Phoenix, AZ - Lobby Visit

Lobby Visits to Senator Flake's and Senator McCain's Offices

Written by: Sister Elaine Betoncourt, CSJ (Sen. Flake's office) and Sister Gail Young, SSS (Sen. McCain's office)

June 12, 2013

Senator Flake's Office: Upon arriving in Phoenix, three of the "nuns on the bus" were joined by local sisters and others for a lobby visit with Senator Flake's staff. There were a dozen or so in the delegation and although the visit was an extremely brief one, there was opportunity to highlight many reasons why comprehensive immigration reform needs to be enacted now, this summer.

What was so special about this visit were the voices of immigrants expressing their desire to become contributing citizens of the U.S. and the roadblocks they now face, especially the tearing apart of families.

The people who greeted us both before and after the lobby event were the most affectionate folks we've met, giving us messages written on hearts and gifting us with garlands and bouquets of flowers and many hugs and kisses of welcome and gratitude.

Senator McCain's Office: Today we visited Senator John McCain’s Office in Phoenix, Arizona.  We met with the State Director, Gina Gormley.

Sr. Mary Ellen, our Team Captain, introduced Sr. Pat, Sr. Marge and me, along with 10 constituent members who were Dreamers, Asylum seekers, and family members with loved ones deported back to Mexico.  

Sr. Mary Ellen clearly stated how important it is for Senator McCain to stay strong in his commitment to comprehensive immigration reform.

 Sr. Pat explained to Ms. Gormley the devastation of separating families in our communities. 

Patricia, the mother of a daughter who has three children, was present in the meeting with us.  Patricia’s daughter was deported to Mexico leaving her three American-born citizens with her parents. The grandmother had tears in her eyes as she told her story since her family cannot be together.

Julio shared that his brother was deported in 2010 and he has not seen his brother since.

And there are many other stories like these that we have heard on our journey.

Ms. Gormley stated she will deliver this message to Senator McCain.  She also said to us that Senator McCain is proud of his bill and is committed to bringing it to completion. This brings hope to the 100%!