I’m happy that supporters of immigration reform continue to build the momentum for change and fair immigration policies. A compelling op-ed by Bishop Marie Jerge of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA)’s Upstate New York Synod was published today in the Syracuse Post-Standard .
Her October 3 article, “Immigration Reform Will Benefit Upstate New York,” begins:
Our immigration laws are inhumane and it has become clear to me that, for the benefit of Upstate New York’s communities and economies, they need to be changed now. This fall, the U.S. House of Representatives needs to hear about the hardships our broken immigration system causes, and pass a fair reform bill.
Deportations are tearing apart families, Bishop Jerge writes, and she notes that immigrants bring a powerful work ethic and innovative energy that fuels the New York economy. She writes:
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce reports that immigrants strengthen the economy. In several Upstate New York cities, immigrant populations provide an entrepreneurial spirit and an incredible work ethic. They start businesses, pay taxes, and contribute to Social Security; they benefit our systems and our struggling, economically challenged communities.
As a conclusion, she underlines how upstate New York’s history is one of past migrations, and makes a powerful call for immigration reform:
Upstate New York has been shaped by a series of migrations throughout the centuries: Dutch, Palatine, German, and Swedish, among many others. “Welcoming the immigrant” is part of who we are. This is especially true within the church. I hope the U.S. House of Representatives will remember this, and pass a compassionate immigration reform bill soon.
We’re thankful for Members of Congress who recognize that immigration reform cannot wait. We are also grateful to Bishop Jerge for taking the time to write this strong piece and to the Syracuse Post-Standard for spreading awareness on the necessity of fair immigration reform.
After reading the words of Bishop Jerge, if you feel inspired, please take the time to raise your own voice for fair and compassionate immigration reform via the LIRS Action Center. Also, please don’t forget to sign up to receive alerts from this blog, and check out our new Immigration Reform Mythbuster.