Letters to the Editor for National Migration Week

One way to stand with our neighbors who are coming to the United States for a better life is to send letters to the editors of our local newspapers. The USCCB’s Justice for Immigrants page has these tips for successful letter writing. 

National Migration Week Talking Points

• Catholics are called to stand with immigrants and refugees as our brothers and sisters. This is who the Catholic Church is. This is what we as Catholics do.
• Pope Francis invites us to be part of a culture of encounter as we welcome, protect, integrate, and promote
immigrants and refugees in our midst.
• Immigration is about real people who are trying to find a better life and a new beginning. It’s about more than
statistics, it’s about families. As Pope Francis stated, “Each migrant has a name, a face and a story.”
• Welcoming immigrants is part of Catholic Social Teaching and reflects the Biblical tradition to welcome the stranger.
• The Catholic Church has been welcoming immigrants and refugees to the United States since the nation’s founding and has been integral to helping them integrate into American culture.
• In addition to welcoming and caring for those in need, the Church continues to uphold the centrality of family
reunification as a critical component of our immigration and refugee systems.
• Forced displacement of people is at the highest level since World War II, with more than 65 million people displaced around the world and over 22 million refugees.
• Refugees are the most rigorously screened population coming into America. This screening happens before they ever set foot in our country. The United States has the most thorough background checks of immigrants of any nation in the world.

Letters to the Editor Tips

Writing a letter to the editor (LTE) is the perfect way to add another perspective, offer a rebuttal, or express your appreciation for an already-published article or commentary piece. Please let us know if your letter to the editor is published!

We’ll deliver it to elected officials and promote it on our social media. Completing this final step in the letter
to the editor process helps ensure that your letter’s impact is even greater. Email us at migrationweek@usccb.org with a link to your published LTE.

Letter to the Editor Writing Tips
• Keep it short (150-250 words) – If you don’t edit your LTE, the news outlet might edit it for you. Since they could cut out your main point, it’s best to write something both punchy and brief.
• Speak in your own voice. Tell why the article matters to you. Talk about your faith, professional experience or
knowledge of climate change. Be personal and authentic.
• Get local. Editors are generally more interested in letters that highlight local impacts. Can you relate the issues raised in a national piece on migration and immigration to issues impacting your own community?
• Get personal. Migrants are people on the move, but they are first and foremost human beings with families.
Show that human side. Personalize your perspective with a story about people you know affected by migration – a family member or someone you know from your church.
• Follow these best practices:

1) Reference a recent article (if possible). Your letter is most likely to be published if it responds directly to the
newspaper’s recent coverage of a specific migration issue. Mention the article you’re responding to by its
headline and date.
2) Send your LTE in the body of your email, not as an attachment.
3) Include contact information: Include your full name, contact information, location, and profession or
expertise (if relevant) in the email as well. (The paper will not print your contact information.)

• Be timely – Try to get your LTE in within one to three days the relevant article is published.

Get Engaged!

National Migration Week
Sample Letters to The Editor

ENGLISH
Dear Editor:
Your recent article, [name of article], discussing the issue of immigration/refugees was alarming [or reaffirming
(depends on tone of article)]. [name of State or community] has a proud history of welcoming newcomers, including immigrants, refugees, and newly naturalized citizens.
It is imperative that our local communities continue to provide a warm and welcoming presence to newcomers, so that they can feel a part of the community and contribute to its ongoing well-being and prosperity. In fact, more than 40% of America’s largest companies were founded either by immigrants or the children of immigrants. Newcomers, such as immigrants and refugees are indeed a part of our future community well-being.

OR
(in an article that has a religious angle or mentions a bishop, Church leader, or the Catholic Church)
Dear Editor,
Your recent article, [name of article], discussing the issue of immigration/refugees was alarming [or reaffirming
(depends on tone of article)]. As a Catholic, I have long held pro-immigration/pro-refugee beliefs and support for migrant communities as a central feature of my life of faith. We affirm that all people – immigrants and native-born alike – are made in the image and likeness of God whose human dignity is deserving of respect. The Church celebrates National Migration Week this week, which is a week-long opportunity to raise awareness on Catholic teachings related to migration. It is encouraging to see religious leaders stand in solidarity of migrants and encourage positive reforms that will help to fix our broken immigration system during this special time for the Church.
____________________________________________________________________________________________________
SPANISH
Estimado Editor:
En su reciente artículo [nombre del artículo], donde discute el asunto de la inmigración/los refugiados ha sido
alarmante [o reafirmante (dependiendo del tono del artículo)]. [Nombre del Estado o de la comunidad] conserva una orgullosa historia de acoger a los recién llegados, incluyendo a los inmigrantes, los refugiados y a los nuevos ciudadanos naturalizados.
Es imperativo que nuestras comunidades locales continúen ofreciendo una presencia cálida y acogedora a los recién llegados para que ellos sientan que son parte de la comunidad y contribuyan a su continuo florecimiento. De hecho, más del 40% de las grandes compañías en los Estados Unidos fueron establecidas por inmigrantes o por hijos de inmigrantes. Los recién llegados, los inmigrantes y los refugiados, forman realmente parte de la futura prosperidad de nuestras comunidades.

