People Of Faith Urge Congress to “Show Up For Immigrant Justice, So Each Person Can Find Welcome and Home”

WASHINGTON — The Senate passed a budget resolution that advanced many economic and other urgent needs. Included in the package was a commitment to creating a path to citizenship for certain immigrants in the United States.

People of faith from Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia — and all across the country — applaud this first step toward finally creating the path to citizenship for immigrants who have given so much to their adopted home. 

"This is a major step forward to deliver a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, people with TPS, farm workers, and essential workers,” said Elissa Diaz, Policy and Advocacy Manager, Church World Service and Co-Chair of the Interfaith Immigration Coalition (IIC). “We celebrate the Senate's passage of this historic budget resolution and now urge the House to swiftly pass the resolution. It is long past time for Congress to right many wrongs and provide relief for millions of immigrants who call the U.S. home. As faith communities, we remain committed to working with immigrants’ rights partners to make this a reality this year. All people deserve to live a life of freedom and dignity."

“As communities of faith, we celebrate every opportunity that offers dignity for all, family unity, security against dangers, protections from inequities, and the chance for each person to contribute their God-given gifts in their neighborhoods and congregations without fear. The pathways to citizenship included through reconciliation would provide all that — and would honor the decades-long wait immigrants have endured even while investing every day to feed, build, and strengthen the nation we share. Now is the moment for us to heed the scripture’s call to ‘speak up for…the rights of the poor and needy’ (Proverbs 31:8-9) and urge Congress to take action for justice,” said Rev. Teresa (Terri) Hord Owens, General Minister and President, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the U.S. and Canada.

“With this Senate action, we are closer to making right a long perpetuated wrong,” stated Katie Adams, Domestic Policy Advocate, United Church of Christ Justice and Witness Ministries. “It is the advocacy and organizing of immigrant communities that brings us to this point. Over the years the safety and security of our immigrant siblings has been used like a political trading card, and that must end now. We urge members of Congress to show up for immigrant justice in the final reconciliation package, so each person can find welcome and home.”

“Our federal budget must address both longstanding injustices and recent harm. Today’s vote is a pivotal first step in making transformational investments into the people and communities marginalized by our systems and structures. This is the kind of federal budget we need in order to build anew, said Mary J. Novak, Executive Director of NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice. “We call on Congress to pass an equitable budget that requires the wealthiest people and corporations to pay their fair share, raises adequate funding for critical human needs programs, and reduces economic inequality through the tax code. Building and passing such a budget is an example of the ‘better kind of politics’ with ‘human dignity at the center, as described by Pope Francis in his encyclical Fratelli Tutti.”

“While we celebrate this historic move on immigration — one that has the potential to provide long-awaited and long-overdue protections for our immigrant sisters and brothers — we acknowledge that achieving a path to citizenship remains complex. We may have to continue our advocacy for a time. The process is far from over. But we've been faithful in the fight thus far and we will keep showing up, empowered by our faith convictions, until justice for immigrants is realized and a path to citizenship is created for all,” said Fran Eskin-Royer, Executive Director of the National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd.

Anna Gallagher, executive director of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, added: “Today, we celebrate. We hold our CLINIC staff, affiliates, their staff and clients and immigrants across the United States in a virtual embrace. Our country is one step closer to making it official: a path to citizenship is a path to respecting immigrants’ human dignity and a permanent place in their permanent home. We pray that Congress continues to show leadership and enact a path to citizenship this year. Today we celebrate, but tomorrow we and our affiliate network of more than 400 organizations in 49 states, and the Ready to Stay coalition, continue the work of preparing for implementation.”

The Interfaith Immigration Coalition is made up of over 55 national, faith-based organizations brought together across many theological traditions with a common call to seek just policies that lift up the God-given dignity of every individual. In partnership, we work to protect the rights, dignity, and safety of all refugees and migrants. 

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