Open Letter to Representatives on Immigration

Yesterday, Kim Bobo and the Rev. Michael Livingston sent a letter to every member of the House of Representatives urging them to take action on commonsense and compassionate immigration reform. Today, the Rev. Livingston ends his three-day solidarity fast with the Fast for Families group on the National Mall. The Fast for Families fasters are going without food to pressure Speaker Boehner and the House of Representatives to take up immigration reform. Fasters won't eat until the House votes on an immigration bill.

Below is the letter:

Nov. 19, 2013

Dear Member of Congress,

All religions believe in justice. We call upon you to pass comprehensive, commonsense immigration reform before the end of the year. There are no compelling reasons for waiting to deliver justice to the 11 million undocumented people living in the shadows of our nation. Millions of people are facing deportation, and families are being divided. Without legal status, immigrant workers fall victim to every kind of labor abuse and cannot protect their rights without fear of deportation. Unscrupulous employers steal their wages without fear of investigation and abuse outdated immigration policies for an immoral profit.

We join with the millions of citizens of our nation, Republican and Democrat, and of every race and religion to call upon you to take action to fix this broken immigration system and put our nation back on the road to shared prosperity for all.  Study after study by unimpeachable research institutes confirm that our economy will prosper when employers have legal channels to employ workers and when their labor and wages are subject to the standards of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Compassionate and commonsense immigration policies are possible. S-744 and HR-15 are far from perfect bills, and many in our membership oppose provisions that will make it extremely difficult for immigrants to ever become citizens in the country where they have labored for many years for low wages. The 60-day continuous employment provision is an enormous obstacle, especially in our current employment crisis. However, we do remain steadfast in our commitment to comprehensive and common sense immigration reform that keeps families together, protects the rights of workers and makes citizenship an achievable goal.

It is not too late to act with haste to pass immigration reform legislation. In the providence of God, the sooner you do so, the better.


Kim Bobo
Executive Director
Interfaith Worker Justice

The Rev. Michael Livingston
National Policy Director
Interfaith Worker Justice