Immigration reform: Will we see it in 2013? That’s the burning question on everyone’s mind this year.
A complicated debate and legislative process lie ahead. Here to decipher the headlines for you every Monday is THE UPDATE, a weekly blog series whose panel of experts will analyze how recent events affect the prospects for real reform. The panelists will offer an insider’s view of what’s happening right now on Capitol Hill, bolstered by their decades of experience with immigration reform and the legislative process.
This week’s edition appears in both English and Spanish.
Given the most recent developments, are we getting any closer to immigration reform? Here’s what the panelists have to say:
Lisa Sharon Harper, Director of Mobilizing, Sojourners
Last week, the Senate overwhelmingly voted to pass common sense immigration reform. While the bill is not perfect and reflects difficult compromises, it is a major step forward in the push to fix our broken immigration system. In the days leading up to the vote, evangelicals gathered outside the Capitol to pray for the decisions facing legislators. Ultimately, the legislation received significant Republican support in a clear sign that both parties realize now is the time to act. As the debate shifts to the House of Representatives, the pressure on Speaker Boehner and other leaders to constructively engage this issue will continue to grow.
Bishop Julian Gordy, Immigration Ready Bench, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
After Arizona, Alabama and some other states enacted unconstitutional and misguided laws aimed at driving immigrants out, the Senate voted on June 27 to turn this tide. The majority of Americans want immigration reform, and a majority of their senators voted to deliver it. Now it’s the House of Representatives’ opportunity to do the right, the just, and the American thing: Pass fair and compassionate immigration reform.
Brittney Nystrom, LIRS Director for Advocacy, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service
The Senate last week passed comprehensive immigration reform! LIRS applauds the historic vote to pass a bill that includes a roadmap to citizenship for millions and that will unite many separated migrant and refugee families. This is a moment for celebration and gratitude. In the years since the last efforts to persuade Congress to reform our immigration laws crumbled, over a million individuals have been detained for immigration purposes and deported. Families have been torn asunder. A difficult road lies ahead in the House, but this is progress that ups the odds we’ll see true reform.
THE UPDATE will appear every Monday until the dust settles on the legislative battle over comprehensive immigration reform. If you wish to raise your voice for fair reform, please visit our Action Center. You can also learn more about the issues by reading two interviews with someone personally impacted by America’s broken immigration system, Jessica Colotl. Also, don’t forget that you can subscribe to this blog by adding your email address to the box at the top left of this page!