2010 JSRI Advocacy Efforts

January 13, 2010: JSRI Staff Met with LCC Director
JSRI staff met with the Director and Associate Director of the Louisiana Catholic Conference to see about ways of expanding collaboration.  From that meeting staff are working on briefing papers on migration in anticipation of proposed anti-immigrant legislation (Anna Chavez), a briefing paper on payday loans (Alex Mikulich), and a multi-year strategy to address the death penalty (Mary Baudouin and Alex Mikulich). 

February 9, 2010: JSRI Executive Director Met with LA Senators in DC
Fr. Fred Kammer, SJ, together with a small delegation of Louisiana residents representing Catholic Charities and the St. Vincent dePaul Society, braved the record DC snowstorm to meet with staff of US Senators Mary Landrieu and David Vitter and Congressman Joseph Ahn Cao to urge passage of comprehensive health care reform, systemic immigration reform, and various international initiatives including assistance and debt relief for post-earthquake Haiti.

March 15-16, 2010: JSRI Fellow Helps Organize Workshops of Welcoming Immigrants in the Church 
Anna Chavez helped the Justice for Immigrants committee of the Archdiocese of New Orleans to plan and present six workshops designed for clergy and laity of the Archdiocese on the scriptural and theological foundations of the Church's welcome for immigrants and practical strategies for promoting the campaign for comprehensive immigration reform.  Fred Kammer, SJ was the presenter for two of the workshops.  On the following day, Anna met in Grand Coteau, LA, with delegates from Louisiana dioceses working on the campaign.

April 6, 2010: Fr. Fred Kammer, SJ, signed on to a letter to Speaker Pelosi and Chairman Miller in support to the Local Jobs for America Act (HR 4812) to create a million public and private sector jobs in local communities.  See articles on unemployment in April JustSouth E-newsletter under "Publications" »

April 15, May 13, May 27, 2010: JSRI Executive Director Prepares Testimony for LA Judiciary Committee
As part of a collaborative effort with the Louisiana Catholic Conference, the Hispanic Apostolate of the Archdiocese of New Orleans, Puentes, and the Stone Center on Latin America at Tulane University, Fr. Fred Kammer, SJ, prepared testimony on House Bill 1205 in the Judiciary Committee of the Louisiana House of Representatives.  On April 15, May 13, and May 27, 2010 he attended meetings of the committee in Baton Rouge requesting to testify on the bill and its later substitute.  Each time the bill was deferred, the third time after a negative vote of the committee on an amendment.  A summary of points of his testimony had been distributed to members of the committee prior to the final deferral, after which the bill could no longer be considered and was "dead" for the session.

October 9, 2010: JSRI Fellow Speaks out Against LA Senator Comments about Immigrants 
Dr. Susan Weishar is quoted in The Times Picayune of New Orleans in an article entitled, "Hispanic groups lambast Vitter for 'racist' TV spot."  In her words, "It is poisonous to the political discourse that Sen Vitter continues to scapegoat people who came to Louisiana to help us rebuild our homes and businesses after Katrina." This followed an earlier letter of Dr. Weishar published in the September 26th Picayune entitled, "Demonizing students won't fix immigration" on the defeat of the DREAM Act in Congress, led by Senator Vitter.

October 29, 2010: JSRI Signs Letters to Advocate for Immigrants with Mental Disabilities
JSRI signed on to two advocates' letters to officials of ICE, Homeland Security, and others regarding the difficulties facing people with mental disabilities in immigration proceedings and detention.