Sisters of Mercy and others pray inside the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington Feb. 27 during a

Dozens of Catholics arrested as they call on Congress to help ‘Dreamers’

A U.S. Capitol Police officer, left, arrests an elderly member of the Sisters of Mercy during a "Catholic Day of Action for Dreamers" protest inside the Russell Senate Office Building Feb. 27 in Washington. (CNS photo/Bob Roller) WASHINGTON (CNS) — Dozens of Catholics, including men and women religious, were arrested in the rotunda of a Senate office building in Washington Feb. 27 as they called on lawmakers to help young adults brought to the U.S. as minors without documents obtain some sort of permanent legal status.

Many of the arrested included Sisters of Mercy, who recalled the arrival of their religious order to the U.S. and their contributions to the country, and asked that the young adults they called “Dreamers,” a reference to a legislative proposal, be allowed to do the same.

Though about 30 to 40 were arrested, hundreds showed up to take part in the “Catholic Day of Action with Dreamers,” organized by the PICO National Network, a faith-based community organization based in California that gathered the coalition of Catholic social justice organizations based in Washington for the event.

Jesuit Father Thomas Reese addressed the plight of the young adults in a news conference before the arrests and said “giving legal status to ‘Dreamers’ is not a political issue. It is a moral issue.”

Bishop John Stowe of Lexington, Kentucky, blessed those “standing up for their brothers and sisters,” prior to their arrests as police began warning the group via loudspeaker against their act of civil disobedience.

By Rhina Guidos | Catholic News Service