Friday, May 6, 2011

Illinois Catholic Charities Seeks Right to Refer Gay Couples to Other Adoption Agencies

The state of Illinois has passed legislation permitting civil unions of gay couples.  This law prohibits any organization receiving state funds from discriminating against gays.  Despite the state law, Catholic Cahrities has sought permission to refer gay couples to "gay-friendly" agencies for adoption services.  This excerpt from an article featured on the Huffington Post describes the conflict:

 "Gay Adoption In Illinois: Catholic Charities Threatens To Turn Away Gay Couples"
05/ 5/11

"One of the largest adoption agencies in Illinois is threatening to turn away couples with civil unions, despite state law demanding they do otherwise.

Catholic Charities has more than 3,000 children in its foster care and adoption agencies, representing around 20 percent of all such services in the state, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. In recompense, the state pays the organization around $30 million a year...

"The Catholic Church is not going to be OK with Catholic Charities processing applications from anyone in a civil union," Trish Fox, the head of the Catholic Charities of Peoria, told Chicago Public Radio. "And all we're asking is that we can continue what we've always done, which is refer cohabitating couples, heterosexual or homosexual, to another agency."

The language of the civil unions law, though, is clear on the subject: if an agency receives state dollars, it cannot discriminate against same-sex couples -- that is, it must treat people in civil unions as it would treat married couples."

Read the complete article:

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

U.S. Worldwide Travel Alert

The U.S. Department of State has issued a Worldwide Travel Alert for its citizens in light of the capture and killing of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan on May 1, 2011. 

"Given the uncertainty and volatility of the current situation, U.S. citizens in areas where recent events could cause anti-American violence are strongly urged to limit their travel outside of their homes and hotels and avoid mass gatherings and demonstrations. U.S. citizens should stay current with media coverage of local events and be aware of their surroundings at all times. This Travel Alert expires August 1, 2011."

Read the complete Alert:

Students who Entered U.S. as Undocumented Children at Risk for Deportation

Children brought to the U.S. as toddlers, by parents who were undocumented, are now facing deportation as adults because of their undocumented status.  The DREAM Act, which has not been passed by Congress, would have allowed many of these students to acquire legal status, and avoid deportation.  This predicament is described in the case of this 23 year-old college student in an article by Michael Melia. 

"Senator Richard Blumenthal Helped Student Mariano Cardoso Stay In US"
05/ 3/11
"Two years into a fight to stay in the U.S., Mexican college student Mariano Cardoso learned of a victory last week – not from immigration authorities, but from a U.S. senator who had taken up his cause...
It was a culmination of the Democratic senator's deep personal involvement in the case. Advocates say the supporting role he played, along with that of Connecticut's Democratic governor, proved critical to winning a reprieve, but also highlights a fractured immigration policy in which decisions can turn on the influence of one's supporters."

The Sanctuary Movement: How Broken Immigration Policies Affect CitiesJourney of Hope, Memoirs of a Mexican Girl: autobiography - illegal immigrant from Guanajuato Mexico to Los Angeles California