During the State of the Union address tonight, President Barack Obama is expected to call on Congress to reform our immigration laws. Congress failed to pass an immigration reform bill last year, but the strong voices of migrants, refugees, and their supporters have kept the issue at the forefront. As a symbol of the importance of immigration reform, various advocates and DREAMERs will attend tonight’s address.
It is high time for Congress to pass, and for the President to sign, a compassionate immigration reform bill that unites families and includes a roadmap to citizenship for undocumented Americans. Inaction continues to break families and communities apart as unconscionable numbers of migrants are detained and deported.
Last year, the Senate passed a comprehensive immigration reform bill (S. 744) that made significant improvements to how America welcomes newcomers. As 2014 begins, prominent voices in the House of Representatives have signaled a willingness to reform our current immigration system. Speaker Boehner’s office is expected to unveil principles for a new immigration system as early as this week. As the House gets ready to talk about immigration reform, we must continue to remind its members how immigration laws that lack compassion affect our communities.
Tonight, the President is expected to outline to Congress why immigration reform is imperative. You, too, can call on your Congressional representative. Tell him or her about the importance of passing compassionate reform that provides a roadmap to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, ensures humane and just enforcement of immigration laws, unites migrant and refugee families, protects those fleeing persecution, and safeguards the rights of U.S. citizen and migrant workers. These principles ensure that our immigration system honors our history as a nation of immigrants.
Please take a moment to consider contacting President Obama and your representative through the LIRS Action Center. Members of Congress can also be reached by calling the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121. Let them know that people of faith support fair and compassionate immigration reform in 2014.
To learn more, sign up to receive Stand for Welcome advocacy updates, check LIRS’s “The Update” Monday blog feature for weekly updates on immigration reform prospects, and explore LIRS’s “Learn” tab to learn about LIRS’s principles for compassionate immigration reform.