DREAM Act Efforts Intensify

Yesterday afternoon, members of the community gathered outside the San Antonio offices of Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, urging the Senator to meet with the students and to support the DREAM Act. Several students remained inside the Senator’s office until their arrest, some nine hours later, around 10pm. Other students and activists who formed a chain outside the Senator’s door also were arrested, among them Santuario Sisterfarm Board President María Antonietta Berriozábal, who was quoted in the San Antonio Express-News as saying, “I cannot match [the students'] courage in putting myself through a hunger strike, but I can put my body here for them.”

Yesterday, Carol Coston, OP and I hand-delivered a letter to Senator Hutchison, signed by more than 50 Texas Catholic Sisters, urging the Senator to vote for the DREAM Act and to take “every step necessary to ensure that this legislation is not filibustered or otherwise obstructed from coming to a vote in the Senate.”

Simone Campbell, SSS, National Coordinator of NETWORK is hand-delivering a copy of the letter today when she and her staff have a lobby visit about the DREAM Act with Senator Hutchison’s staff in Washington.

A copy of the letter, with the 55 signatories from 16 different congregations, is pasted below.

November 30, 2010
The Honorable Kay Bailey Hutchison

Dear Senator Hutchison,

The DREAM Act is expected to come to a vote in the U.S. Senate at any moment. The action that you and your colleagues take on this issue has the potential to make or break the lives of over 200,000 young people who grew up in our State, and many others who were raised elsewhere in our country. The stakes could not be higher. Today, hunger-striking students at UTSA have entered the 21st day of their fast – a perilous last-resort effort to win passage of legislation that they have endeavored to obtain for the past ten years.

As Roman Catholic Sisters who minister in Texas – in Texas schools, hospitals, parishes, soup kitchens, half-way houses, retreat centers, nonprofit organizations, colleges and universities, legal and social justice centers, health clinics, homeless shelters, and other areas of service – we beg you to put aside politics-as-usual in Washington and to bring your strong voice of reason, compassion, and moral suasion to the debate. This is an issue that 70% of the American people support, including 60% of Republican respondents, according to a June 2010 poll conducted by the Opinion Research Corporation. The legislation is also overwhelmingly supported by institutions charged with educating our youth, including the American Association of Community Colleges, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, the National Educators Association, the College Board, and prominent university presidents and chancellors.

We urge you to vote ‘YES’ on the DREAM Act. And we ask that you take every step necessary to ensure that this legislation is not filibustered or otherwise obstructed from coming to a vote in the Senate. While fair-minded people may differ on matters of conscience, it would be unconscionable for a legislative minority to obstruct action on a critical bill that a majority of the American people supports.

The lives of tens of thousands of Texans are at stake. We call on you to renew your past support for the DREAM Act and, as our Senator, to play a leadership role in helping to win passage of this urgently needed legislation before the end of this Congress. Thank you.

Sincerely,

Sister Emilia Arredondo, HCG, Hermanas Catequistas Guadalupanas
Sister Margaret Bulmer, CCVI, Srs. of Charity of the Incar. Word – Houston
Sister Veronica Cahill, SHSp, Srs. of the Holy Spirit and Mary Immaculate
Sister Adele Caire, RSCJ, Religious of the Sacred Heart
Sister Ann Caire, RSCJ, Religious of the Sacred Heart
Sister Pearl Ceasar, CDP, Sisters of Divine Providence
Sister Dympna Clarke, SHSp, Srs. of the Holy Spirit and Mary Immaculate
Sister Marguerite Connors, SHSp, Srs. of the Holy Spirit and Mary Immaculate
Sister Alma Leticia Cortés, HCG, Hermanas Catequistas Guadalupanas
Sister Carol Coston, OP, Dominican Sisters of Adrian
Sister Eleanor Cresap, OP, Dominican Sisters of Houston
Sister Teresa Cruz, M.C-M, Cordi-Marian Sisters
Sister Mary Teresa Cullen, CSB, Sisters of St. Brigid
Sister Anne Drea, CSB, Sisters of St. Brigid
Sister Jan Dunn, RSCJ, Area Director, Religious of the Sacred Heart
Sister Paula Enderle, OP, Dominican Sisters of Houston
Sister Dorothy Ettling, CCVI, Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word
Sister Barbara Fry, CDP, Sisters of Divine Providence
Sister Elise D. García, OP, Dominican Sisters of Adrian
Sister Felicitas García, HCG, Hermanas Catequistas Guadalupanas
Sister Linda Gibler, OP, Dominican Sisters of Houston
Sister Imelda González, CDP, Sisters of Divine Providence
Sister Marie M. Griffin, OP, Dominican Sisters of Sinsinawa
Sister Esther M. Guerrero, MCDP, Missionary Catechists of Divine Providence
Sister Blanca Hinojosa, HCG, Hermanas Catequistas Guadalupanas
Sister Neomi Hayes, CCVI, Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word
Sister Sharon Karam, RSCJ, Religious of the Sacred Heart
Sister Rosalie Karstedt, CDP, Sisters of Divine Providence
Sister Suzanne Lasseigne, RSCJ, Religious of the Sacred Heart
Sister Gabriella Lohan, SHSp, Srs. of the Holy Spirit and Mary Immaculate
Sister Carol Mayes, OP, Prioress, Dominican Sisters of Houston
Sister Susan Mika, OSB, Boerne Benedictine Sisters
Sister Miriam Mitchell, SHSp, General Superior, Srs. of the Holy Spirit and Mary Immaculate
Sister Helena Monahan, CCVI, Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word
Sister Maureen O’Connell, OP, Dominican Sisters of Adrian
Sister Madlyn Pape, CDP, Sisters of Divine Providence
Sister Imelda T. Phelan, CSB, Sisters of St. Brigid
Sister Jocelyn Quijano, PBVM, Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Srs.
Sister Virginia Ramón, HCG, Hermanas Catequistas Guadalupanas
Sister Bernadine Reyes, OSB, Prioress, Boerne Benedictine Sisters
Sister Cecilia Rodríguez, SSCJ, Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Sister Ceil Roeger, OP, Dominican Sisters of Houston
Sister Judy Roxborough, STJ, Society of St. Teresa of Jesus
Sister Clara Ruíz, HCG, Hermanas Catequistas Guadalupanas
Sister María Martha Ruíz, HCG, Superior, Hermanas Catequistas Guadalupanas
Sister Carmen Sánchez, MCDP, Superior General, Missionary Catechists of Divine Providence
Sister Laura Sánchez, HCG, Hermanas Catequistas Guadalupanas
Sister Lavergne Schwender, OP, Dominican Sisters of Houston
Sister Mary Fran Serafino, SSMN, Sisters of St. Mary of Namur
Sister Carolyn Siy, RSCJ, Religious of the Sacred Heart
Sister Jane Ann Slater, CDP, Superior General, Sisters of Divine Providence
Sister Cindy Stacy, CCVI, Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word
Sister Yolanda Tarango, CCVI, Cong. Leader, Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word
Sister Priscilla Torres, OP, Dominican Sisters of Sinsinawa
Sister Margarita Vásquez, HCG, Hermanas Catequistas Guadalupanas

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