Hundreds of thousands of people nationwide, often joined by their Catholic bishops, took to the streets to join rallies, marches and prayer services yesterday to call attention to the contributions of immigrants and to ask for changes in immigration law and policies just days after senators left Washington for a two-week recess without voting on a comprehensive immigration bill worked out in a bipartisan compromise.
Organizers support legislation that would make it possible for the estimated 11 million to 12 million illegal immigrants to legalize their status.
In St. Louis, Archbishop Raymond L. Burke said, "It is not right to make immigrants the scapegoats of social and political problems of our nation. It is profoundly unjust to place the blame for the acts of terrorism perpetrated by a few at the door of all immigrants."
On a stage where he was joined by Protestant, Jewish and Muslim leaders, he said: "Our presence here today expresses the teaching common to our different religious traditions which instructs us to receive immigrants as true brothers and sisters."