“I was an immigrant and you welcomed me” was the billboard’s message adapted from Matthew 25:35 and posted in Des Moines, the Quad Cities, Dubuque, Cedar Rapids, Sioux City, and Clinton in 2011. Billboards were sponsored by the Sisters United News, a group of communicators representing 12 Catholic Sisters’ congregations in the Upper Mississippi River Valley.
This message is STILL relevant today. This nation has a long history of welcoming immigrants and sheltering refugees. Persons and families who migrate in search of protection or for a better life should be protected from harm and should be welcomed.
There is a need for compassionate and bipartisan comprehensive immigration policy reform, which includes a realistic path to earned legalization for people in the United States without status. Work is needed for the restoration of refugee settlements, relief for families, an end to needless deportations, and the closure of family detention centers.
There are approximately 2 million undocumented children who were born outside the U.S. and raised in this country. These are young people educated in American schools, hold American values, and know only the U.S. as home. Currently, there is no path to citizenship for these young people.
See www.clintonfranciscans.com for information.
— Nancy Miller, OSF Community Outreach Director Franciscan Peace Center