The Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) welcomes the release of S-744, Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 and thanks 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 bi-partisan legislation to fix our nation’s broken immigration system.
The Senate bill provides hope to our immigrant brothers and sisters and the promise that values that are the bedrock of our national identity will flourish.
We applaud provisions in the legislation that would create a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million individuals currently forced into the shadows; clear systemic backlogs that keep families apart; and provide a process for future flow of immigrants that protects the rights and dignity of all. We are particularly pleased that the bi-partisan “Gang of Eight” recognized the special circumstances of our country’s DREAMERs and of our brothers and sisters fleeing persecution and violence.
“As women of faith we take seriously the gospel call to welcome the stranger and care for those in need. While the bill is not all we hoped for, it is an excellent beginning,” said Janet Mock, CSJ, executive director of LCWR.”
We are concerned about those who may be left behind including: brothers, sisters, and adult children of aspiring Americans; low-income people who are unable to pay required fines; and women and others working in the informal economy who are unable to establish employment documentation. We are concerned about those who while contributing to our communities and paying taxes, will be denied rights and benefits, including basic health care.
We look forward to working with Congress to ensure that the final bill honors the values upon which our nation was built, includes a reasonable roadmap to citizenship, prioritizes family unity, protects the rights of all, promotes the integration of new Americans, and addresses the poverty and violence that force migrants from their homes.
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
Associate Director for Communications