Senate Immigration Bill Passes with Bipartisan Support
[Silver Spring, MD] The Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) welcomes the passage of S. 744, Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013. While S. 744 as it now stands is far from perfect, it retains the spirit of our core principles for comprehensive immigration reform that is compassionate and just.
LCWR, the faith community, leading immigrant advocates, and immigrants themselves have been pursuing a path to citizenship for 11 million aspiring Americans for years, and now is finally the time to pass a law that will help to fix our country’s broken immigration system.
This bill is not the bill we would have crafted. The massive build-up at the Southern border will have serious ramifications for our border communities and our environment. We will work vigorously to change these and other provisions especially those that fail women and children before this bill becomes law. However, the path to citizenship — the heart of this bill — is largely intact and will provide relief for millions of immigrant families around the country.
“As women of faith we take seriously the gospel call to welcome the stranger and care for those in need,” said Janet Mock, CSJ, executive director of LCWR, “Together with people of faith and good will we will continue to work to ensure that the rights of our immigrant brothers and sisters are fully protected.”
We thank all of those who have worked so hard for so long to bring us to this day. Thanks to Senators Charles Schumer (D-NY), John McCain (R-AZ), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ) for their efforts to craft a truly bipartisan bill. Thanks to the tens of thousands who have educated, advocated, and organized on behalf of our immigrant brothers and sisters. Most especially thanks to those people of courage — DREAMers, immigrants, the so-called undocumented — who came out of the shadows and risked everything on behalf of us all.
We will now turn our full attention to action in the House of Representatives where we will continue to advocate for an immigration system that is consistent with our faith and worthy of America’s most cherished values. We hope for bipartisan legislation that contains an achievable roadmap to citizenship; prioritizes family; defends the rights of all; protects the most vulnerable; and addresses the root causes of illegal immigration.
LCWR is an association of leaders of congregations of Catholic women religious in the United States. The conference has nearly 1500 members, who represent more than 80 percent of the 57,000 women religious in the United States. Founded in 1956, the conference assists its members to collaboratively carry out their service of leadership to further the mission of the Gospel in today’s world.
Sister Annmarie Sanders, IHM