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Students host prayer service for immigrants

| Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Members of the Notre Dame community gathered at the Grotto and prayed for justice for the undocumented immigrants who would be affected by the outcomes of the United States v. Texas, a landmark court case the Supreme Court heard Monday. The event was organized by the Student Coalition for Immigration Advocacy.

According to an article by Voice of America, the United States v. Texas case will analyze the legality of President Obama’s executive decision to establish Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA). This program allows undocumented parents to defer deportation, assuming they have no criminal record, have been in the U.S. since 2010 and have a child who is a citizen or legal permanent resident.

Fr. Joe Corpora, CSC, director of the Catholic School Advantage Campaign, led the opening prayer for the event and said the main reason for the gathering at the Grotto was to pray for just results for the millions of undocumented immigrants currently in the U.S.

“We gather this afternoon at Our Lady’s Grotto to pray for our nation and for all who call this land our home,” Corpora said. “Immigrants have always enriched the United States since the very beginning.”

Corpora said to also keep in mind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) students. DACA is another immigration program that allows undocumented immigrants who entered the country before they turned 16 and arrived in the U.S. before June 2007 to receive exemption from deportation and permission to work legally in the U.S. for two years.

“Today we pray especially for DACA students here and all around the country and we pray for the improvement of our nation’s laws,” Corpora said. “We remember that we are all pilgrims on a common journey towards God. We pray for the families, children, women and men who suffer because of unjust or ineffective immigration laws.”

Corpora said to pray to soften the hearts of the members of the Supreme Court so they can come to a just conclusion that will help and not hurt the many undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. today. He said to pray for mercy for these immigrants and to remember in God’s eyes no one is a stranger because they are all made in the image and likeness of him.

To conclude the service, those who attended were invited to light a candle to show their solidarity for all undocumented immigrants and to display their hope that better policies would be implemented that would allow for safe migration.

“Inspire in each of us a commitment to welcome a stranger, to protect the marginalized, and to create a more just and humane world,” Corpora said.

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About Selena Ponio

Selena Ponio is from Dallas, Texas and is currently a senior at the University of Notre Dame. She is the Associate News Editor for The Observer. Selena lives in Breen-Phillips hall and is majoring in International Economics with a concentration in Spanish and is minoring in Journalism, Ethics & Democracy.

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