Pax Christi NJ, a region of Pax Christi USA the national Catholic peace movement (www.paxchristiusa.org), announced that it will join First Friends as a co-sponsor of the 10th Annual Columbus Day vigil and march at the Elizabeth Immigration Detention Center operated by Corrections Corp of America. The event is being co-sponsored by various religious, social service and human rights organizations including American Friends Service Committee Immigrant Rights Program, Benedictines for Peace, Elizabeth Coalition to House the Homeless, Haiti Solidarity Network of the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic Justice Office Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, The New Sanctuary Movement, NJ Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, NJ Immigration Policy Network, Pax Christi NJ, People’s Organization for Progress, St. Joe’s Social Service Center
John Cosgrove, speaking on behalf of the NJ Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers explained why his organization is supporting the protest, “For social workers, protection of the most vulnerable is fundamental to our professional ethics and practice. Therefore we share the concern of others of conscience about the documented violations of essential human rights of non-criminal aliens in federally-funded detention.”
“Our faith does not allow us to separate those warrant protection from those who do not. Incarcerating immigrants and separating families on the basis of immigration status alone while denying them access to healthcare, and adequate legal services erodes the respect for human dignity” said Kathy O’Leary, co-coordinator of Pax Christi NJ.
“As Sisters of Mercy and Mercy Associates, who hold sacred the dignity of each person, we are saddened and outraged at the treatment of our brothers and sisters held in detention centers throughout the United States,” said Sr. Diane Guerin, Justice Coordinator of the Mid-Atlantic Sisters of Mercy.
The event will begin at 1:30 pm at the corner of Dowd and Evans Streets in Elizabeth, NJ before marching to the detention center. The speakers will include: Shai Goldstein, executive director NJIPN, Pradeep Thap- poet, journalist and a detainee in 2001 and 2002, Fr. Gene Squeo, Co-Pastor St. Patrick & Assumption/All Saints, Jersey City, Kofi Amoako, an asylee recently released from detention, David Fraccaro, Coordinator Sojourners Visitor Program and Bill Westerman, IRATE Director & Princeton University Professor.
10th Annual Columbus Day March & Vigil
October 12, 2008
Formation – Shai Goldstein, executive director NJIPN
Poetry Reading by Pradeep Thap- Poet, journalist and a detainee in 2001 and 2002
Music & March- The Solidarity Singers
At the Center
Fr. Gene Squeo, Co-Pastor St. Patrick & Assumption/All Saints, Jersey City
Kofi Amoako, An asylee recently released from detention
David Fraccaro, Coordinator Sojourners Visitor Program
Bill Westerman, IRATE Director & Princeton University Professor
Music- Carol Fay – Coordinator Pax Christi St. Joe’s East Rutherford Chapter
Labels: immigration, immigration detention, immigration reform