I’m glad to share that the Worcester Telegram & Gazette yesterday published an op-ed by William F. Swanson in favor of immigration reform. He is a member of the board of directors of LIRS, and also serves on the board of Lutheran Social Services of New England.
In his op-ed, “Immigration Change for Better,” he writes:
We should not be putting people in prison when they come here seeking relief from persecution, as many do, and when they clearly are not a threat to anyone. I have spoken with prisoners who had been held for months, without legal counsel. Some had reached a point of such despair that they were willing to face the possibility of death in their home country rather than remain imprisoned here, where they had committed no crime except to ask for a safe place to live.
Immigration reform must therefore include greater use of alternatives to detention for asylum seekers and others awaiting the resolution of their cases. Our communities and states would all benefit from the cost savings, and it would be the humane thing to do.
As our senators debate S.744, I hope they will consider the economic costs of detaining people who are not a threat to the community, who otherwise could be working and paying taxes and caring for their children. How do you measure the cost to society when an otherwise law-abiding parent is deported and his or her children are left with a broken family with one less breadwinner?
Please take the time to read the entire op-ed by clicking the link above, and show your support for the author and immigration reform by leaving a comment, promoting the piece through Facebook and other social media, and sending the link to your friends, colleagues, and family.
The Senate may vote on S.744 as early as today, so this is a critical moment for voices like these to be heard in the press. We’re grateful to William Swanson, and to the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, for providing a forum through which he could offer up this powerful argument for immigration reform. Today, we need everyone’s voice, so please speak up now through the LIRS Action Center!