With the government shut down and the debt ceiling crisis looming, I know that it’s easy to feel frustrated with what seems like a lack of potential for advancing fair and compassionate immigration reform.
So far, the Senate has passed a comprehensive immigration reform bill but the legislative process is stalled in the House of Representatives. However, a Day of Action taking place today in Washington D.C. for Comprehensive Reform and recently introduced House legislation give us hope for immigration reform that unites families and provides a roadmap to citizenship.
Today, Camino Americano is hosting a Concert and March for Immigrant Dignity and Respect on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. from 12-5 pm. The concert will feature popular Latino performing artists, members of Congress and prominent immigration reform advocates. On the heels of the October 5 National Day of Action grassroots mobilizations that generated over 180 events in more than 40 states, the event serves to escalate the immigration reform movement’s efforts to ensure Congress passes fair and comprehensive legislation before the end of the year.
Advocates participating in these actions have plenty of reason for optimism. Last week, House Democrats introduced the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act (H.R. 15), a bill that is heavily drawn from the Senate’s bipartisan immigration reform bill, S.744. H.R. 15 also includes parts of a border security bill that has received bipartisan support in the House. Many of H.R. 15’s proposed changes to the U.S. immigration system would benefit migrants and refugees, including the provision of a roadmap to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, substantial changes to legal immigration processes, protections for refugees and asylum seekers, and improvements to the enforcement of immigration laws, including immigration detention.
The House must act quickly to pass smart reforms like those included in H.R. 15 that support LIRS’ principles of providing a roadmap to citizenship for the undocumented, ensuring humane and just enforcement of immigration laws, uniting migrant and refugee families, protecting those fleeing persecution, and safeguarding the rights of U.S. citizen and migrant workers.
To date, H.R. 15 has more than 160 cosponsors. Please consider contacting your representative today by calling (202) 224-3121 and let him or her know that as a person of faith, you stand for fair and compassionate immigration reform that unites families and provides a roadmap to citizenship for undocumented migrants. You can also take action through LIRS’ Action Center. Thank you for your ongoing commitment to Stand for Welcome alongside migrants and refugees!