Justice, Peace and Reconciliation Office
Priests of the Sacred Heart, US Province
"Jesus, Immigrant and Worker"(the Catholic Worker)
The JPR Commission is pleased to announce that our 2020 Johnny Klingler, SCJ, Social Action Award will be shared by two recipients this year.
Frank Wittouck, SCJ, will be honored for his many years of service as an SCJ, as well as his extensive volunteer work with the homeless, migrants and prisoners in Houston since his retirement. He was nominated by former SCJ David Jackson.
On behalf of Sacred Heart Parish in Canton, Mississippi, Fr. Mike O'Brien will be the co-recipient of this award for their response to the arrest of hundreds of undocumented workers, many of them members of Sacred Heart, at a plant raid by ICE last year. They were nominated by Diego Diaz, SCJ.
Watch this space for stories on these two wonderful priest/pastors. Because of Covid-19, the date and place of the award is still to determined.
DACA Decision a Relief,
But Does Not Save Dreamers
it’s important to remember that DACA is only a temporary, partial solution. The 800,000 participants in DACA represent a mere 22% of the 3.6 million undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States as children and teenagers. The rest either didn’t qualify, didn’t apply, or couldn’t afford the fees. And DREAMers account for only 33% of the estimated 11.3 million undocumented immigrants living in our country, including the siblings, parents, and grandparents of DREAMers.
Although the DREAM Act has been endorsed by many Catholic and ecumenical bodies, the JPR Commission feels strongly that the Act as currently written is deeply flawed, and that we should fight for the original version of it that did not recruit for the military. Our position is explained in this article: The DREAM Act as Military Draft
CNS: Immigrants fill essential jobs in COVID-19 fight A new report from the Center for Migration Studies highlights the importance of 19.8 million immigrant workers in essential U.S. jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Immigrants comprise 16 percent of health care workers and 31 percent of farm workers.
AP: Green card ban, temporary visa ban extended The Trump administration extended the ban on green cards issued outside the United States and added more temporary work visas to the freeze. The Trump administration said the measures will save 525,000 jobs for U.S. workers.
Back in April, prior to the publication of the story below, our shareholder team raised this issue with Kohl's executive Steve Thomas back in April. He told us that their suppliers will give Kohl's preferential treatment because "Kohl's has been so reliable and loyal to them." We questioned whether they would even still be around after losing their shirts this way. Then this article appeared in the U.K.'s The Guardian:
Quote: “Kohl’s puts a grossly one-sided cancellation clause in its purchase agreements, allowing it to cancel, and refuse to pay [suppliers] when it decides to,” he said. “[The company] has refused to pay for apparel that it ordered and that workers have already made, but the company somehow found a $100m to reward shareholders. It’s hard not to think of these actions as nothing more than a form of robbery.”----Scott Nova, Worker Rights Consortium
When doing the right thing does not mean making more money, we have only two other arguments to make with companies - appeals to conscience, justice, mercy, the common good, etc. (which can work with some companies but others are quite resistant to), and what we refer to as "reputational risk." Bad press like this can do far more harm to a company's brand than the $100 million that was involved here. We often find companies are more willing to talk after stories like this appear.