Faith-Based Groups Respond to Immigration Crisis

February 2, 2006

Source: The Christian Science Monitor

On February 2, 2006 The Christian Science Monitor reported, "As the US Senate and state legislatures take up the hot political issue of immigration reform, religious voices are joining others in calling for a more comprehensive approach. While faith leaders support the need to enforce the law and protect national security, many say that a strict emphasis on enforcement not only fails to reflect American values and history, but has already backfired. Only reform that includes safe, legal avenues for workers needed in US society, they add, can deal realistically with the economic and social forces at work... More than 40 religious groups - Christian, Jewish, and Muslim - have joined in a statement to Congress and the president, and many are gearing up to press the senate this month for more balanced legislation. The US House passed a stringent anti-immigration bill in December that, among other things, made it a crime to assist an illegal immigrant. (There are an estimated 11 million undocumented workers in the United States.) Faith-based organizations, which provide health and social services to low-income people, say the bill could jeopardize their staffs."