I’m thrilled that all across America, community and faith leaders are making strong public calls for immigration reform. The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette this week published a powerful pro-reform op-ed written by LIRS board member Rev. Dr. Yohannes Mengsteab, Director of The Lutheran Foundation.
Rev. Mengsteab, who holds degrees from Luther College and seminaries, came to the United States in 1983 as a refugee from the Ethio-Eritrean War. In his July 16 op-ed, “Immigrants Vital to Life of Nation,” he writes:
As director of ministry programs for The Lutheran Foundation in Fort Wayne, I’ve seen how new Americans like myself fit into the city.
From congregations to campuses, I’ve observed how immigrants strengthen our community’s values. Most of us come from societies where family is the center of life. Because of these family values, we contribute to making Fort Wayne a city where “everybody knows your name.”
Alongside those values often comes a dedication to hard work. These social and economic contributions are why Indiana has so much to gain from immigration reform.
Rev. Mengsteab expresses thanks to Indiana Senator Joe Donnelly for taking a “principled and positive stand” by voting in favor of the recently passed Senate immigration reform bill, S. 744. However, he also recognizes that now the House of Representatives must make reform a reality, writing:
[S.744] is a good start, but more work looms. Now is the time for bipartisan leadership in the House of Representatives to introduce similar—or better—legislation. Our elected officials should know that our communities—which are theirs, too—will benefit.
I invite you to take a minute to read the entire piece by clicking the link in the headline above. You can show your support for Rev. Mengsteab and immigration reform by leaving a positive comment, promoting the piece through Facebook and other social media, and sending the link to your friends, colleagues, and family.
The battle for fair and compassionate immigration reform has now moved to the House of Representatives. In this final part of the fight, it’s vital that the press lift up the voices of people like Rev. Mengsteab. We’re grateful to him for writing this piece, and to the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette for publishing his perspective on the urgent need for reform.
If you feel inspired after reading Rev. Mengsteab’s words, you can raise your own voice for fair immigration reform through the LIRS Action Center. Thank you!