Lawful Assembly 11: Building a Welcoming City

This is a podcast interview with Rev. Craig B. Mousin, founder and former Director of the Midwest Immigrant Rights Center and an Adjunct Faculty member at DePaul University’s College of Law and The Grace School of Applied Diplomacy.  The podcast celebrates the thirty-sixth anniversary of former Mayor Harold Washington’s Executive Order 85-1 that prohibited city agencies, including the police, from cooperating with the enforcement activities of the Immigration and Naturalization Service.  After the Chicago City Council enacted an ordinance sharing Mayor Washington’s goals twelve years ago, the City Council recently added new amendments to Chicago’s Welcoming City Ordinance, signed by Mayor Lori Lightfoot on February 23, 2021.   The podcast commends the activism of the Chicago Immigration Working Group for its efforts to build a truly welcoming city.  To that end, that Group reminded all that “to be a true welcoming city, Chicago must start to divest from criminalization, begin to invest in our communities, and ensure true police accountability.” (press release celebrating the new amendments which includes the list of the diverse groups that constitute the Chicago Immigration Working Group):  https://www.icirr.org/News/Welcoming-City-Ordinance-is-a-win-by-and-for-our-communities%2C-but-work-remains-to-be-done

For more information on Chicago’s response to the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 and Mayor Harold Washington’s issuance of his Executive Order 85-1, see “A Clear View from the Prairie: Harold Washington and the People of Illinois Respond to Federal Encroachment of Human Rights,” 29 S. Ill. L. J. 285 (Fall, 2004/Winter, 2005):

https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2997657

 

Honor World Children’s Day

This episode is an interview with Rev. Craig B. Mousin, an Adjunct Faculty member at DePaul University’s College of Law and The Grace School of Applied Diplomacy.  On November 20, 2020, the designated World Children’s Day, Rev. Mousin discusses what can be done in response to the thousands of children detained, deported, and excluded from applying for remedies permitted under the Refugee Act of 1980.  In addition, he invokes the ten immediate priorities recommended by a coalition of several national organizations including among others, The Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights and the American Academy of Pediatricians to correct United States immigration and refugee law and policy regarding children.

The Immediate Priorities for the Protection of Immigrant Children can be found at:  https://www.theyoungcenter.org/stories/2020/11/10/immediate-priorities-for-the-protection-of-immigrant-children-november-2020?rq=Immediate%20Priorities.  Amnesty International offers one way to take immediate action to protest the proposed deportation of the 28 children and their families through this link: https://act.amnestyusa.org/page/59764/action/1?ea.tracking.id=vxd8hcs1&ac=W2011EARMR1&ea.url.id=5018432&forwarded=true

The podcast refers to an On Being interview with the late Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks which can be found at: https://onbeing.org/programs/remembering-rabbi-lord-jonathan-sacks/    Rev. Mousin’s article “You Were Told to Love the Immigrant, But What if the Story Never Happened? Hospitality and United States Immigration Law” provides additional information on Rev. Theodore Conklin’s description of the hospitality offered Mary, Joseph, and Jesus when they fled into Egyptian exile in the text at footnote 128.  St. Vincent DePaul’s call to not abandon the children can be found in the same article in the text at footnote 172.  Seehttps://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2784951

For more information on World Children’s Day see:   https://www.un.org/en/observances/world-childrens-day  In addition, for a discussion on the Convention of the Rights of the Child and the United States’ failure to adopt it and its impact on asylum-seeking children, see Rev. Mousin’s article on “Rights Disappear When US Policy Engages Children as Weapons of Deterrence,” at: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3317913

Celebrate Ombuds Day–October 8, 2020

Join Ombuds and friends from around the world to celebrate the peacemaking work of Ombuds.  Sponsored by the American Bar Association’s Dispute Resolution Committee (https://www.americanbar.org/groups/dispute_resolution/).  Ombuds Day will meet virtually, but intentionally, on Thursday, October 8,2020 to raise up the work of Ombuds and seek ways to address resolution of conflict and miscommunication.  Craig B. Mousin, DePaul University’s Ombudsperson (https://offices.depaul.edu/mission-ministry/programming-and-services/ombudsperson/Pages/default.aspx)  provides an introduction to Ombuds Day and the work of Ombuds in this Lawful Assembly podcast.  You can find additional information as well as the link to register for events on Thursday at:  https://www.americanbar.org/groups/dispute_resolution/events_cle/ombuds-day/

