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October 18, 2005

"Interfaith Statement in Support of Comprehensive Immigration Reform."


Coalition Calls for Comprehensive Immigration Reform Institute Seeks Justice and Mercy for New Arrivals in America

Washington, D.C. - A coalition of organizations and faith leaders from across the religious and political spectrum has issued an "Interfaith Statement in Support of Comprehensive Immigration Reform."

"As immigration continues to become a more and more important - and heated topic in American politics, the faith community must encourage government leaders in the Executive and Legislative branches to find a bipartisan solution to address this pressing national dilemma," commented Institute on Religion and Public Policy President Joseph K. Grieboski, a signatory to the Statement.

Specifically, the statement urges creation of a reform proposal that includes the following:

* An opportunity for hard-working immigrants who are already contributing to this country to come out of the shadows, regularize their status upon satisfaction of reasonable criteria and, over time, pursue an option to become lawful permanent residents and eventually United States citizens;

* Reforms in our family-based immigration system to significantly reduce waiting times for separated families who currently wait many years to be reunited;

* The creation of legal avenues for workers and their families who wish to migrate to the U.S. to enter our country and work in a safe, legal, and orderly manner with their rights fully protected; and

* Border protection policies that are consistent with humanitarian values and with the need to treat all individuals with respect, while allowing the authorities to carry out the critical task of identifying and preventing entry of terrorists and dangerous criminals, as well as pursuing the legitimate task of implementing American immigration policy.

Led by the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, World Relief and the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, numerous national organizations, local groups and individual religious leaders have endorsed the Statement in Support of Comprehensive Immigration Reform.

In addition to faith-based and community organizations, political leaders at the national, state and local levels have been engaged in developing plans to address undocumented migration and to achieve Comprehensive Immigration Reform. Among the leaders who have raised the necessity of solving this problem are President George W. Bush; Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.), Edward

Kennedy (D-Mass.), John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.); Representatives Jim Kolbe (R-Ariz.), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Luis Gutierrez

(D-Ill.); and Governors Bill Richardson (D-N.M.), Janet Napolitano (D-Ariz.), Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-Calif.) and Rick Perry (R-Texas).

"The American political establishment must seek a solution that provides both justice and mercy for the immigrant community," Mr. Grieboski continued. "This Statement speaks clearly and effectively to the needs of both the immigrant community, to the concerns of political leadership in the

United States, and to the responsibilities of religious leaders and organizations."

A copy of the "Interfaith Statement in Support of Comprehensive Immigration Reform" can be found on the Institute's website at www.religionandpolicy.org. The statement remains open for endorsement.

Posted by VisaLawyer at October 18, 2005 02:30 PM


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