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Cardinal Mahoney joins other bishops lobbying for Dream Act

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Immigration activists are making a final push for passage of the DREAM Act. The measure would offer legal residency to undocumented students and members of the military. The US House has already passed the measure. The Senate expects to vote on it tomorrow morning. Some Senators fielded calls from their Catholic bishops back home.

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops has lobbied Congress hard the last couple of months. Through the Bishops’ “justice for immigrants” campaign, Catholics sent more than 30-thousand messages to lawmakers, urging passage of the DREAM Act.

In a conference call with other bishops, Cardinal Roger Mahony of the Los Angeles Archdiocese spoke about the undocumented young people he’s met at USC and UCLA. The Cardinal said Americans deprive ourselves of their talents by not allowing them to move forward. "This is really not amnesty," he said. "They have worked hard and they are earning their way to legal status."

Several bishops made personal phone calls to their Senators to rally support for the DREAM Act. Cardinal Mahony’s job was much easier: both California Senators say they’ll vote “yes” on the bill.