Across the country, punitive immigration laws have been introduced in state legislatures, from Texas to Mississippi to Utah. These laws range from restricting in-state tuition for undocumented immigrant students to requiring local police to check the immigration status of anyone they suspect of being in the United States unlawfully. For every harmful bill introduced, people of faith are speaking out:
In Texas, a group of Lutherans in the Dallas/Fort Worth area will gather in April for a workshop entitled, "Who Is My Neighbor?" Their hope is to educate others on the brokeness of our immigration system and build support for advocacy. LIRS Director of Advocacy Eric Sigmon and Bishop Kevin Kanouse will be speaking at the event.
In Mississippi, Bishop Julian Gordy, the state's denomincational leader of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America was quoted in a press release: "People of fatih must have the courage to speak up for the vulnerable stranger. Our scriptures and our history call on God's people not to fear or mistreat immigrants but to protect, aid and love the stranger living among us."
In Utah, Rev. Steve Klemz is setting an example by leading an interfaith effort to fight punitive state measures and push for comprehensive immigration reform. He spoke for his movement saying, "We believe that we need to bring undocumented immigrants out of the shadows."
LIRS believes that the U.S. immigration system is in serious need of reform. Instead of creating a patchwork of state laws, a comprehensive solution is needed. Urge your state legislators to oppose these harmful proposals and ask your members of Congress to pass fair and humane immigration reform.
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