Ask your Senators/Representatives to modernize and humanize our nation’s immigration system by creating an earned pathway to citizenship. You can send a message through the ELCA Action Center. “I am hopeful that this administration will work toward a more comprehensive immigration reform with dignity for all, including Dreamers. It will not be an easy task, and we will probably encounter many setbacks, but we have to continue to luchar (fight),” said Alicia Dominguez, a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient from Delaware, of the new opportunities before Congress to enact more just immigration laws and realize a path to citizenship.
Immigrants are vital members of our communities, and yet it’s been more than 30 years since Congress passed legislation to reform our country’s immigration system and adjust the status of undocumented individuals. Establishing a clean roadmap to earn citizenship would strengthen our nation for years to come and fulfill a moral responsibility to protect family unity and community wholeness. Congress is at a pivotal moment to address the situation of millions marginalized by our nation’s immigration laws. Our communities deserve permanent solutions that provide a roadmap to citizenship for all immigrants who call the U.S. their home.
There are around 11 million individuals without legal status in the U.S., the majority of whom have lived in this country for over a decade. In the absence of a viable path to citizenship, many have been forced to a life in the shadows where they are vulnerable to economic exploitation and diminished opportunities to thrive. Some individuals with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) have fared marginally better by unlocking opportunities to work and study lawfully, however their fate is tied up in courts (USA v. Texas, and Ramos v. Nielsen). The need to chart a new course through legislation has never been more apparent.
Congressional legislative action is needed to revamp our immigration laws and provide a pathway to citizenship for all 11 million undocumented people without passing down any harmful repercussions on immigrant communities. With President Biden calling on Congress to enact a sweeping immigration reform, and with multiple proposals under consideration, Congress has an unmistakable opportunity to pass lasting legislative solutions this year.
Immigrants worship, work and raise families in our communities and ELCA congregations, mutually enriching one another’s lives and the social fabric of this nation in innumerable ways. Our immigration laws should honor the God-given dignity of every person, protect family unity, and promote the flourishing of our communities.
“The newcomers in our church from around the world remind us that all of us in the Church of Jesus Christ are sojourners, ‘for here we have no lasting city, but we are looking for the city that is to come’ (Hebrews 13: 14). As we journey together through the time God has given us, may God give us the grace of a welcoming heart and an overflowing love for the new neighbors among us” (ELCA social message on “Immigration”).
Urge your members of Congress to support a pathway to earn citizenship for all immigrants! Take action through the ELCA Action Center today.