Immigration reform: Will we see it in 2013? That’s the burning question on everyone’s mind this year.
A complicated debate and legislative process lie ahead. Here to decipher the headlines for you every Monday is THE UPDATE, a weekly blog series whose panel of experts will analyze how recent events affect the prospects for real reform. The panelists will offer an insider’s view of what’s happening right now on Capitol Hill, bolstered by their decades of experience with immigration reform and the legislative process.
This week’s edition appears in both English and Spanish.
Given the most recent developments, are we getting any closer to immigration reform? Here’s what the panelists have to say:
Bishop Julian Gordy, Immigration Ready Bench, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
The Senate Judiciary Committee’s bipartisan vote last Tuesday to send immigration reform legislation to the Senate floor for consideration is nothing short of remarkable. On the same day as the committee vote, the president and the vice-president met with DREAMers and family members of undocumented immigrants to hear both their stories and their calls to reform our immigration laws. As Congress adjourns for the Memorial Day recess, I’m thrilled to report that immigration reform is steaming forward with brisk momentum.
Lisa Sharon Harper, Director of Mobilizing, Sojourners
Just as the church celebrates the presence of the Holy Spirit during Pentecost, a new spirit continues to move in Washington, DC. After days of debate and the consideration of hundreds of amendments, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 13-5 to send bipartisan immigration reform legislation to the Senate floor where it will be considered by the entire body. While many hurdles remain, this represents significant progress toward creating an immigration system that reflects the shared values of our nation. As Congress begins its Memorial Day recess buoyed by this development, the Evangelical Immigration Table is accelerating its #Pray4Reform campaign to mobilize prayer partners across the country to pray for legislators to pass just immigration reform before the congressional August recess. Prayer services, vigils, and other events are being planned across the country in support of comprehensive immigration reform. We are closer than ever to realizing our hopes. Praise be to God!
Brittney Nystrom, LIRS Director for Advocacy, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service
“Historic” and “encouraging” are two words that I heard over and over again in the hearing room last Tuesday night after the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to approve S.744, the immigration reform bill. As the final vote count was read, the audience broke into cheers and applause, and some even shed tears. The emotional reaction was apt given the critical importance of finding a compassionate and just solution to our current inadequate immigration system. There are still many hurdles to clear before this legislation becomes the law of the land and the bill, newly amended by the committee, is not anyone’s ideal bill.
THE UPDATE will appear every Monday until the dust settles on the legislative battle over comprehensive immigration reform. If you wish to raise your voice for fair reform, please visit our Action Center. You can also learn more about the issues by reading two interviews with someone personally impacted by America’s broken immigration system, Jessica Colotl. Also, don’t forget that you can subscribe to this blog by adding your email address to the box at the top left of this page!