Face It, Sen. Toomey, You’re a Cafeteria Catholic Like the Rest of Us

Sen. Patrick Toomey, speaks to reporters outside his office in Washington on April 12, 2016.

“I was born and raised Catholic. I am a practicing Catholic. We are active members of our church. Our kids attend Catholic school, so my faith is a part of who I am. What I have learned through faith helps inform my judgment on many, many issues. It’s hard to quantify, but my faith is an important source of informing my judgment.”

The preceding quote is one of Pat Toomey’s responses to a candidates’ questionnaire prepared by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s Office of Communications and and published in the Catholic Standard & Times October 28, 2010, edition, just prior to the election in which he eked out a victory over Admiral Joe Sestak to claim the U.S. Senate seat for Pennsylvania.

Truth is, no Catholic disputed his religious bona fides — he was outspoken about his pro-life views, and had long been a supporter of school choice and the vouchers that favor archdiocesan education. Since then he’s taken a number of stands that he (and other conservative Catholics) have characterized as safeguarding religious liberties and practice — including efforts to exempt religious employers from carrying insurance that covers birth control and opposing discrimination laws that include LGBTQ protections. He is not — by many Pennsylvania Catholics’ accounting — a “cafeteria Catholic,” that is, someone who has cherry-picked which issues to stand Catholic about.

Well … except for immigration.  Read more »

WATCH: NE Philly Rep. White Clashes with Immigration Activists

Al Día has posted a video showing Northeast Philly State Rep. Martina White yelling at immigrants’ rights activists in her Harrisburg office.

Last month, White introduced a bill that would hold sanctuary cities — ones that bar local cooperation with federal immigration authorities — “liable for damages on account of an injury to a person or property as a result of criminal activity by an unauthorized alien.” Read more »

Bill Would Create Municipal ID in Philly

quinones city hall

Maria Quiñonez-Sanchez

City Hall may soon issue its own “municipal ID” to Philadelphia residents, a new form of identification modeled on programs in New YorkSan Francisco and other big cities with large populations of undocumented immigrants.

Though immigrants aren’t mentioned in the press release Councilwoman Maria Quiñones-Sanchez issued in support of the legislation — which she introduced at today’s Council meeting — she pointed to New York’s year-old IDNYC program as a model for the Philly effort. That program has been heavily promoted, and heavily covered, as aiding undocumented immigrants in that city, as well as homeless residents who otherwise find it difficult to obtain state-issued IDs.

Sanchez’s effort has the backing of Mayor Jim Kenney.

“There is no question that something must be done to help bring Philadelphians out of the shadows,” Kenney said in the press release. “Our entire city benefits when all of our residents can legally own an apartment, open a bank account, and otherwise participate in our economy and society fully.” Read more »

Pa. “Sanctuary Cities” Could Face Crackdown

martina white

Rep. Martina White

A Philadelphia Republican plans to introduce a state bill that would hold “sanctuary cities” liable for damages and crimes caused by undocumented immigrants — and require local law officers to report migrants to the feds, regardless of city policies. Read more »

Darrell Clarke Is Already Upstaging Mayor Kenney

Photo | Jeff Fusco

Photo | Jeff Fusco

In 48 short hours, newly minted Mayor Jim Kenney has already set a tone that could very well define his next four (or, more likely, eight) years in office. So far, his speeches and actions have underlined his commitments to enact a progressive agenda, serve old and new Philadelphians alike, and maintain a solid relationship with other power players in the city. At the same time, Kenney has been somewhat short on ambition, as if he’s afraid of promising too much and not being able to deliver. Here are five takeaways from Kenney’s first couple days in office: Read more »

The No-Bullshit Guide to Sanctuary Cities

shutterstock.com

Shutterstock.com

Immigration has been a long-debated issue in American politics, especially in the past decade. However, upon Donald Trump announcing his candidacy for President and calling Mexican immigrants “drug dealers” and “rapists,” the already controversial topic has grown even more contentious.

Most immigration policy is the province of the federal government. But not all. Take sanctuary cities. Loosely defined, these are cities that have decided not to cooperate with federal immigration authorities, or to cooperate at least a little less than the feds would like.

Philadelphia is a sanctuary city. Or at least, it has been one.

The status of sanctuary cities has become a point of debate in the presidential contest, particularly on the GOP side. Louisiana Gov. and Republican presidential candidate Bobby Jindal said that mayors of such cities should “absolutely” be arrested.

Now, six weeks before he leaves office, Mayor Michael Nutter is thinking about rolling back Philly’s status as a sanctuary city. But what exactly does the term mean, and what are the details? Here’s everything you need to know. Read more »

Pro-Immigration Groups Rally Against Nutter’s Proposal to Reverse “Sanctuary City” Policy

Photos by Holly Otterbein

Photos by Holly Otterbein

More than 50 people gathered at City Hall Monday to condemn the Nutter administration’s proposal to reverse an executive order that limits cooperation between local law enforcement officials and federal immigration agents.

“I am deeply disappointed,” said Rabbi Linda Holtzman. “I thought I lived in a city where a mayor might keep his promises. Shame on you, Mayor Nutter.” Read more »

South Philly Barbacoa’s Benjamin Miller Hosting Right to Work Events

benjamin-miller-south-philly-barbacoa-400

Benjamin Miller at a barbacoa event.

South Philly Barbacoa’s Benjamin Miller has been a vocal supporter of immigrant restaurant workers and he is going to be hosting a series of events to raise awareness and show solidarity with those unable to work legally in the United States. On Monday, November 30th, he is hosting a dinner upstairs at Nomad Pizza. The event will begin at 6:30 with a meet-and-greet, dinner, presentations and live music.

A donation is requested for the dinner and the event will be capped at 50 people. Chefs Nick Macri (La Divisa Meats), Calvin Okunoye (Restaurant Opportunities Center), Cristina Martinez  (South Philly Barbacoa) and Elijah Milligan (H2o Kitchen).

Reservations will be accepted starting at noon on Monday, November 16th. Watch the Facebook page for a number to call.

More on the goals of the event »

5 Takeaways From the Joyous, Weird Scene at Independence Mall

A crowd fills the Independence Mall as Pope Francis speaks in front of Independence Hall, Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015 in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

A crowd fills the Independence Mall as Pope Francis speaks in front of Independence Hall, Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015 in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Follow Philadelphia magazine’s live coverage of Pope Francis’s historic visit all weekend long.

Independence Mall was a chaotic, bizarre, beautiful place on Saturday. Pope Francis delivered a rousing speech on immigration and religious freedom there in the afternoon, but that was far from the only memorable thing that happened. Here are five takeaways from a day at the historic site:

1. Philadelphia is truly an international city right now.

Before the pope showed up to deliver his speech, Chinese dancers, African drummers and salsa musicians entertained the crowd for hours. Walking around, I heard more non-English languages than I heard English, and officials who took to the stage always got a bigger applause when they spoke in Spanish. People were waving flags from loads of different countries. Seeing this all near Independence Hall, where our country got its start, was pretty special. Read more »

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