Lawful Assembly Episode 3: Repair the Breach: Help All in Your Community Be Counted in the 2020 Census

 

This episode is an interview with Rev. Craig B. Mousin founder and former Executive Director of the Midwest Immigrant Rights Center and an Adjunct Faculty member at DePaul University’s College of Law and The Grace School of Applied Diplomacy.  He discusses how the Census, by counting all those residing in the United States every ten years, if done well, helps the nation repair past breaches to our body politic.  In the wake of a pandemic, civic unrest and the long road to healing our nation from the consequences of slavery and racism, the Census offers an opportunity for all of “We the People” to be counted and leading to a fairer representation.  The government will stop counting residents in this Census on September 30, 2020, thus necessitating that we all use our resources to ensure a fair count.  You can go to www.census.gov  for information on how to encourage greater participation.  If you would like to participate in a phone bank sponsored by the Urban League of Chicago on Wednesday, September 9, 2020 to encourage participation in the City of Chicago, you can volunteer by emailing kbutler@chiul.org (Kareem Butler, Director of Learning and Evaluation, Chicago Urban League).  The quotation from Professor Akhill Reed Amar can be found in American’s Constitution, A Biography,” (Random House, N.Y., 2005), 87.  For a description of rotten districts / rotten boroughs  see P.84.

Please share this podcast and links with members of your community or faith organizations, family members and friends.  Encourage them to assist all members of their communities to file their Census form to  generate a fair count of all.  Thank you for your consideration of this request.

 

Episode 2: New Opportunity to Oppose Proposed Regulations Precluding Asylum Eligibility

 

This episode is an interview with Rev. Craig B. Mousin founder and former Executive Director of the Midwest Immigrant Rights Center and an Adjunct Faculty member at DePaul University’s College of Law and The Grace School of Applied Diplomacy. He talks about responding to the federal government’s proposed regulations that would make asylum seekers ineligible for asylum and related remedies based on purported public health considerations.   We encourage you to file your own comments opposing part or all of the proposed procedures and asking the government to withdraw the entire proposed rule.  To assist you in obtaining a link to the proposed procedures or in filing your comment, you may incorporate your remarks into one of the templates provided by the following:

The National Immigrant Justice Center’s template.

If you are concerned about unaccompanied minors or children refugee issues, you can use the Young Center’s template.

Both websites provide additional information on how the proposed regulations restrict access to the courts and prevent bona fide applicants from presenting their cases for asylum.  To be accepted by the government, please make sure your comments are filed on or before 11:59 p.m. EDT, Monday, August 10 2020.

For additional information on the pretext of the public health need for these proposals, see:  https://www.humanrightsfirst.org/resource/new-asylum-ban-recycled-pretext-proposed-rule-would-illegally-unjustly-bar-many-asylum

 

Please share this podcast and links with members of your community or faith organizations, family members and friends.  Encourage them to file comments to help ensure that our nation continues to offer shelter for refugees in need.  Thank you for your consideration of this request.

 

Lawful Assembly Podcast – Episode 1: Portland, What Border are we Defending?

 

In this episode Rev. Craig B. Mousin discusses the deployment of federal officers to Portland in reaction to the ongoing protests. He discusses the problem of relying on federal immigration officers for local law enforcement and links some of Chicago’s responses to federal interference in local matters.

He references a previous podcast about DACA recipients and their families and communities. It is available here:

It-is-more-than-just-the-dreamers

For more insight into the distinction between the constitutional constraints on Customs And Border Enforcement and local law enforcement, see a blog co-authored by a former colleague at DePaul College of Law’s Asylum and Immigration Law Clinic, Linus Chan, now an Associate Clinical Professor of Law at the University of Minnesota Law School: “Trump’s Paramilitary Unites Trained at the Border for the Assaults on Portland Moms,” by Linus Chan and Carrie L. Rosenbaum. slate.com/news-and-politics/20…d-moms-attacked.html

If you would like more information about Mayor Harold Washington’s Executive Order or Chicago’s response to the Fugitive Slave Act, see my article at:  https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2997657

Your Opportunity to Respond to Proposed Changes Restricting Asylum in the United States [Podcast]

Listen to the podcast:

This is a podcast interview with Rev. Craig B. Mousin founder and former Executive Director of the Midwest Immigrant Rights Center and an Adjunct Faculty member at DePaul University’s College of Law and The Grace School of Applied Diplomacy. He talks about responding to the federal government’s proposed regulations entitled “Procedures for Asylum and Withholding of Removal; Credible Fear and Reasonable Fear Review.”

