Coalition Letter to House: Immigration Principles to Support

June 4, 2008

Dear Representative,

The faith-based organizations that make up the Interfaith Immigration Coalition represent millions of Americans from across political and theological spectrums who support humane and effective immigration reform. Moved by their respective faiths, many of the organizations in this diverse coalition provide direct services to immigrants from throughout the world. This dedication to faith and service uniquely qualifies them to understand the need for humane immigration reform, and the necessity of implementing new policies that welcome the stranger.

Last month, more than twenty faith organizations from the Coalition united to send one letter every day to Congress in opposition to the SAVE Act (H.R. 4088). Essentially, you have heard what we oppose. Beginning with this letter, we want to tell you what we support.

There is currently before Congress legislation that would:

·

recapture and use visas for families that have been waiting to enter the United States (H.R. 5882),

·

restore judicial discretion concerning the well-being of child citizens whose parents are scheduled for deportation (H.R. 1176),

·

develop a border-protection strategy that balances border security with the protection of federal laws concerning the environment and religious freedom (H.R. 2593),

·

expand English-learning programs to help communities integrate immigrants and to strengthen the workforce, and,

·

ensure minimal standards of medical treatment for asylum seekers and other immigrants in detention facilities (H.R. 5950).

These necessary pieces of legislation deserve your support and will indicate to the American public that immigration is an important issue that justifies something more than slogans or political platitudes. The solution to our broken immigration system must include visa reform; a commitment to family unity; labor protection for all; enforcement mechanisms that are humane; and a process by which undocumented immigrants can earn their legal status upon satisfaction of reasonable criteria.

We urge you to take the leadership necessary to enact humane and effective immigration reform. The above mentioned pieces of legislation are common sense first steps to reforming our broken immigration system, and we urge you to co-sponsor and support them.

Respectfully,

American Jewish Committee

Casa de Esperanza

Church World Service, Immigration and Refugee Program

The Episcopal Church

Friends Committee on National Legislation

Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society

Hindu American Foundation

Hispanic Coalition for Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Irish Apostolate USA

Jewish Council for Public Affairs

Mennonite Central Committee, U.S. Washington Office

National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd

National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference

NETWORK, A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby

Sisters of Mercy of the Americas

Standing for Truth Foundation

Union for Reform Judaism

Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations

United Church of Christ, Justice and Witness Ministries

United Methodist Church, General Commission on Religion and Race

United Methodist Church, General Board of Church and Society

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