As the U.S. Senate considers comprehensive immigration reform, it is time for civil rights, human rights, social justice and faith communities to unite to support a fair and compassionate path to citizenship for the many undocumented future Americans.
Law enforcement, major business organizations, and national and state faith leaders are supporting this great opportunity to fix a broken immigration system.
One example of strong support from the religious community was recently expressed by the bishop of Charleston, the Most Rev. Robert E. Guglielmone. These are his words in a May 30 letter to the sisters and brothers of the Catholic Diocese of Charleston:
"Today, our country faces a serious immigration dilemma. In truth, the system is a mess. An estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants live an unsettled existence and even documented immigrants have to endure years of separation from their families. Some states, even our own, have resorted to taking anti-immigration enforcement into their own hands. Contrary to what many people think, most undocumented immigrants pay taxes and contribute to the economy. We did not become a great country by keeping people out, but rather by opening wide our doors. I do not advocate an easy path to documentation -- I support appropriate and fair requirements for citizenship, but Congress must act now. In the end, Jesus calls us to welcome the stranger, as He was welcomed as a child refugee in Egypt."
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To the above, I say amen.