We encourage you to file your own comments opposing part or all of the proposed procedures and asking the government to withdraw the entire proposed rule.  To assist you in obtaining a link to the proposed procedures or in filing your comment, you may incorporate your remarks into one of the templates provided by the following:

The National Immigrant Justice Center offers this template for any community member concerned about access to asylum:

If you are concerned about unaccompanied minors or children refugee issues, you might find the template of the Young Center helpful:

Both websites provide additional information on how the proposed regulations restrict access to the courts and prevent bona fide applicants from presenting their cases for asylum.  Please make sure your comments are filed on or before 11:59 p.m. EDT, Wednesday, July 15, 2020.

Please share this podcast and links with members of your community or faith organizations, family members and friends.  Encourage them to file comments to help ensure that our nation continues to offer shelter for refugees in need.  Thank you for your consideration of this request.

If you would like more information about the documentary, “Brightness of Noon, the Intersect of Faith, Refugees and Immigrants, Part II,”

Supreme Court DACA Ruling and the Vincentian Mission

 

This is a podcast interview with Rev. Craig B. Mousin founder and former Executive Director of the Midwest Immigrant Rights Center and an Adjunct Faculty member at DePaul University’s College of Law. He talks about the June, 2020 18, DACA ruling by the United States Supreme Court and what DACA means for the Vincentian Community and DePaul Students.

For more information visit: National Immigrant Justice Center: immigrantjustice.org/issues/daca-and-dreamers

We reference this previous episode in this podcast: “It is more than just the dreamers”

COVID-19: Some Wisdom from the Past. The Experience of St. Vincent de Paul

By Rev. Robert Maloney, C.M.


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St. Vincent was no stranger to pandemics. On perhaps no other topic were his emotions so deeply stirred. Outbursts of the plague ravaged Europe frequently during his active years, taking the lives of many whom he loved. Marguerite Naseau, whose story he often told and whom he always regarded as the first Daughter of Charity, succumbed to the plague at 27, even before the Daughters were recognized juridically.(1) Lambert au Couteau—of whom Vincent once said “the loss of this man is like having me tear out one of my eyes or cut off one of my arms”(2) and whom he sent to establish the Congregation of the Mission in Poland—died serving the plague-stricken in Warsaw in 1653. Antoine Lucas, much admired not only by Vincent but also by other founders of religious communities at that time, died from the plague in Genoa in 1656.(3)

Tragedies piled up in Vincent’s life, especially in the 1650’s. He often spoke of “war, plague and famine” as the scourge of the poor. In addition, there were persecutions in Algiers, Tunis, Ireland, and the Hebrides. The Congregation of the Mission’s first martyr, Thaddeus Lye, a seminarian, gave his life in Limerick in 1652.(4) His persecutors crushed his skull and cut off his hands and feet in the presence of his mother. When in 1657, on top of hearing that three priests had died on their way to Madagascar, Vincent received news that six members of the house in Genoa had succumbed to the plague, he described himself as “overwhelmed with sorrow” and added that he “could not receive a greater blow without being completely crushed by it.”(5)

In his letters and conferences, Vincent mentioned the plague more than 300 times. He sent lengthy letters offering practical advice about helping plague victims to his friend, Alain de Solminihac, the Bishop of Cahors,(6) and to the superiors in Genoa(7) and Rome.(8) In his talks, he described the plague in France, Algiers, Tunis, Poland, and throughout Italy.

The dimensions were staggering. France alone lost almost a million people to the plague in the epidemic of 1628-31. In roughly the same period in Italy, 280,000 died. In 1654, 150,000 inhabitants of Naples succumbed. Algiers lost about 40,000 people in 1620-21, and again in 1654-57.

Genoa was among the hardest hit. Half the city died in 1657. The long list of members of the Vincentian Family who lost their lives there is touching.

