Local groups backing immigration reform to hold pilgrimage Saturday
Amid all the national focus on a government shutdown, a number of local groups concerned with immigration issues are holding a pilgrimage through St. Louis on Saturday as part of a national effort to direct Congress’ attention back to immigration.
On Wednesday, an immigration bill was introduced in the U.S. House. The U.S. Senate passed a broad bill earlier this year.
The local event – to highlight the region’s various immigrant groups – is among more than 100 scheduled around the country on Saturday as part of a “Day of Dignity and Respect.”
Participants are slated to include religious, labor and community organizations, including the Archdiocese of St Louis, Catholic Charities and the Inter-Faith Committee on Latin America.
The entourage is to proceed along a 5.5 mile route, from south to north, along Grand Boulevard, making four stops to give speeches and offer prayers.
“As people of faith and members of this community, (we believe) it is vitally important that we advocate for comprehensive immigration reform,” said Javier Orozco, director of Hispanic ministry for the Archdiocese of St Louis. “We are holding this pilgrimage in solidarity with millions across the U.S., urging Congress to take action to protect immigrant families, stand up for immigrant workers, and create a just pathway to citizenship for the thousands who need it.”
The scheduled stops include:
10 a.m. St. Cecilia Catholic Church, 5414 Alaska Ave -- Kick-off and brief service
11:15 a.m. International Institute, 3654 S. Grand Blvd. -- The focus will be on the region’s Muslim community, many of them from Bosnia
12:30 p.m. St. Louis University Quad, near corner of Grand and Lindell – Speeches will address efforts to help children brought over as illegal immigrants to attend college and become citizens
1:30 p.m. St. Alphonsus “Rock” Catholic Church, 1118 N. Grand Blvd. – Closing ceremony