Jun 11, 2013 10:25 AM by Ryan Haarer

Nuns on the Bus set to fight for immigration reform in Arizona

TUCSON- A group of outspoken nuns will be in Tucson, Tuesday and Wednesday. The Catholic lobby group network is making stops in 15 states to promote immigration reform. They are known as Nuns on a Bus.

Last year the Vatican denounced the efforts of NETWORK and other organizations run by nuns saying they are doing work that has radically feminist themes. The sisters disagree but in some ways appreciate the attention it's brought to their cause.

Sister Simone Campbell is not just a nun. She's a lawyer, and an advocate for human rights. As the executive director of NETWORK she was on the first bus full of nuns last year as they toured the country on a mission to throw out the Ryan budget. This year, they've taken up immigration.

"There's a lot of people who say it's things like amnesty for the undocumented, or that it's going to ruin our borders, really fear tactics to try and settle or end this absolutely fabulous opportunity we have to make our country better," said Campbell.

It's a busy couple of days in Arizona for the eight sisters. They'll meet with Congressman Raul Grijalva, head to Nogales to see the border, and eventually end up in Phoenix to speak with senators John McCain and Jeff Flake about their bill. It's a religious mission they say is backed by statistics.

"Jesus says fear not. But all faiths teach that we're better in community that we need to work together. So that's our basic message, but then out of that we have a lot of data about the economy and how the economy would be improved if we did this immigration reform. Our entitlements would be improved if we do comprehensive immigration reform."

Despite calls from the Vatican to fall in line, Sister Campbell and her team have vowed to continue doing what they feel is the work of god.

"This year it was just clear with immigration reform we had to stick up for our brothers and sisters in the shadows."

Despite its bi-partisan authors this bill is facing plenty of opposition on Capitol Hill. The bill's sheer size, almost 900 pages, creates complications for lawmakers wanting one part of the bill but not another.


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