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Peace & Justice News

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General Report issued January 2019

You can read the report here: https://www.oig.hhs.gov/oei/reports/oei-BL-18-00511.pdf.

The key take away from this report is that the exact total number of children separated from a parent or guardian by immigration authorities at our southern border is unknown. We do know that in the spring of 2018, a zero tolerance policy for certain immigration offenses was announced by the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security. Implementation of this policy often resulted in children being separated from their parent or guardian. Public opposition to the policy grew in the next few months. The policy was challenged in Federal Court in California and in responding to a June 2018 Court Order; HHS identified 2,737 children in its care at that time who were separated from their parents in the time since the new policy was announced.

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News from Blessed Sacrament Province (USA)

Photo credit: Marie-Claire Dugas

From Our Leadership Team

During the General Conference in January, all those present were inspired by this image of a spirited Marguerite, striding forward to meet the urgent needs she confronted. As we prayed for migrants and refugees and listened to the presentations from the provinces and regions, the members of the Conference sought a way to respond as a Congregation to the crisis at the Mexico-United States border. At the same time, we heard a presentation on public advocacy from the Executive Director of the Canadian Religious Conference, Timothy Scott, CSB. He suggested that public positions are most appropriately taken by those who are citizens of the government entity being addressed, with other groups declaring their solidarity and support.

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Movie recommendation: Green Book

Green Book is a 2018 American comedy-drama film based on a true life story. The setting is the Deep South in the 1960’s; the story follows a tour with Dr. Don Shirley, a black man, a world class pianist, who needs a driver – protector during the trip. Tony Lip, a tough-talking Italian bouncer from the Bronx is recruited. Maybe we have forgotten the degree of segregation experienced at that time, and maybe some of us never knew. The film shows the truth of the time, and shares a witty warmth and humour as the two men develop a man-man friendship, a relationship that persisted long after the tour. (The Green Book was a booklet with information of places where black travellers can expect to receive hospitality when they travel).

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