via @WRCommission: Diverse Group of Faith Leaders Urge Senators to Protect Refugee and Asylum Provisions in Immigration Bill
Washington, DC – On the eve of the Senate’s first markup of the bipartisan immigration reform bill, a wide array of faith leaders are urging legislators to ensure that comprehensive immigration reform upholds the United States’ proud history and tradition of protecting and welcoming refugees, asylum-seekers, and those fleeing persecution.
The Senate’s immigration bill, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013, S.744, includes several provisions that would protect refugees, asylum seekers, and stateless people, while also increasing efficiency and supporting integration. The provisions would not reduce or circumvent the current numerous background checks for refugees and asylum seekers, or reduce the rigorous fraud detection mechanisms currently in place.
The Senate Judiciary Committee will begin considering amendments to S.744 on Thursday, May 9th, with additional considerations on May 14th, 16th, and 20th-24th. The committee will then send its version of the bill to the full Senate for debate and consideration.
Art by Favianna Rodriguez
Over 100 members of the creative community have called on President Obama and Congress to pass just and humane immigration reform. Help spread the Migration is Beautiful butterflies! See migrationisbeautiful.com.
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via @ImmCouncil: A Plea from America’s Scholars. Over 600 American scholars have signed on to a letter of support for immigration reform. You can find the full letter here
Currently at least 11 million people live in in the U.S. in the shadows of our society. Many of them work in jobs that expose them to dangerous conditions, chemicals and pesticides, and many more of them live in areas with disproportionate levels of toxic air, water, and soil pollution. To protect clean air and water and prevent the disruption of our climate, we must ensure that those who are most disenfranchised and most threatened by pollution within our borders have the voice to fight polluters and advocate for climate solutions without fear.
The Sierra Club takes a position to support an equitable path to citizenship for residents of the United States who lack official documentation. America’s undocumented population should be able to earn legalization and a timely pathway to citizenship, with all the rights to fully participate in our democracy, including influencing environmental and climate policies. The pathway to citizenship should be free of unreasonable barriers, and should facilitate keeping families together and reuniting those that are split whenever possible.
The Sierra Club announced its support for an equitable path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
The Sierra Club Board of Directors, made up of elected volunteer leaders, has unanimously adopted the position
via @culturestrike: Are you marching on May Day for migrant rights?
4/30: Art Party for #MayDay LA! Calling Los Angeles Artists & Art Fans: Come helps us make signs, costumes and art for the the May Day LA March!
Tuesday April 30 from 5:30 - 10:00pm
Please RSVP to email@example.com
via @NewsHour: David Uth, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Orlando, Fla., told reporters at a press conference for the s"Evangelical Day of Prayer and Action for Immigration Reform."
- Douglas Holtz-Eakin, former Director of the Congressional Budget Office under President George W. Bush
Hours after Senate Gang of Eight’s immigration bill dropped early Wednesday, evangelical leaders from across the country gathered at the Capitol to raise their voices for comprehensive immigration reform.
In the last two years, evangelicals have been a growing voice in the debate over immigration reform, hoping their votes — traditionally a bastion of conservative politics but recently broadening their engagement to gun violence prevention, poverty, and climate change — hold clout on the Hill when it comes to immigration reform.
The Evangelical Immigration Table, a coalition of evangelical leaders from across the political spectrum, gathered hundreds of people from 25 states for a day of action on the Hill. At the morning press conference, the Table representatives did not explicitly endorse or critique the Senate’s new bill. Instead, leaders pledged to “come alongside” any bill that supported their unified set of principals, namely immigration reform that: protects the unity of the immediate family; respects the rule of law; guarantees national security borders; and establishes a path toward legal status and/or citizenship for those who qualify.
Launched in January 2011, the EIT has been instrumental in building a biblically based movement toward a just and merciful immigration system. In addition to issuing what several leaders called their “moral template” for reform last July, the Table also launched the “I Was a Stranger” challenge, a 40-day commitment praying through 40 verses from the Bible on immigration. They also issued a letter urging the president and Senate and House leaders to address comprehensive immigration within the first 92 days of 2013 — a challenge, named for the 92 times the word “immigrant” is used in the Old Testament — on which the Senate has delivered.
Helping to kick off the day of action, Reverend Gabriel Salguero, President of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition, assured those listening on the Hill that the evangelicals gathered in Washington represent the “broadest group of evangelicals.” This coalition is notable as demographics and changing social sentiments continue to diversify the evangelical community. Dr. Richard Land, President of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, agreed, noting there are five thousand southern baptists and nine million Latino evangelicals — suggesting a significant demographic shift in the “lived experience” of immigration in evangelical churches.
The action included a worship service, Hill visits, and regular “prayer walks” to House and Senate buildings, Departments and Bureaus.
USA Today announced on Wednesday the newspaper “will no longer use the term illegal immigrant outside of direct quotes.” The decision by the newspaper with the largest print circulation in the U.S. comes a week after the Associated Press dropped the i-word from their Stylebook.