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Marchers Press Brooks for Reform

November 12, 2013 | Current in Carmel | link to article

"I haven't seen my family in 14 years," said a melancholy woman named Lupe Pimental of Indianapolis.  She was one of 30 people who gathered outside of US Rep. Susan Brooks' office on Meridian Street on a Blustery afternoon Nov. 1 under the banner of Campaign for Citizenship. 

The group had marched from Indianapolis in the hopes of encouraging the congresswoma to become an advocate for the Border Security Economic Opportunity, and immigration Modernization Act - ab ill that would offer a path to citizenship so that famlies like Pimethal's would not be separated on different sides of US borders indefinely.

"We're just marching in support of the undocumented," said Francisco Figueroa of the group of pilgrims gathered who eventually marched all the way to Brooks' office in Anderson - about 48 miles - over the course of four days and prayed at different Cathoic churches that were key organizers of thier political movement.

"Indianapolis Archbishop Joseph W. Tobin and the other Catholic bishops of the United States support an earned legalization program that would allow foreign nationals of good moral character who are living in the United States to adjust their status to obtain lawful permanent residence." said Greg Otolski, a spokesman for Archdiocese of Indianapolis. "Tobin believes that such a program would essentially promote family unity since it currently takes years for family members to be reunited through the family-based legal immigration system."

The marchers said they secured an agreement from Brooks, a practicing Catholic herself, to attend a special caucus of Republicans who are working to move citizenship forward and to discuss immigration reform with the Archbishop of Indianapolis and the Bishop of Lafayette within the next two weeks.

Brooks said that the bill in the house is extremely new- it was read the day before the recent shutdown of the federal government began-and islikely to be divided up by differnt topics.  But the marchers viewed the journey as a success.

"It was amazing to see all the support.  It was just a confirmation of the idea of Hoosier hospitality," said marcher Isaias Guerrero. "I'm still sore but it was very beautiful."