This week lawmakers announced plans to make immigration a serious issues in 2013. A group of eight Senators (four Democrats and four Republicans) developed outlining principles for comprehensive immigration reform. While all their policies don't reflect the values IWJ and our affiliates support, we are encouraged by the nod that serious discussion around immigration reform would be underway.
As people of faith, we honor the economic contributions made by immigrant workers. The faith community is preparing to push Congresspersons across the country to support comprehensive immigration reform and call for stronge labor laws and enforcement around the abuse of undocumented workers.
"Immigrants come to the U.S. to work, and yet when they are kept in the shadows without a path to citizenship, they are easily exploited and undermine standards for all workers," said IWJ's Executive Director Kim Bobo. "Thus, it is right morally and economically to create a clear and quick path to citizenship for immigrants. We should “welcome the immigrant” now."
IWJ and our affiliates are developing resources to help allies, congregations and denominations talk about immigration and what faithful reform should look like.
As a member of the Interfaith Immigration Coalition, IWJ affirms the coalitions policy reccomendations, including:
- Address the cause of migration
- Create a process for undocumented immigrants to earn citizenship
- Keep families together
- Enact the Development, Relief, and Education for Minors (DREAM) Act.
- Protect Workers' Rights, including agricultural workers
- Place humanitarian values at the center of enforcement policies
- Protect refugees and migrant survivors of violence