Coalition Letter in Support of Federal Immigration Reform--to the Senate and the House of Representatives

April 24, 2012

April 24, 2012

 

 

United States Senate

Washington, D.C. 20510

 

United States House of Representatives

Washington, D.C. 20515

 

Dear Senator/Representative:

We, the undersigned faith leaders, write to urge you to address the issue of immigration reform as soon as possible.

Because of inaction by the federal government on this issue for the past several years, state and local governments have been taking steps to fill the void.   As a result, we are witnessing an unprecedented transfer of authority for immigration policy from the federal government to state and local governments, to the detriment of our nation and our local communities.

Instead of one federal immigration system applicable to all, we now have many states and an untold number of localities attempting to create their own immigration policies.   This only will lead to a patchwork of laws which would cause family separation, economic disruption, and divided communities.

Any immigration reform measure should, at a minimum:

  1. Reaffirm federal authority and responsibility to enact and implement the nation’s immigration laws;
  1. Protect and recognize the central importance of  family unity as the cornerstone of our immigration system;
  1. Establish more functional legal mechanisms for the entry of immigrant workers;
  1. Create  a sound, equitable process toward citizenship for currently undocumented immigrants who desire to embrace the responsibilities and privileges of becoming a U.S. citizen; and
  1. Ensure that our laws are enforced in ways that recognize the importance of due process of the law, the sanctity of the human person, the incomparable value of family, and the integrity of our borders.

As the U.S. Supreme Court takes up the case of Arizona v. United States, we urge you to reassert your authority and move to enact immigration reform legislation.

Sincerely,

 

His Eminence Timothy Cardinal Dolan

Archbishop of New York

President, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

 

His Excellency José H. Gomez

Archbishop of Los Angeles

Chairman, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration

 

 

 

Leith Anderson

President

National Association of Evangelicals

 

The Rev. Geoffrey Black

 President

United Church of Christ

 

 

 

Reverend Dr. David H. Benke

Bishop/President

Atlantic District

Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod

 

Bishop Minerva Carcaño

Resident Bishop Phoenix Area of The United Methodist Church

Chair, United Methodist Task Force on Immigration

 

 

 

Reverend Luis Cortés, Jr.

President

Esperanza

 

Rabbi Steve Gutow,

President, Jewish Council for Public Affairs

 

 

Mark S. Hanson

Presiding Bishop

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

 

Rabbi Naom E. Marans

Director

Interreligious and Intergroup Relations

American Jewish Committee

 

 

 

Reverend Gradye Parsons

The Stated Clerk of the General Assembly

Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

 

Reverend Sam Rodriguez

President

National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference

 

 

 

Most Reverend Katharine Jefferts Schori

Presiding Bishop and Primate

The Episcopal Church

Jim Wallis

President and Chief Executive Office

Sojourners

 

 

 

 

Rev. Dr. Sharon E. Watkins, General Minister and President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)