As one might imagine, the Daughters of Charity and the Confraternities were on the front lines in ministering to those afflicted by the plague (not to mention their service to those whose lives were disrupted by war, famine, and political strife at the very same time). Some of what Vincent said to his priests, his brothers and his sisters, as well as to the lay women and men in the confraternities, is colored by the circumstances of the times and by the lack of the medical knowledge and resources that we have today. But much of what he said and how he reacted is quite relevant to members of the Vincentian Family as they confront COVID-19 today.

Here, let me highlight four points:

  1. As he struggled with painful emotions, Vincent remained convinced that, no matter what the circumstances, we must never abandon the poor. They are our “our portion” in life, he stated. He was firm in telling the members of his Family that, even in extremely difficult circumstances, we must be creative in finding ways to tend to the needs of the suffering. Vincent wrote to Alain de Solminihac, “The poor country people stricken with the plague are usually left abandoned and very short of food. It will be an action worthy of your piety, Excellency, to make provision for this by sending alms to all those places. See that they are put into the hands of good pastors, who will have bread, wine, and a little meat brought in for these poor people to pick up in the places and the times indicated for them… or to some good layperson of the parish who could do this. There is usually someone in each area capable of doing this act of charity, especially if they do not have to come into direct contact with the plague-stricken.”(9)
  2. Vincent’s evangelical interpretation of events came to the fore rapidly in such times of crisis. In December 1657, thinking of eleven members of his Family who had recently lost their lives, he wrote: “There are so many missionaries we now have in heaven. There is no room to doubt this, since they all gave their lives for charity, and there is no greater love than to give one’s life for the neighbor, as Our Lord has said and practiced. If, then, we have lost something on the one hand, we have gained something on the other, because God has been pleased to glorify our members of our Family, as we have good reason to believe, and the ashes of these apostolic men and women will be the seed of a large number of good missionaries. At least, these are the prayers I ask you to offer to God.”(10)
  3. In advising the members of his Family about how to serve in the midst of the plague, Vincent chose a middle ground. On the one hand, he urged them to stay near the plague-stricken and not abandon them; on the other hand, he encouraged the Family to observe the cautions that civil and ecclesiastical leaders were recommending. He told Etienne Blatiron, the superior in Genoa, “The only thing I recommend most earnestly and ardently to you is to take all reasonable precautions to preserve your health.”(11) Blatiron took numerous risks and died from the plague in 1657. Vincent wrote to Jean Martin, the superior in Turin, “I am concerned that you took only a short rest and went back to work so soon. In the name of Our Lord, please moderate what you do and get all the help you can.”(12) Martin lived on and served energetically until 1694.
  4. He expanded the definition of a martyr to include all who valiantly gave their lives for the poor, and he never ceased singing their praises. Speaking of the Daughters of Charity, he said, “A holy Father once said that anyone who gives himself or herself to God to serve their neighbor and willingly endures all the difficulties that they may encounter in this is a martyr. Did the martyrs suffer more than these Sisters… who give themselves to God (and) are sometimes with sick persons full of infection and sores and often noxious body fluids; sometimes with poor children for whom everything must be done; or with poor convicts loaded down with chains and afflictions… They’re far more worthy of praise than anything I could say to you. I’ve never seen anything like it. If we saw the spot where a martyr had been, we’d approach it only with respect and kiss it with great reverence. Look upon them as martyrs of Jesus Christ, since they serve their neighbor for love of Him.”(13)

Today, we face what, for most of us, is an unprecedented crisis, as we confront COVID-19. How might we deal with it in St. Vincent’s spirit? May I suggest three things:

  1. Volunteer service. The poor suffer most in crises like this. Often, they find themselves jobless. They need lodging, food, and other essential services. Our Family has a long history, from St. Vincent’s time to the present, in providing such necessities. One can only admire the doctors, nurses, emergency medical technicians, home visitors and others who continue to serve those currently suffering.
  2. Donations. The stock market and other economic indices have plunged dramatically in this period. Some take that as a signal to be wary about giving. But the needs of the poor are all the greater in times like this. Can we as a Family continue to be generous to the neediest?
  3. Prayer. Pope Francis and many other religious leaders are summoning us to pray for victims and for an end to the pandemic. Some beautiful prayers have been composed. Besides these, may I offer this suggestion from St. Vincent: “God himself tells us, ‘A short, fervent prayer pierces the clouds.’ (Sir 35:17) Those darts of love are very pleasing to God and, consequently, are highly recommended by the holy Fathers, who realized their importance. That’s what I urge you, my sisters and brothers.”(14)
Notations added and this text produced by the
DePaul University Vincentian Studies Institute.
March 31, 2020

