Tuesday, February 24, 2009

NJ Call-In to Support Child Citizen Protection Act

In the family, which is a community of persons, special attention must be devoted to the children by developing a profound esteem for their personal dignity, and a great respect and generous concern for their rights. ... By fostering and exercising a tender and strong concern for every child that comes into this world, the Church fulfills a fundamental mission: for she is called upon to reveal and put forward anew in history the example and the commandment of Christ the Lord, who placed the child at the heart of the Kingdom of God: "Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven." from FAMILIARIS CONSORTIO by Pope John Paul II

On March 3rd groups from American Friends Service Committee and Families for Freedom will be in Washington, DC lobbying congress about the Child Citizen Protection Act. Please call your congressman that day and ask him to co-sponsor H.R. 182.

About the Bill

An estimated 3.1 million US citizen children have at least one parent who is undocumented. Every year thousands of children are either separated from a parent who has been deported or forced into exile.

Under the current law, judges are not allowed to consider the impact on minor US citizen children when deciding whether or not to deport a parent. The Child Citizen Protection Act would allow immigration judges to consider whether deportation is "clearly against the best interests of a US citizen child".

To read the entire bill click here.

Don’t know how to contact your congressman?

Go to www.congress.org and type in your zip-code

Talking points:

* We should be doing everything we can to keep families together.

* Current immigration law provides no option to the presiding judge in a deportation case to consider the harm of separation of the child who is a US citizen from their parent.

* There are an estimated 2 million families in the U.S. with mixed immigration status.

* These families have approximately 3.1 million U.S. citizen children.

* The current immigration law routinely breaks apart these families.

* The children who are left behind in single parent households suffer emotionally, and financially. Many join the welfare roles. Some have to leave school to go to work.

* I value family unity and believe that these children should be provided with every opportunity to be raised in a stable and unified family.

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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Pax Christi NJ Spring Assembly 2009

"Your light from within can banish the darkness, and when we stand together, in a great glow of illumination, may it be the power of good over evil.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

Pax Christi NJ Spring Assembly 2009

Banishing the Darkness: Our Christian Witness for Disarmament and Demilitarization

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Felician College, Lodi, NJ

The day begins with Registration and exhibits at 9:00 a.m.

Program (which will include Liturgy and Box Lunch) 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Keynote Speaker: Joshua Casteel

Joshua is a former interrogator at Abu Ghraib, turned conscientious objector and a recent convert to Catholicism. and a new book called “Letters from Abu Ghraib”. Joshua gave witness at Winter Soldier and traveled to Rome in March of 2007 with the Catholic Peace Fellowship to meet Pope Benedict XVI and to advance the issue of conscientious objection. He is featured along with Camilo Mejia and other CO’s in the documentary Soldiers of Conscience which aired this past fall on PBS’s P.O.V.

Joshua studied philosophy and literature at the University of Iowa and Oxford. He is currently a dual MFA candidate at the University of Iowa where he teaches rhetoric and theater history. He is the author of two plays about his experiences in Iraq and his new book "Letters from Abu Ghraib" is available on Amazon.com and Small Press Distribution.

Featured Speakers:

Joseph Fahey

Dr. Joseph Fahey is a co-founder and former General Secretary and Chairperson of Pax Christi, USA and was named a Pax Christi Ambassador of Peace. He also served on the international Council of Pax Christi International. He is the author of "War and the Christian Conscience: Where Do You Stand?," "Reinhold Niebuhr on Human Nature and World Peace," and the editor of "A Peace Reader: Essential Readings on War, Justice, Nonviolence and World Order." He has also written "Irenology: The Study of Peace," and "Peace, War and the Christian Conscience." He has written many articles, essays, and reviews on war and peace issues and Catholic Social Teaching.

Frida Berrigan

Frida Berrigan is Senior Program Associate of the Arms and Security Initiative at the New America Foundation. She served for eight years as Deputy Director and Senior Research Associate at the Arms Trade Resource Center at the World Policy Institute at the New School in New York City. And has worked as a researcher at The Nation. Ms. Berrigan is a columnist for Foreign Policy in Focus and a contributing editor of In These Times magazine. She is the author of reports on arms trade and human rights, U.S. nuclear weapons policy, and the domestic politics of U.S. missile defense and space weapons policies. She has been a featured expert on national and regional radio outlets, and regularly speaks on national security issues to citizen’s organizations and at major conferences

Anna Brown

Anna J. Brown is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Saint Peter's
College in Jersey City, New Jersey. She has served with the Christian Peacemaker Team in Palestine and is the College delegate to a Sister City program in Los Amates, El Salvador.

She is a long time member, along with Daniel Berrigan, S.J. of the Kairos Community, a New York City based community devoted to prayer, reflection and nonviolent civil disobedience. Along with other Kairos members, she has enaged in over 60 acts of nonviolent civil disobedience.

Registration Fee: $35.00

Seniors and Students with ID: $20:00

Please bring your own mug.

TO REGISTER: (Please include the following information)


Box Lunch (please note): Meat or Vegetarian

Send this information and your registration fee to:

Irene Donohue
673 Thoreau Terrace
Union, NJ 07083

Please make checks payable to Pax Christi NJ.


For further information about this program, please contact Kathy O’Leary 908-273-0751.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Ash Wednesday Vigil at the Elizabeth Detention Center

“In migrants the Church has always contemplated the image of Christ who said, “I was a stranger and you made me welcome” (Mt 25:35). Their condition is, therefore, a challenge to the faith and love of believers, who are called on to heal the evils caused by migration and discover the plan God pursues through it…” From the PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR THE PASTORAL CARE OF MIGRANTS AND ITINERANT PEOPLE (The love of Christ towards migrants)

Please join IRATE (the Interfaith Refugee Action Team - Elizabeth) and Pax Christi NJ as we begin our Lenten journey and gather to offer our prayers for the grace to recognize the face of Christ in immigrants and the courage to show them the radical hospitality of the Gospel. We will meet for a prayer service and to distribute ashes in front of the Elizabeth Detention Center, where approximately 300 refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants are being held. The service will be followed by a fasting soup supper at the St. Joseph’s Social Service Center.

6PM, at the Elizabeth Detention Center,

625 Evans Street, Elizabeth NJ 07201

Followed by a fasting soup supper at the St Joseph’s Social Service Center, 118 Division St.

Organized by St Joseph’s Social Service Center, Pax Christi NJ and IRATE/First Friends

Contact firstfriends2@juno.com or 908-965-0455 for more information

IRATE is an alliance of grassroots organizations whose members believe that the current U.S. policy of detaining immigrants in prison-like conditions is contrary to our tradition of welcoming refugees. Currently in New Jersey, the Bureau of Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) has some 300 people detained at the Elizabeth Detention Center and an unknown number of people in county jails throughout the state.

For more information on immigration detention go to www.irateweb.org, www.detentionwatchnetwork.org or www.cliniclegal.org

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