We have ideas that will work. Some have been proven to work. What are we waiting for? Let’s push our leaders to lead! If we continue with the status quo, then our silence supports the dehumanization of our neighbors, robs our co-workers of their basic dignity, keeps our friends locked up in the shadows, and allows for the vulnerable to continue to be victimized. Whether it is sex or human trafficking, wage theft or unscrupulous landlords, family abusers or the sexually violent, our current laws and the social system supporting them prevent victims from coming forward, seeking help and a way out, and allow for continuous victimization of the vulnerable, oppressed, and broken. Stand up for your neighbors! Speak out against a system that perpetuates evil. We have ideas that will work. Let’s get it done.
On April 17, 2013, eight United States Senators, known as the “Gang of Eight,” introduced an immigration reform bill (S. 744) into the Senate titled “Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013.” It is a bipartisan, common-sense immigration reform bill. It would modernize the legal immigration system for families, workers, and employers. The bill will provide a pathway to earned citizenship, continue to strengthen our borders, streamline legal immigration, and crack down on employers who hire undocumented workers. See the Catholic Legal Immigration Network’s great summary for more detailed information about a comprehensive plan that, while not perfect, would certainly move us much, much further down the road toward reasonable, compassionate, and just reform for immigrants and our entire nation.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office concluded that the bill would spur significant growth in our economy, adding 5.4% to GDP by 2033, and slash our deficit by $820 billion over the next 20 years. A large amount of these savings resulting exclusively from an earned pathway to citizenship.
An earned pathway to citizenship would create 820,000 jobs compared to providing legal status alone.
The Social Security Administration analyzed and projected that comprehensive immigration reform would add over 3.2 million new jobs and bolster the solvency of Social Security.
A Gallup poll found that 83% of conservatives and 92% of Hispanics support an earned pathway to citizenship. Even a Fox News poll shows 74% of Americans supporting a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants “as long as they meet certain requirements like paying back taxes, learning English, and passing a background check.” The Senate bill requires all these things.
If we truly believe in the vast benefits that comprehensive immigration reform will bring to our nation, its families, and our neighbors, we must get behind this bill and organize for action. “We believe in a common-sense solution to our broken immigration system that treats families with respect and dignity, strengthens our workforce and economy, and provides the next generation equal opportunities to education and prosperity.” If you agree, here’s one organization, Reform Immigration for America, where you can get started acting on your beliefs. It takes less than one minute to send a letter to your Congressperson. Here’s another organization, United We Dream. And there are hundreds more. Find one. Share with others. Act against evil, for it runs deep and wide. But Love conquers all.
“Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the skies.
Your righteousness is like the highest mountains,
your justice like the great deep.” Psalm 36