As we head into Congress’s August recess, it’s critical that lawmakers hear of a groundswell of support for comprehensive immigration reform. So I’m thankful that yet another leader has spoken up for fair and compassionate immigration reform. Today, I’d like to share the powerful op-ed of journalist and former refugee Omar Bah.
Bah, who played a leadership role in LIRS’s World Refugee Day actions on Capitol Hill, wrote the op-ed “Immigration Reform Will Benefit Rhode Island” for the August 8 edition of the Providence Journal. He begins with these words:
Fair and comprehensive immigration reform will be of the utmost benefit to Providence and the state of Rhode Island. Our communities, businesses and congregations all stand to gain from the enhanced cultural diversity and understanding that reform would nurture. Furthermore, all of us who live here can benefit from deepening our neighbors’ stake in this country, especially by extending an earned roadmap to citizenship tied to broad civic responsibilities.
The fact is, we need the U.S. House of Representatives to act right away and pass a common-sense comprehensive immigration reform bill. There is great harm to repair from our broken immigration system, not least the mass detentions and deportations that are inflicting enormous suffering on families. These practices do not reflect this nation’s true nature and character of openness, hospitality and consideration.
For me, America’s leadership on immigrant and refugee issues is a deeply personal matter. I had to flee my home country of Gambia after the oppressive regime there persecuted me for my investigative journalism. I’m grateful to this land for being a beacon of freedom and opportunity, and it’s important to me that it remains that way.
He concludes with this strong call to action:
This nation has shown that despite the challenges and inherent questions posed by history, it is able to continue to be the home for the homeless, refugees and those seeking what does not exist where they come from. At this moment, the biggest challenge is for House Democrats and Republicans to reach across the aisle and do what’s best for Rhode Island and our country. They must supply bipartisan leadership that reflects America’s can-do spirit. I wish them the best, and I ask that everyone in Providence and beyond call on them to pass fair and comprehensive immigration reform.
By clicking the link in the headline above, you can read the entire op-ed. Please show your support by Liking and Sharing the piece through Facebook and other social media, and sending the link to your friends, colleagues, and family members. In this day and age, these are the critically important ways for us to get the word out!
We know that the staff of our Members of Congress carefully read the editorial pages and keep the lawmakers in the loop about commentary like Omar Bah’s. I’m thankful for his leadership on immigration and refugee issues, and I appreciate the Providence Journal’s willingness to lift up important issues like this one.
If you read Omar Bah’s words and feel inspired, now is the time to raise your own voice for fair immigration reform via the LIRS Action Center. Also, please don’t forget to sign up to receive alerts from this blog, and check out our new Immigration Reform Mythbuster.
As always, thank you for all that you do to Stand for Welcome!