In preparation for the Iowa caucuses, 10 communities of religious sisters issued billboards Monday across Iowa with a Gospel message in addition to a statement calling on the president and Congress to make progress on comprehensive immigration reform.
The billboards read, "I was an immigrant and you welcomed me" with a strikethrough the phrase "a stranger" and signed "Jesus." The verse is a take on Matthew 25:35.
The Sisters of St. Francis of Dubuque is one of the 10 congregations that are advocating for new reform measures of immigrants. Sr. Patricia Farrell, the president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious and vice president of the Sisters of St. Francis in Dubuque, Iowa, stated that many congregations take corporate stances on immigration laws.
The US Catholic Conference has been very active especially in response to new immigration measures which include Justice for Immigrants. On the same day these billboards went up all around Iowa, 33 US Catholic Latino and Hispanic bishops signed a letter to President Obama expressing some of their concerns.
When the rights of vulnerable people are abused, it is a short time before the rights of others are abused, Humility Sister of Mary Sr. Johanna Rickl said.
To read more about the platforms of these congregations or for more information on how to get involved with immigration reform measures please check out the National Catholic Reporter.