Congress Should Take A Cue from Moral Voices Urging Action, Compassion
Washington, DC – Tomorrow, the Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security, and International Law of the House Judiciary Committee will hear expert testimony from conservative religious leaders about the moral urgency of comprehensive immigration reform. These powerful spokespeople are adding their voices to scores of religious organizations who have been calling for enactment of comprehensive immigration reform for years.
The Interfaith Platform on Humane Immigration Reform—signed by over 500 religious leaders and organizations—highlights a number of groups and leaders who have fought for years and even decades to advance comprehensive immigration reform in Congress. At tomorrow’s hearing, entitled “The Ethical Imperative for Reform of Our Immigration System,” leaders from key conservative denominations will also outline their strong support for reform that is grounded in the Biblical mandate to “welcome the stranger,” and urge Congress to set aside partisanship to work on a fair, just, and practical solution. Conservative Evangelical organizations and leaders, including the National Association of Evangelicals, have recently clarified and amplified their support for comprehensive immigration reform and in May, several of them came together to lay out a “just assimilation immigration policy” to “affirm common ground” among conservative faithful. And conservative and evangelical leaders have formed a new organization called Conservatives for Comprehensive Immigration Reform to advance their cause.
Together, these efforts have helped demonstrate that, unlike other political issues which divide faith communities along ideological lines, comprehensive immigration reform is not a “liberal” or “conservative” issue, but a humanitarian issue.
At tomorrow’s hearing, Dr. Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention, Dr. Mathew Staver of Liberty University, and Catholic Bishop Gerald Kicanas of Tucson (AZ) will “bear witness” to the need to fix a broken immigration system that threatens family values. The only non-faith leader on the panel will be Dr. James R. Edwards of the Center for Immigration Studies, an analyst on healthcare, national security and other issues, called by the committee’s minority party.
While clergy have taken the lead in speaking out on the need for reform, reliable polling shows that most of their parishioners agree. A Public Religion Research poll conducted this spring showed that broad majorities of Catholics, mainline Protestants and Evangelicals all support comprehensive immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, noted, “The ‘ethical imperative’ for Members of Congress is clear: the moral compasses of people of faith across America all point toward federal action on immigration reform. Unfortunately, some Members of Congress appear to have lost their faith. Hopefully, hearing conservative faith leaders bear witness to the moral obligation to pass comprehensive immigration reform will inspire our legislators to put partisan politics aside and take action and solve this problem once and for all.”
America’s Voice — Harnessing the power of American voices and American values to win common sense immigration reform.