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Monday, March 8, 2010

Historic Procession for Immigration Reform Takes Place in Eugene

Eugene, Ore --Yesterday, 600 people, mostly comprised of Latino families from the Eugene-Springfield area, gathered outside the Office of Congressman Peter DeFazio to call for passage of Comprehensive Immigration Reform and the DREAM Act. Those in attendance were joined by four priests from the parishes of St. Mary Catholic Church, Alice Catholic Church, and St. Mark Catholic Church, and members of CAUSA, Oregon's Immigrant Rights Coalition for a Message of Faith, Hope, and Family Unity.

The goal of Sunday's Procession and Prayer Service was to call on Congressman DeFazio to support and join on as a co-sponsor of the Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America's Security and Prosperity (CIR-ASAP) Act of 2009 (HR4321) and the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act of 2009 (HR1751). Catholic leaders from Eugene and Springfield committed on Sunday to increase the pressure on DeFazio until he announces his support of both pieces of legislation.

The historic gathering of Catholic Churches in Eugene on Sunday is the first time in the city's history that they have come out into the streets to hold such an event. Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy, who also spoke at the event, said she had never seen anything like the three major Lane County based Catholic Church Congregations coming out in unity to support such an issue like Immigration Reform.

Yesterday's faith-based event comes just one day before the Eugene City Council will take a vote on a resolution in support of passage of the DREAM Act. The resolution, which is expected to pass, will urge lawmakers to pass federal legislation allowing undocumented youth to be eligible for a conditional path to citizenship in exchange for completion of a college degree. Last October, members of the Portland City Council passed a similar resolution unanimously.

Later this month, Oregonians will join with others from around the nation for a National March on Washington D.C.. The March For America, set to take place on March 21st, is expected to draw tens of thousands of people from the immigrant, labor, business, progressive and faith communities and will demonstrate the energy and strength to America’s elected leaders that we need good jobs and full citizenship for all of America’s families.



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