Having celebrated Easter Sunday this past weekend, it’s appropriate that I share our hope that a new immigration system may soon emerge. Members of the House of Representatives and the Senate return to Washington, D.C. from recess on April 8, and reports indicate that the bipartisan “Gang of 8” senators will be introducing their comprehensive immigration reform legislation immediately upon their return. A bipartisan working group in the House has also been busy working on their own legislation and it seems likely we will see that bill soon as well.
As the nation shifts its attention to immigration reform, LIRS is working to ensure senators and representatives enter the debates, markups, and votes ahead with the welcoming voices of Lutherans ringing in their minds. In two weeks, Lutheran leaders from across the country will be joining LIRS in the nation’s capital for the 2013 Lutheran Immigration Leadership Summit. These local, regional, and national leaders will be meeting with members of Congress and advocating for just and humane immigration reform just as the legislation is likely to be introduced.
The voice of the faith community will be critical as the future of the United States’ immigration system takes center stage in Congress. People of faith can help ground the conversation in compassion and welcome. As we enter what is sure to be an exciting legislative season, I ask you to reflect on how migrants and refugees contribute to America and to prepare yourself to make calls, write letters, and otherwise contact your elected officials. Together, we can ensure immigration reform supports family unity, provides a roadmap to citizenship, and places justice and humanitarian values at the center of enforcement efforts.