Six Sisters of St. Joseph as well as Michele Boccia, Director of Pastoral Care at Maria Regina Residence were in the audience at the Mid-Island Jewish Community Center in Plainview on Sunday, April 15, when Representatives Thomas Suozzi and Peter King explained their positions on legislative remedies to address current immigration policy that leaves 11 million undocumented immigrants subject to deportation, family separation and exclusion from the workforce. A panelist of respondents, and questions from the audience added deeply moving testimony about how the immigrant community is endangered and demoralized by Congress’ failure to enact responsible immigration reform and how the nation is diminished by turning away the contributions that immigrants make. Despite their differing party affiliations, both Representatives spoke with civility and compassion for undocumented youth (DACA recipients) and long- time residents whose temporary protected status (TPS) is being challenged. The CSJ’s present were informed and energized by the experience and motivated to continue the advocacy which the Congregation encourages. The forum highlighted the vulnerability of unaccompanied minors who are under suspicion for gang involvement without proof and who are in double jeopardy from real gang members and from law enforcement as well. The audience strongly supported a follow up forum that would include representatives from law enforcement and the presentation of testimony and data from the immigrant community about false arrests of youth. Stay tuned. Click here to register for a workshop on April 28 to learn skills for civil dialogue on immigration policy and practices.