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  1. Naseau’s death is mentioned in a notation to Letter 176, To Saint Louise, [Between 1634 and 1636], in Pierre Coste, C.M., Vincent de Paul: Correspondence, Conferences, Documents, and translated by Jacqueline Kilar, D.C., Marie Poole, D.C., et. al., 14 vols. (New York: New City Press, 1985–2014), 1:241, n. 2. Hereinafter cited as CCD. Online at: https://via.‌library.‌depaul.‌edu/‌vincentian_ebooks/25/
  2. Letter 419, To Saint Louise, In Angers, Parish, 17 January 1640, CCD, 2:10, n. 1. Online at: https://‌via.‌library.‌depaul.‌edu/‌vincentian‌_ebooks/27/
  3. Letter 26, To Pope Urban VIII, CCD, 1:39, n. 4. Online at: https://via.‌library.‌depaul.‌edu/‌vincentian_ebooks/25/
  4. Letter 1473, To Lambert aux Couteaux, Superior, in Warsaw, 22 March [1652], CCD, 4:342. Online at: https://via.library.depaul.edu/vincentian_ebooks/29/
  5. See Letter 2352, To Jacques Chiroye, Superior, in Luçon, CCD, 6:440. Online at: https://‌via.‌library.‌depaul.‌edu/‌vincentian‌_ebooks/31/
  6. See Letter 1572, To Alain de Solminihac, Bishop of Cahors, [November 1652], CCD, 4:500-503. Online at: https://‌via.‌library.‌depaul.‌edu/‌vincentian_ebooks/29/
  7. See Letter 2111, To Étienne Blatiron, Superior, in Genoa, 28 July 1656, CCD, 6:52-53. Online at: https://‌via.‌library.‌depaul.‌edu/‌vincentian‌_ebooks/31/
  8. See Letter 2122, To Edme Jolly, Superior, in Rome, 11 August 1656, CCD, 6:63. Online at: https://‌via.‌library.‌depaul.‌edu/‌vincentian‌_ebooks/31/
  9. Letter 1572, To Alain de Solminihac, Bishop of Cahors, [November 1652], CCD, 4:502. Online at: https://‌via.‌library.‌depaul.‌edu/‌vincentian_ebooks/29/
  10. See Letter 2483, To Dominique Lhuillier, in Crécy, Paris, 11 December 1657, CCD, 7:19. Online at: https://‌via.‌library.‌depaul.‌edu/‌vincentian‌_ebooks/32/
  11. Letter 2174, To Étienne Blatiron, Supeior, in Genoa, 1 December 1656, CCD, 6:156. Online at: https://‌via.‌library.‌depaul.‌edu/‌vincentian‌_ebooks/31/
  12. Letter 2184, To Jean Martin, Superior, in Turin, Paris, 29 December 1656, CCD, 6:172. Online at: https://‌via.‌library.‌depaul.‌edu/‌vincentian‌_ebooks/31/
  13. See Conference 27, The Practice of Mutual Respect and Gentleness, 19 August 1646, CCD, 9:214. Online at: https://‌via.‌library.‌depaul.‌‌edu/‌vincentian_ebooks/34/
  14. See Conference 5, Fidelity to Rising and Mental Prayer, 16 August 1640, CCD, 9:32. Online at: https://‌via.‌library.‌depaul.‌‌edu/‌vincentian_ebooks/34/

 

Meekness, the Charming Virtue

 

Is the virtue Meekness important to us today? Hear Rev. Jack Melito, C.M. set out Vincent’s reasons for developing this virtue, ways to grow in it, and its value today to one’s spiritual journey. “Meekness the Charming Virtue” is a chapter from the book Windows on His Vision (p 125) available at https://via.library.depaul.edu/windows/2/

It is also available as an ebook here: https://via.library.depaul.edu/vincentian_ebooks/8/