THE REAL SOLUTION TO DEFEND OUR VALUES
The faith-based communities in America have come together in 2007 on the issue of comprehensive immigration reform. The United States has a proud history of immigration, and has been continually reshaped by new groups of people bringing to it diverse cultures, perspectives, and resources. And at the heart of our nation’s immigrant story has been the welcome and sanctuary offered new Americans by our institutions and people of faith. That proud tradition continues today.
“The strangers who sojourn with you shall be to you as the natives among you, and you shall love them as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.”
““I was a stranger and you welcomed me…. What you do to the least of my brethren, you do unto me.”“
““Serve God…and do good to…orphans, those in need, neighbors who are near, neighbors who are strangers, the companion by your side, the wayfarer that you meet, [and those who have nothing].”“
““The guest is a representative of God.”“
Our nation’s immigration policies affect millions of people who are seeking to build better life in this country. The current U.S. immigration system is broken, and now is the time for a fair and compassionate solution. We think it is entirely possible to protect our borders while establishing a viable, humane, and realistic immigration system, one that is consistent with our faith-based values and increases national security while protecting the livelihood of Americans.
Much of the debate about immigration reform focuses on the economy and security—both of which are important. But to ignore the importance of family values, human dignity and the need to act with love and compassion would leave a gaping hole in our immigration policy. Immigration reform that is comprehensive and strengthens our American values will enrich the vitality of America and advance the common good. We need real reform, and real solutions, to defend our values.
Maintaining Human Dignity
Protecting Family Values and Family Unity
Currently, the annual ceiling for family-based immigration is 480,000 individuals per year. This number is divided into immediate relatives of U.S. citizens as well as 4 different family preferences based on different criteria. There is also a cap on how many people are allowed into the United States from any one country. A combination of these visa ceilings as well as the per-country cap often contributes to long waits for the average immigrant family. For example, a wife, husband, or child of a U.S. Lawful Permanent Resident is only now receiving a visa after a 5 year wait.
Conducting Ourselves with Compassion, Love and Civility