Confused by the Immigration Fracas?

Posted on March 6, 2017 by admin  |  Share

Jay Sullivan at Catholic Charities' NY Athletic Club Forum

To clear confusion caused by the immigration fracas Catholic Charities organized town halls throughout New York City and the Hudson Valley.  The latest, held at the New York Athletic Club on March 2, 2017, addressed more than 60 successful New Yorkers, all descendents of immigrants who, one generation or another, achieved the American Dream. Check out these inspiring words by Jay Sullivan excerpted from Opening and Closing Comments he made at the event.

By Jay Sullivan

Managing Partner, Exec-Comm


Welcome, my fellow immigrants and children of immigrants.

I’m Jay Sullivan.  I don’t work for Catholic Charities.  I, like you, just believe in the work and mission of Catholic Charities and am glad to be able to be here to support them address an important issue.

I’ll start by thanking our host, New York Athletic Club member and Catholic Charities Board member, Brendan Ryan. Thank you, Brendan, for providing us access to this terrific venue.

Why are we here? 

Every day in the news, we see examples of unbelievable bravery, usually in the face of unspeakable cruelty.  Whether it’s the war in Syria or politically induced famine in the Sudan, we’re inundated with examples of humanity’s inhumanity.  But if we look closely, we can each be inspired by stories of kindness, compassion, and charity, where people have reached out to others to lighten the load, to bear the burden, and to accompany others on difficult journeys. 

That battle between our capacity for cruelty and our capacity for compassion plays out in ways large and small every day. 

For the last two years, during the primary and since the general election, immigration and refugee issues have been in the forefront of the news.  It’s been an epic battle.  There’s an old adage that in times of war, the first casualty is the truth.  That has certainly been the case of late.  There is a tremendous amount of misinformation around immigration and refugee issues disseminated widely in the last two years.  How many of you have had a conversation in the last few months that turned to the issue of immigration?

Truth and Compassion

So, tonight’s discussion is about two things.  Truth…and…compassion. 

Catholic Charities has been at the forefront of providing legal counsel and social services to immigrants and refugees in this region for a long time.  We are part of a network of service providers trying to assist and bear witness to the struggles of a huge portion of our population… 

Next Steps

Maybe you think of yourself as a “concerned citizen,” or merely as an engaged participant in this amazing human experiment God is conducting here on Earth.  That human experience is in crisis right now. 

What can you do about it?

As I mentioned earlier, (this) is about truth and compassion.

  1. First, we ask that you become ambassadors of truth on this issue…  
  2. Second, we ask that you look for opportunities to spread that truth in your own communities… 
  3. Third, we ask that you consider getting involved.  If you are interested in volunteering... there are plenty of Catholic Charities volunteer opportunities to lend your time and talent to help with this issue and we encourage you to do so.

Finally, of course, as I am sure you have surmised, there are financial implications in crisis situations such as these… As you become an ambassador of the truth on these issues with other people, if someone asks you about how to support this issue and the work of Catholic Charities financially, contact Catholic Charities.

Thank you for joining us.

Check out Catholic Charities’ latest immigration updates