A blog by the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration about justice and peace issues

Posts tagged ‘Development’

Ringing in a New Year and New Trade

Dear All – Blessings on this new year! I am writing today with an action for a piece legislation that was introduced into the Senate. It will enact new levels of transparency and accountability with how  “free” trade agreements are formed as well as providing new oversight and change to existing agreements.

This piece of legislation dovetails nicely with the immigration legislation proposed by  Rep. Gutierrez in December. Free trade is considered a leading “push factor” in many of the countries from which so many of our own undocumented brothers and sisters have come. NAFTA and CAFTA have left small farmers and business people in Mexico and Central America with no choice but to leave  as making a living at home is no longer possible.

In our own liturgical year, we see the wise men on the horizon cresting the hill as they head toward a child born without a home…Let us follow the example of these wise men and bring the gift of advocacy to those amongst us who also have been forced far from home….Peace Liz


In November, Senator Sherrod Brown re-introduced the Senate version of the Trade Responsibility, Accountability, Development, and Education (TRADE) Act, requiring a review of existing and future trade agreements to make them in line with new requirements for labor, environmental, and human rights standards. Keep reading or click here for more details!

The TRADE Act already has 132 co-sponsors in the House. Call your Senators today and tell them to co-sponsor this important legislation!

The TRADE Act requires a review of existing trade pacts, including NAFTA, the WTO and other major pacts, and sets forth what must and must not be included in future trade pacts. It also provides for the renegotiation of existing trade agreements and describes the key elements of a new trade negotiating and approval mechanism to replace Fast Track – the undemocratic negotiating system that go us into WTO and NAFTA that would enhance Congress’ role in the formative aspects of agreements and promote future deals that could enjoy broad support among the American public.

Call your Senators and ask them to Co-sponsor S. 2821 the TRADE Act. Below is a sample conversation…

“My name is __________ from _________ (city or zipcode). I am calling to ask the Senator to co-sponsor S 2821, the TRADE Act. For too long we’ve operated under a trade model that only benefits multinational corporations, at the expense of workers here at home and abroad. It is time for the United States to stand up for trade that is fair for us and for people in other countries. Please join almost 140 of your colleagues in Congress by co-sponsoring this legislation.”

Remember to ask for a formal reply by snail mail or email! As a constituent, you should get one.

“Give me your tired, your poor….” the DREAM act

“Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”  Quote at base of Statue of Liberty

Dear All – I would like to share an action from NETWORK this week in regard to the DREAM Act. You will be able to read more below, but essentially the DREAM Act will remove the many obstacles that immigrant youth may face once they leave high school and try to pursue further education or training.

The bill helps to ensure that we as a country do not further the current trend of criminalizing immigrants, especially the children of immigrants who may have had no choice in how they entered the country.

Read the great information below and take a quick action to support the immigrant youth in our communities. Much Peace Liz

 An American DREAM for immigrant children
On March 26, 2009, Senators Richard Durbin (D-IL) and Richard Lugar (R-IN)  and Representatives Howard Berman (D-CA), Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-FL) and Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) reintroduced the DREAM Act (S. 729, H.R. 1751).
The DREAM Act (“Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors” Act in the Senate, and “The American Dream” Act in the House) would allow undocumented children who entered the United States when 16 years or younger and who have lived in the United States for five years to apply for conditional permanent residency if they maintain good moral character and earn a high school diploma.  After 6 years of conditional permanent residency, they could apply for lawful permanent residency (LPR).  By allowing students to apply for conditional permanent residency, it would also be giving them a path to apply for higher education, lawful employment, or service to the United States.
Please urge your representative and senators to co-sponsor the DREAM Act so that high school graduates brought to the United States as children can realize their potential through higher education and service to the United States, thus benefiting all Americans. (Or thank them if they are already a co-sponsor.)
You can e-mail your representative at http://capwiz.com/networklobby/issues/alert/?alertid=13182316&type=CO
And your senators at http://capwiz.com/networklobby/issues/alert/?alertid=13182421&type=CO
An appropriate sample message will come up when you enter your zip code, either thanking your member of Congress or urging them to become co-sponsors. This is one of the advantages of using the system on our website to e-mail your members of Congress – we can customize the message based on their co-sponsorship status.

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