Online retreat will mark 30 years of Jesuit Refugee Service

Online Retreat

This November 14th we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the founding of the Jesuit Refugee Service. We recall fondly Father Pedro Arrupe’s sound advice to “pray, pray much” as he encouraged the struggling first generation of JRS team members in Southeast Asia to bring the overwhelming challenges of their new apostolic work to the Lord in prayer.

Three decades later, we once again invite our JRS family — current and former staff members, Jesuits, friends and colleagues—to reflect prayerfully on the ways in which we discover the presence of God in our ministry with refugees and displaced persons.

In honor of our 30th anniversary, Jesuit Refugee Service/USA is introducing a free 30-day online retreat that links Ignatian Spirituality to the plight of refugees and vulnerable migrants.  It’s an easy way for people to fuse spirituality and social justice into your day .

The retreat will go live on November 1, and will be prominently linked on our home page.

The retreat links the Spiritual Exercises to the plight of refugees and vulnerable migrants and provides an easy way for people to fuse spirituality and social justice into their days.

Visit our new website

(Washington, D.C.) Oct. 1, 2010 – After nearly 12 months of planning and work, Jesuit Refugee Service/USA is happy to announce the launch of our new website. In November 2009, JRS communications leaders from the International office, the U.S. office and the Eastern Africa office began collaborating with Omaha-based Adventure Studios to design and build the website.

This new website is designed to present information in a clear way with easy navigation, while highlighting the accompaniment, service and advocacy JRS undertakes worldwide with and on behalf of refugees and forcibly displaced people.

Torn Apart: Immigrant Family Struggles to Stay Together

As the immigration debate rages, millions of American children are left with the real possibility that their undocumented parents will be detected and deported. For the past year, photojournalist Dai Sugano of the San Jose Mercury News and reporter Ken McLaughlin followed a California family on their emotional journey through the U.S. immigration system. Both parents came here as illegal immigrants, but all six of their children are American citizens.

Read more and watch the video here: http://www.mercurynews.com/torn-apart

Torn Apart

New York Times editorial: Secure Communities program not working

The New York Times says

Secure Communities, an immigration enforcement program created under President George W. Bush and now being greatly expanded by President Obama, is billed as an effort to catch and deport “the worst of the worst,” the violent criminals, drug and gun smugglers, gang members and other dangerous aliens. That would be excellent, if true. It doesn’t seem to be.

Read it all here.

Judge strikes down parts of Arizona’s SB 1070

(Washington, D.C.) July 28, 2010 – Judge Susan Bolton of the U.S. District Court for Arizona today issued an injunction preventing the most egregious sections of Arizona’s anti-immigrant law – SB 1070 – from going into effect tomorrow. The order covers the sections criminalizing immigrants for failing to carry documents with them at all times and requiring police to ask anyone for papers proving citizenship or legal status during traffic stops or housing inspections if they had a “reasonable suspicion” the person was undocumented.

“At the Kino Border Initiative’s Center for Deported Migrants in Nogales, Sonora, we are seeing increasing numbers of repatriated migrants each day. Hundreds of people come to us with blistered feet and with broken spirits,” said Fr. Sean Carroll, S.J., of the Kino Border Initiative.

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Napolitano: Border more secure than ever

Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano writes in an op-ed in The Arizona Republic that

Illegal crossings along the southwestern border last year were down 23 percent from the year before and are a fraction of their all-time high. Last year, seizures of contraband rose significantly across the board: Homeland Security seized 14 percent more illegal bulk cash, 29 percent more illegal weapons and 15 percent more illegal drugs than the year before. And, by all measurable standards, crime levels in U.S. border towns have actually remained flat or dropped for most of the past decade.

We’re seeing these results because the U.S. government has devoted more resources – in terms of manpower, technology, infrastructure – to the southwestern border over the past 16 months than at any point in America’s history.

Read the full article.

Obama urges GOP work across party lines for immigration reform

May 25, 2010 White House Statement after President Obama’s meeting with the Senate Republican Conference:

The President had a good exchange with the Senate Republican Conference today about priorities for the balance of the year.
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