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Irish, Latino Catholics march for immigrant rights [Catholic "Immigration Mass" in San Francisco]
San Francisco Chronicle ^ | June 10, 2007 | Jill Tucker

Posted on 06/11/2007 6:31:25 AM PDT by Alex Murphy

Two days after a massive immigration overhaul collapsed in the U.S. Senate, Latino and Irish Catholics in the Bay Area joined forces Saturday to call for a revival of legislation that would help legalize undocumented workers across the country.

In San Francisco, more than 300 Catholics and other supporters marched, sang and prayed along a 1.5-mile route from Mission Dolores to St. Mary's Cathedral in a combined religious pilgrimage and political protest.

"I'm here to say we're not the problem," said Edgar "Shoboy" Sotelo, his pre-march pep talk a fluid combination of English and Spanish. "I'm here to say we are the solution, like many immigrants."

When Sotelo finished, the Rev. Brandon McBride addressed the growing crowd.

"My message to our senators is you cannot run and hide from this issue," he said in a thick Irish accent. "We have to revive this bill again."

Inside the basilica, 9-year-old Manuela Baez read an essay she wrote in Spanish called "It's Not Fair."

"The government of the United States should appreciate what the immigrants offer to this country, and they should support immigrants instead of deporting them," she said.

The legislation would have tightened security at the country's borders while creating a guest worker program and a way for undocumented workers to gain legal residency.

Among the reasons the bill collapsed was pressure from those who opposed any form of amnesty for illegal immigrants.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Catholic; Ministry/Outreach; Religion & Politics; Worship

1 posted on 06/11/2007 6:31:26 AM PDT by Alex Murphy
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