Environmental Action for our Nation’s (CLEAN) Future Act, introduced by Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.), aims to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 in concert with the target identified by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to limit temperature increases to 1.5°C. These goals aim to avoid the most catastrophic consequences of climate change. The Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet encourage you to contact your Representatives and ask them to support this act.
The CLEAN Future Act includes measures such as:
Promoting the modernization of recycling and waste management and aims to reduce waste generation.