JSRI advocacy includes a focus on issues at the national level which impact Gulf South residents who have low and moderate incomes, people of color, and people on the move in the region. Federal budget decisions are critically important to those concerns and to trying to provide a basic level of income supports and services to those Gulf South families in need. See, for example:
Who will pay for the debt deal? Debt deal heaps heavier burden on the most vulnerable Americans by Alex Mikulich, Ph.D. [JustSouth E-Newsletter, August 2011]
A budget moral framework
What is more important than debt, deficit, and tax reduction?
by Fr. Fred Kammer, SJ [JustSouth E-Newsletter, April 2011]
Economics or morality?
When a budget is not an economics exercise
by Fr. Fred Kammer, SJ [JustSouth E-Newsletter, February 2011] See article here.
Administrative advocacy at the national level addresses the ways in which government does or does not do its job and the protection of the rights of those with low incomes, people of color, and migrating peoples. See, for example:
H-2B Non-Agricultural Workers
On May 11, 2011, JSRI submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Labor in favor of proposed reforms affecting the employment of H-2B non-agricultural workers in the U.S. H-2B workers have long been subject to exploitation by unscrupulous employers in the Gulf South. This abuse became rampant in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Click here to see JSRI’s comments.
Prison Rape Elimination Act
On March 18, 2011, JSRI sent a letter to the Department of Justice urging the inclusion of immigration detention facilities in the anti-rape regulations proposed under the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 (PREA). The proposed regulations excude detention facilities where there have been noted cases of rape of detainees. Read letter »
After a December 21, 2010 visit with Loyola law students and attorneys to Haitian immigrants held for deportation in the Tensas Parish Detention Center, Dr. Sue Weishar consulted widely with advocates and Church officials in Washington, Miami, and Louisiana on the threat of deportation and what actions might be taken. Besides signing on to advocacy letters, JSRI released a press release, dated January 19, 2011, calling for action to prevent the return of Haitians to the island. ICE began deportations on January 20, 2011. See background report, above. JRS sent its own letters to President Obama and Secretary Napolitano on January 21st.
On May 12, 2011, Mary Baudouin, and Dr. Sue Weishar attended the annual meeting of the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) in Nashville to speak to the board, staff and shareholders of the need for CCA to adopt a verifiable human rights policy and adopt stricter accountability and reporting measures. CCA is the largest private prison company in the United States. In FY 2010 CCA facilities under contract with ICE held 21.2% of immigrants detained in the U.S. The New Orleans Province is working with a cadre of faith-based investors who filed a shareholder resolution with CCA in November 2010 this resolution was withdrawn when CCA agreed to hold at least three dialogues in the coming year regarding risk assessments and transparent reporting about human rights abuses at CCA facilities. On May 12 Mary and Sue also discussed the terms of the upcoming meetings with CCA officials.
2010 and earlier advocacy activities can be seen on the Past Activities page.