This time the bus is scheduled to travel 6,500 miles over three weeks, stopping in 15 states. Most of those states – like Florida, Texas and California – have large Latino populations and are on the front line of the debate about creating a path to citizenship for as many as 11 million undocumented immigrants. The tour is set to conclude June 18 on Angel Island in San Francisco.
Sister Simone Campbell, executive director of the Catholic social justice lobbying group, urged congregants to call legislators. Emblazoned on the sides of the bus were instructions on how to join the cause.
Sister Simone Campbell, who leads the Nuns on the Bus, says immigration reform is a natural fit for the group. "Immigration is at the heart of our Catholic faith. It's about community. We need to welcome the stranger, and treat the stranger as yourself," she says.
In his welcoming remarks, Bishop O’Connell noted the May 21 statement from New Jersey’s bishops urging support of fair and just immigration reform and praised the sisters’ efforts in reminding one and all of America’s heritage as a nation of immigrants. During the event, co-sponsored by the parish and The Center for Faith Justice located on its grounds, the bishop lent his “prayer and encouragement to the cause of comprehensive immigration reform” which reflects Catholic social teaching.