Letter to Congress: Enact Immigration Reform

March 4, 2010

March 4, 2010

Dear Member of Congress,

The Episcopal Church is committed to welcoming strangers as a matter of Christian responsibility. We urge you to bring a fair and humane immigration reform to provide a solution to a broken immigration system that separates families, spreads fear and keeps millions living in the shadows. Every day, members of our congregations see the unacceptable consequences of our broken immigration system. We urge the Senate and House to enact bipartisan immigration reform that reunites families, protects the rights of all workers, and provides an opportunity for undocumented immigrants to earn legal status.

As Christians, we are called to embrace the stranger, to render hospitality to those who are most vulnerable, and to find Christ in all who come to us in need. The Episcopal Church is committed to working to reform our immigration. We encourage you, when considering comprehensive immigration reform, to extend full recognition to the rights of immigrant workers, including the possibility of permanent status and eventual U.S. citizenship; address family immigration in a realistic way; employ effective workplace and border enforcement strategies; create channels for workers to enter the country legally; and reduce the family reunification backlogs.

We call for immigration reform because each day we witness the human consequences of a broken and outdated system. We see the exploitation of undocumented workers and the plight of separated families, as well as the escalation of community fear due to indiscriminate raids and local police acting as federal immigration agents. Immigrant families, exploited employees, and our communities as a whole cannot wait any longer for immigration reform. Through this letter, hundreds of thousands of postcards, and hundreds of prayer vigils and events all over the country, the faith community is showing how urgent the need is to fix our broken immigration system.

Our communities are looking to you as an elected official to stop human suffering and enact immigration reform. With strong leadership in Congress, we are confident we can solve the broken immigration system. We encourage you to join faith and community leaders to stand up for immigration policies that renew the dignity and human rights of everyone. Comprehensive immigration reform will be good for immigrants, good for our church and other faith communities, and good for our country.

Sincerely,

Ana White,
Immigration Policy Analyst

Alex Baumgarten,
Director of Government Relations and International Policy Analyst