On Wednesday, April 17, 2013 a bi-partisan group of Senators introduced comprehensive immigration reform. This is a historic moment for our country, a country of migrants, and we must work hard to ensure that immigrants who are contributing in many ways to our country have a pathway to citizenship, including DREAMers, and are able to reunite with their families. We also want to see humane alternatives to detention and a way to address future flows of immigration to ensure that people can come to the United States and work with strong labor protections and an eventual path towards citizenship. This legislation will mostly accomplish these principles and we applaud the Senators for crafting these thoughtful provisions.
But we also see ways in which this legislation falls short. It will increase a militarized presence along the border with unmanned drones and aerial surveillance and with more fencing that will block the few remaining wildlife corridors. The 600 miles of fencing that already exists was done without regard to environmental laws and the property of ranchers, farmers, and others living along the border. We were also saddened to see the loss of the siblings category and the diversity visa program that allows people from countries around the world to immigrate to make our country a broader reflection of God’s image.
As people of faith, we have a commitment to welcome the stranger among us to God’s table, affirm the value of God’s Creation, and care for the least of these among us. As we heard at the national immigrant’s rights rally in Washington, D.C. on April 10, The time is now for compassionate immigration reform!
Call your Senators today through the Capitol Switchboard. Ask to be connected to your Senator’s office. Make sure to call back and talk to your other Senator when you are done to deliver the message to her or him too. Share with them:
“As a person of faith, I support comprehensive immigration reform that creates a pathway to citizenship, unites families, and creates a plan to address future flows of immigration. I oppose efforts to weaken family visa categories, further militarize the border, and criminalize immigrants for crossing the border with felonies and jail time.”
Call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121