After leaders of OTOC's Immigration Action Team challenged Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer to ensure that immigrants stopped by OPD officers receive fair treatment, OPD issued an official bulletin to all officers informing them that the matricula consular could be accepted as valid identification. (The matricula consular is an identification card issued by consulates verifying the place of residence for foreign nationals.) Photo shows leaders in early encounter with Chief Schmaderer.
OTOC leaders also met with the head of Douglas County Corrections and the regional director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) about ways to reduce the number of immigrants with small children being detained in Douglas County jails while they await deportation hearings. ICE has now implemented a new release program which allows up to 100 persons who would otherwise be detained to return home to their families while they await their hearings.
"About 300 people attended the Interfaith Prayer Service for Immigration hosted by Voices Organized in Civic Engagement...Clergy leaders shared Scripture readings, prayers, poetry and other writings that described the church's responsibility to aid immigrants who seek a better life in America...The Rev. Tim Luschen, pastor of St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church, read an excerpt from a United States Conference of Catholic Bishops document titled "Strangers No Longer, Together on the Journey of Hope.""
In photo, Rev. Raul Reyes exhorts participants at the service.
[Photo Credit: Sarah Phipps, Oklahoman]
As energizing as the West side gathering was, what made it truly remarkable was that it emerged from hundreds of similar stories shared during "house meetings," or small group conversations, organized by Sacred Heart and COPS/Metro during Lent. Parishioners met in the church hall after Masses, knocked on doors around the neighborhood for six straight Saturdays, and hosted neighbors in their homes to understand the pressures on the families and to find people willing to act. Weeks of training, conversations, deliberation and preparation came before the meeting with Chief McManus...."Read more
The event was organized by El Paso Interreligious Sponsoring Organization, a non-partisan group..."Read more
After mass, Sacred Heart Parish sponsored an assembly on immigration to highlight the impact of anti-immigrant laws on families that create fear, vulnerable citizens and concerns of violations of human rights."Read more