Immigration reform can, must be compassionate

info@islandpacket.comJune 24, 2013 

Two of the central beliefs of Unitarian Universalism are "the inherent worth and dignity of every person" and "justice, equity and compassion in human relations."

Accordingly, this nation has an urgent opportunity to pass compassionate, comprehensive immigration reform. As people of faith, we must raise our voices for an immigration reform bill that promotes justice and compassion and keeps families together. The Rev. Peter Morales, president of the UU Association of Congregations, tells us, "As a religious people who affirm human compassion, advocate for human rights, and seek justice, we must never make the mistake of confusing a legal right with a moral right. We are all connected; we are in this together."

The UU Association supports the legislation before the U.S. Senate, and we reiterate the call for a path to citizenship for all 11 million undocumented immigrants that is affordable, accessible and non-punitive. We especially support efforts to provide opportunities for those young individuals who were brought to this country through no fault of their own, those we call "Dreamers."

We understand the need for enhanced border security and possible penalties, but such measures should not be contingent on dilatory tactics and impossible to meet triggers. Undocumented immigrants work hard to feed their families, pay taxes and seek to achieve the American dream, as did immigrants before them. Unitarians nationwide, and our congregation, join people of all faiths in urging approval of comprehensive immigration reform. Let us stand on the side of love.

Manuel Holland, senior minister

Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Lowcountry

Bluffton

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