OR

(en un artículo que tenga un ángulo religioso o que mencione a un obispo, líder de la Iglesia o a la Iglesia Católica)
Estimado Editor
Su reciente artículo, [nombre del artículo], donde discutía el asunto de la inmigración ha sido alarmante [o reafirmante (dependiendo del tono del artículo)]. Como católico, por mucho tiempo he mantenido a la inmigración y al apoyo por las comunidades inmigrantes como una característica central de mi fe. Nosotros afirmamos que todos los individuos— inmigrantes y nativos por igual—han sido hechos a imagen y semejanza de Dios y se merecen nuestro respeto y apoyo.
Mientras que esta semana la Iglesia celebra la Semana Nacional de la Migración, lo cual brinda una oportunidad para concientizar sobre sus enseñanzas relacionadas a la migración, es muy alentador ver a los líderes religiosos en solidaridad con los migrantes y apoyando unas reformas positivas que servirán para arreglar nuestro quebrado sistema migratorio.

Posted in Peace & Justice Weekly Updates

Peace and Justice Updates 9.15.2021

EDUCATION
YOUTH AND CLIMATE CHANGE

EARTHDAY‍.ORG invites you to join the next installment of our Earth Day Live series: Teaching the Teachers on Thursday, September 16th from 3:30-4:15 pm ET. Please join us for a critical discussion on how global youth are leading the way in climate education by teaching educators. Join us for the live event.

Panelists include:

  • Aishwarya Puttur, Project Coordinator at Teach the Teacher
  • Josh Tregale, Campaign Coordinator for MockCOP 26 and International Campaign Coordinator at Teach the Future

This panel will be moderated by Nick Nuttall, EARTHDAY‍.ORG’s International Strategic Communications Director.

CLIMATE WEEK NYC
Climate Week NYC is taking place September 20-26. The event will focus on fulfilling and increasing commitments made by businesses, governments, and organizations.

Interfaith Power and Light will showcase two zero carbon congregations during this virtual event. Click here to RSVP for virtual tours of two inspiring congregations, on Sept 22, noon Eastern time.

 

Posted in Peace & Justice Weekly Updates

Peace and Justice Updates 9.8.2021

SPEAK UP FOR JUSTICE
Ban Arm Braces for Guns
In June, the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) proposed a new rule that would specify the definition of “rifle” to include certain pistols equipped with arm braces that can be fired from a shoulder.  Much like with bump stocks, the gun industry has exploited a loophole to intentionally evade the law in order to make and market particularly dangerous short-barreled rifles. Some arm braces allow a user to turn a pistol into a short-barreled rifle — one of the most highly regulated weapons in the country due to its combination of lethality and concealability. This is the type of weapon used in the deadly Dayton shooting that took place in 2019.

Now, the ATF is asking for the public to weigh in on a proposed rule that will help close this dangerous loophole. Click here to give your thoughts. 

Support the Clean Cars Rule
Transportation is the #1 source of carbon pollution in the United States. That means the most important climate change policy we have on the books is vehicle fuel efficiency, or the Clean Cars Rule.
We have a chance to weigh in on the strength of the new clean car rule right now. This is a critical time for people of faith and conscience to make their voices heard in support of the cleanest car standards possible.
Click here to send a comment to the EPA in support of the Clean Cars rule.

Support Workers
As corporations have seized the pandemic as an opportunity to make more money, working families have continued to suffer. With 16-hour days a regular occurrence, workers at Nabisco are all too familiar with this dynamic. After cutting pensions back in 2018 and closing 2 U.S. facilities earlier this year, Nabisco-parent Mondelez has begun contract negotiations this summer with a proposal that includes lower-quality healthcare plans and alternate work schedules of 12-hour days. This offer is insulting to workers, who over 2020 helped Nabisco increase revenue by $26.8 billion.
Our food production laborers have carried us through a global pandemic. Tell Nabisco and Mondelez International that you side with the union, and keep Nabisco facilities in the U.S.
Sign the petition to Nabisco: No contracts, no snacks.

EVENTS
Celebrating the Season of Creation
The Laudato Si Movement have produced videos, stories, news releases, social media kits, and other tools to help to bring to life the Season of Creation. You can celebrate by using the valuable and helpful material included on this drive. Click here to review. 

