As the nation waits for President Barack Obama's executive action on immigration reform to be announced tonight, Lutheran Services of Georgia would like to share our national affiliate Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service's Principles for Comprehensive Immigration Reform. These principles provide a framework for immigration reform that is just, humane, comprehensive, and flows from the call for people of faith to welcome the newcomer. Please consider sharing the principles below. Visit www.lirs.org for more information about immigration.
PRINCIPLES FOR COMPREHENSIVE IMMIGRATION REFORM
An estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants currently reside in the United States. These are people who migrated here to join their families, to work, or to seek refuge from persecution or violence. They are our friends, neighbors, classmates, and members of our churches.
In recent years, the federal government has expanded the use of immigration detention and other harsh enforcement efforts, resulting in the separation of families and the suffering of communities nationwide. Moreover, many close family members must wait years, even decades, to be able to enter the United States to reunite with their loved ones. These and other consequences of our current immigration laws compel us to seek reform.
The United States should acknowledge our history as a nation of immigrants by creating an immigration process that honors migrants' contributions and commitment to our country. As people called to welcome the newcomer, LIRS supports a comprehensive solution to the challenge of the United States' broken immigration system. We urge Congress and the Obama Administration to work collectively to pass and enact fair and humane immigration reform.
LIRS advocates for reform that will:
* Provide an earned pathway to lawful permanent residency and eventual citizenship for undocumented immigrants and their families. * Ensure the humane and just enforcement of U.S. immigration laws, specifically by reducing the use of immigration detention and expanding the use of community support programs for immigrants who do not need to be detained. * Protect families from separation and ensure an adequate supply of visas for families seeking to reunite. * Provide adequate resources and protections to ensure the successful integration of refugees, asylees, survivors of torture and trafficking, unaccompanied minors, and other vulnerable migrants. * Ensure the protection of U.S. citizen and migrant workers.