Immigration reform is an economic issue and a political issue — but it is also a moral issue, one that calls for compassion in the face of so many deportations, and action so that our broken immigration system stops separating families. That’s why polls have found people of faith to be 2-1 in favor of immigration reform with a path to citizenship, and why faith groups have been such strong leaders in the fight for immigration reform. Just this week, religious leaders were among the two dozen or so advocates who were arrested outside the White House in an act of civil disobedience against President Obama’s deportation record.
Also this week, religious leaders of multiple faiths and denominations once again voiced their support for immigration reform, and called on Congress to take action on legislation that would stop the pain for families.
At Time, Jim Wallis, the president and founder of Sojourners, asked Congress to put people before politics:
We have arrived at a critical moment of significant moral importance. As I often remind legislators and pastors alike, the policy debate is over. It is just a matter of time before immigration reform is enacted. The only questions left to decide are how much more suffering we will tolerate as a country and how many more families we will tear apart because our leaders refuse to put people before politics.
Immigration reform can be the great exception to the dysfunction that has come to define Washington. This is the chance that conservatives need to show the nation they have not forgotten how to be compassionate.
Meanwhile, faith leaders asked Eric Cantor and the House GOP to move on immigration reform. From the Jewish Daily Forward:
a group of pro-immigration Jewish activists, including past donors to Cantor’s campaigns, tried to send the No. 2 Republican in the House a message that immigration reform, shelved by his own party, is a Jewish issue he ought to be taking on.
We encourage Speaker Boehner and the rest of the GOP leadership to continue with their previous push to pass immigration reform. We encourage Illinois Republican Congressmen Davis, Hultgren, Kinzinger, Roskam, Schock and Shimkus to publicly support their party’s Standards for Immigration Reform and call for a debate and vote on reform. We encourage our Democratic Representatives to work constructively with their Republican counterparts to advance this issue in a bipartisan manner. And we encourage religious leaders and people of faith to pray and advocate that our elected representatives will do what is best not for an individual political party, but for our country and all of the people that call it home. To our elected officials: You have the support of our faith communities and the majority of American voters to pass immigration reform. We are praying that you do not waste it.