The “Nuns on the Bus” have returned from their 6,800 mile adventure across the United States, but are now faced with their most difficult challenge yet – to try to convince the House of Representatives, which is controlled by the Republican Party, to pass immigration reform legislation.
The cross country tour was a project of the Catholic social justice lobby called Network and was the second cross country trip undertaken by the nuns following the push in 2012 to protest against proposed budget cuts that they believed would have hurt those who could already least afford it. Sister Simone Campbell says that even Catholic bishops have been getting on board with the Nuns on the Bus when it comes to comprehensive immigration reform.
The nuns have been meeting with business leaders, immigrants and public officials, pushing them to demand that Congress pass immigration reform legislation. Campbell, who led the nuns, says that just seven people came forward to protest their stance on immigration reform in a 22-day trip that encompassed as many as 53 cities.
“The people of the United States are for comprehensive immigration reform,” Campbell told congressional staffers and members of Congress during a briefing on Wednesday. “We are united in this and we cannot allow petty political intrigue – fear – to cripple us.” The nuns are pushing for immigration reform to find a “faithful way forward,” including alterations that will protect immigrant worker’s rights, offer a path to citizenship and ensure family unity.