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U.S. Church: "Now-or-never moment" for immigration reform push

(Vatican Radio) In the U.S. the Catholic Church is pulling out all the stops to urge Congress to pass a comprehensive reform of immigration policy. The campaign involves encouraging clergy and lay Catholics to exert pressure on Catholic lawmakers to support President Obama’s plan for immigration reform and holding prayer marches through districts where the issue has become a divisive topic. It will continue until mid-October when the Republican-dominated House of Representatives is due to vote on the proposed legislation. Kevin Appleby is the Director of Migration Policy at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (the USCCB) and he told Vatican Radio’s Susy Hodges that this push for immigration reform is a now-or-never moment.

Listen to the full interview with Kevin Appleby: RealAudioMP3

Appleby says the U:S. Church and the bishops are pressing hard on this "social justice" issue because as he puts it "it's our best chance in a generation" ... a now-or-never moment" to help millions of people.

He believes that they can make a difference in pushing the immigration reform issue forward especially because they can help persuade those lawmakers who have not yet make up their mind how they will vote. "There's a large number of Catholic lawmakers on the fence," he says, and by helping to pressure them "it could make the difference between winning and loosing."