Immigration Champion Award: Bishop Pepe

The Immigration Champion award was presented to Bishop Pepe for his support of the work of CLINIC, and for his own advocacy and pastoral efforts on behalf of immigrants. Particularly in Nevada, this work often involves collaboration with and on behalf of the members of the UNITE HERE and Culinary Union. Grounded in Catholic social teaching, the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., is the largest network of community-based nonprofit immigration legal programs, with nearly 330 affiliates in 47 states and the District of Columbia. Much of Bishop Pepe’s everyday work involves caring for and working to protect the many immigrants in the Diocese of Las Vegas (20 percent of Nevadans are immigrants). As head of the diocese since 2001, Bishop Pepe has testified in support of immigrants, joined in public celebrations of their contributions and urged Catholics in a plea at Masses to pray, write and phone elected representatives, urging support for a then-pending immigration reform bill. Last fall, Bishop Pepe celebrated a special Mass for immigrants, refugees and workers, attended by hundreds of Las Vegas workers and union members of all faiths. D. Taylor, president of UNITE HERE serves on CLINIC’s Board of Directors, and UNITE HERE has partnered with CLINIC on a number of projects. CLINIC has helped thousands of workers to apply for citizenship and has worked with dozens of UNITE HERE local affiliates across the country to prepare. CLINIC, UNITE HERE, and Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Las Vegas have partnered to conduct workshops that helped thousands of union members, their families and neighbors become citizens. More info:

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