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WASHINGTON—Migration and Refugee Services (MRS) of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC) will host a national conference entitled, “Immigration: A 50-State Issue, A Focus on State and Local Immigration Initiatives.” The conference will be held January 11-13, 2012 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Over 200 Catholic diocesan staff, legal service providers, immigrant advocates and others have registered for the conference.
The purpose of the conference is to examine enforcement-only state approaches, such as those attempted in Arizona and Alabama. Conference participants will discuss actions that communities can take on the local level. The conference further will evaluate federal-state enforcement partnerships, such as the Secure Communities program, and their impact on local immigrant communities.
“Since Congress has failed to fix our broken immigration system, the front lines of the immigration debate have shifted to the states and local communities,” said Kevin Appleby, director of Migration Policy and Public Affairs at the USCCB. “While the solution lies at the federal level, the conference should provide participants the knowledge and skills to engage the issue locally.”
Bishop John C. Wester, of Salt Lake City, Utah, former chairman of the USCCB Committee on Migration, will speak to the conference about Catholic teaching on immigration and how it applies to state and local immigration issues. Government officials from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Department of Justice also will speak at the conference.
“Catholic diocesan staff, religious orders, and parishioners, including over 200 of CLINIC’s affiliates, are at the forefront of fighting these initiatives,” said Allison Posner, director of Advocacy for CLINIC. “The conference will provide them with the support and tools they need to engage decision makers about humane, comprehensive solutions both nationally and locally.”
To schedule an interview or to request media credentials for the event please contact Mar Muñoz-Visoso at Email or 202-541-3202.
Keywords: immigration, conference, federal inaction, states, enforcement-only, Arizona, Alabama, Utah, Salt Lake City, Secure Communities, advocacy, comprehensive immigration reform, Homeland Security, U.S. Department of Justice, Migration and Refugee Services, MRS, Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc.; CLINIC, Bishop John C. Wester, Kevin Appleby, Allison Posner, Catholic Social Teaching, U.S. Catholic bishops, USCCB
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