Racial Justice and Religion
September 22, 2021, 4:00-5:30PM CDT
The Joan and Bill Hank Center for the Catholic Intellectual Heritage presents Catholicism in Dialogue: Conversations on Racial Justice. This ecumenical and interfaith conversation will explore racial justice in Judaism, Islam, Catholicism, and Baha’i. Speakers include Pastor Chris Harris, Bright Star Church Chicago, Omer M. Mozaffa, Loyola University Chicago, Steve Sarowitz, Bahá’í Community, and Rabbi Michal Woll, Congregation Shir Hadash.
Click here to register. 

LEARNING
The National Catholic Reporter’s Earth Beat column features reporting from Marianne Comfort, a justice coordinator with the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas. Click here to read her article on protesting Line 3 in Northern Minnesota. 

Posted in Peace & Justice Weekly Updates

Peace and Justice Weekly Updates 9/1/2021

Help Asylum Seekers
NETWORK needs your help to sign a letter to President Biden about ending Title 42, which was used by the Trump administration to keep asylum seekers out of the U.S. We expected that President Biden would rescind this cruel action, but , the Department of Homeland Security continues to use it to keep asylum seekers out of the U.S. So, in observance and celebration of the Vatican’s World Day of Migrants and Refugees on September 26, we will be delivering this letter to the President and his administration.

CLINIC and NETWORK have co-authored this sign-on letter for Catholic organizations and institutions at the national, state, and local level. Please click here to sign on to the letter.

We are inviting parishes, dioceses, immigration legal clinics and outreach centers, and colleges and high schools to sign on, so please invite any of your congregation’s ministries to sign on as well. Our goal is to get 500 Catholic organizational and institutional signatures.

Signatures are due September 20. We will then deliver and lift up the letter in the media during the days leading up to September 26. Please include your social media information if you would be willing to be tagged in social media posts about this letter.

“In alignment with our Jesuit values, Loyola University Chicago condemns all acts of racism and racial injustice.  We stand in solidarity to achieve justice and commit ourselves to be actively anti-racist, meaning that we will not be silent when we recognize racism, will work to regularly reflect on the ways racism shows up in society, and identify ways we can improve based on our reflections.”

White Coats for Black Lives
White Coats for Black Lives is a nonprofit social justice student organization based in the United States that aims to dismantle racism in medicine and fight for the health of Black people and other people of color. Click here to read a statement that they have shared from Loyola’s Anti-Racism Initiative.

The call to action is broken up into several sections:

  • Personal (e.g. Acknowledge that white supremacy is real and enacts itself through institutional racism.  Notice the ways that institutional racism is present in your environment.)
  • Interpersonal (e.g. Respect that every person has their own understanding of their identity, lived experiences and preferences.)
  • Institutional (e.g. Learn more and voice your opinions publicly about race equity, especially as it pertains to Loyola.)
  • Structural (e.g. Measure the ways that you have impact on improvements in personal, interpersonal, institutional, and structural levels racial equity.)

Join people of faith around the world as we kick-off the 2021 Season of Creation
This year thousands of Christians from the six continents are invited to unite for a time of restoration and hope, a jubilee for our Earth, and discovered radically new ways of living with creation. More than ever we are called to make a discernment process and take actions to deal with the socio-economic, environmental and ethical crisis. We can be protagonist.

See online the starting moment of the Season of Creation

Posted in Peace & Justice Weekly Updates

Peace and Justice Updates 8.25.2021

Voters’ Rights are Human Rights
Congress is currently considering two important voting rights bills: The For the People Act and John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. There are several in-person events planning to support these bills, but for Sisters who cannot attend, the School Sisters of Notre Dame have created a Virtual March to Promote Racial Justice and Voting Rights on Aug. 28th. A 4-minute video explains the importance of protecting voting rights and invites participants to join the sisters in several at-home actions, including spending 10 minutes in their prayer room.

Speak Out for Gun Safety
In June, the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) proposed a new rule that would specify the definition of “rifle” to include certain pistols equipped with arm braces that can be fired from a shoulder.  Much like with bump stocks, the gun industry has exploited a loophole to intentionally evade the law in order to make and market particularly dangerous short-barreled rifles. Some arm braces allow a user to turn a pistol into a short-barreled rifle — one of the most highly regulated weapons in the country due to its combination of lethality and concealability.

You can comment on a proposed rule that will help close this dangerous loophole. Click here to read more from Everytown for Gun Safety.

Save the Bees!
Threats to pollinators come from every corner. Pesticides infect bees and their hives, weakening the entire ecosystem. The extreme weather of climate change disrupts timing of plant flowering and the pollinator migration patterns. Agribusiness is destroying vital pollinator habitats.

On Sunday, the U.S. recognized National Honey Bee Day, but we need to take urgent action and fight for pollinators every day. Our apian friends are in danger and their possible extinction threatens our way of life.

Click here to tell Congress to Support the Saving America’s Pollinators Act.

Posted in Peace & Justice Weekly Updates