Religious groups demonstrate support for immigration reform

Religious groupsA broad swath of constituents that wish to see a major reform of the immigration system in the United States are lobbying federal lawmakers, and religious groups are among them, with leaders from both the Evangelical Christian and the Catholic movements joining the call for comprehensive immigration reform.

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops president, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, has added to the chorus of immigration advocates who want the House of Representatives to move on passing a comprehensive reform bill prior to the close of 2013.  Dolan sent a letter to House Speaker John Boehner, saying that the issue was a “matter of great moral urgency” and further emphasizing the human cost of the continued lack of action by Congress.

“As a moral matter…  our nation cannot continue to receive the benefits of the work and contributions of undocumented immigrants without extending to them the protection of the law,” Dolan wrote.  “Keeping these human beings as a permanent underclass of workers who are unable to assert their rights or enjoy the fruits of their labor is a stain on the soul of the nation.”

Nor are Catholic Bishops the only religious group in the United States to throw their weight behind the campaign for immigration reform, with Evangelical Christian organizations such as the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention and the National Association of Evangelicals having been strongly pushing for immigration reform, including offering the path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.