Rejoicing the passage of immigration reform in the Senate

Adam DeRose |

We’re joining countless other immigrant, faith and community organizations working for comprehensive immigration reform in rejoicing the passage of S. 744— a bill that offers a path to citizenship to a majority of the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the country today and includes protections for America’s most vulnerable workers.

Michael Livingston "The Senate passed a complicated immigration reform bill that has the potential to create a pathway to citizenship for some of the 11 million undocumented immigrants in our nation. It's a start. We must continue to push for real reform,” said IWJ’s National Policy Director the Rev. Michael Livingston (right).

While young people and agricultural workers have the shortest and straightest pathway to citizenship, other low-wage workers face many more arduous obstacles to obtain citizenship.

“There are several provisions of the bill that will prove difficult for low-wage workers to meet if they are to travel the complete distance to citizenship,” Livingston said.  

Interfaith Worker Justice supporters and affiliates, along with allies across the country, worked tirelessly to push for a compassionate immigration bill that reflected our shared values and recognized the contributions made by our immigrant brothers and sisters.

Like many organizations, we at Interfaith Worker Justice are relieved the Senate approved the bill and sent it over the House of Representatives, a much more difficult body of lawmakers for immigrant reform advocates. We’re saddened by the addition of the “boarder surge” amendment, which distracts from the issues and detracts from the values we hoped and urged our Senators to uphold, but IWJ and supporters will pressure the House to approve the reform.

Livingston said a fundamental question each of us has to answer is: Pass even a flawed bill now and work to improve it in the future, or pass nothing now, helping no one?  

“What is required is continued engagement in aggressive and principled advocacy as the legislative process shifts to the House and this essential work continues," he said.