I’m grateful that yet another leader has spoken up for fair and compassionate immigration reform. Today, I’d like to share the powerful op-ed of Rev. Joshua J. Burkholder.
The author, an Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) pastor, serves St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Frankfort, Indiana. He begins his August 6 piece for the Lafayette Journal and Courier, “Immigration Reform More Than a Map to Amnesty,” with these words:
As an Indiana resident, I become more certain every day that immigration reform will benefit our community and our state. As just one sign of the potential rewards, the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy projects that comprehensive reform will increase local and state taxes paid by Indiana’s undocumented immigrants by nearly $33 million. The institute’s research signals what business leaders already know: Immigrants are good for the economy.
For Hoosiers to reap these benefits, however, and for undocumented immigrants to fully contribute to Indiana, the U.S. House of Representatives must pass legislation that repairs our broken system. Their leadership will boost our prosperity.
Living in Frankfort, I can see how the positive effects of immigration reform will go far beyond economics. Immigration reform will afford some of our best and brightest students the opportunity to go to college and contribute to the community. Parents will be able to drive to work and take their children to school without fear of being arrested for driving without a license. Business owners and farmers will be able to hire the talented and skilled workers they need to succeed, through proper channels, without fearing fines or governmental reprisals.
He wraps up the op-ed with this strong call to action:
It’s crucially important that the House act immediately to pass this kind of fair and comprehensive immigration reform bill. Granted, it will take members of both parties reaching across the aisle to put our national interests ahead of squabbling, but that is an achievable goal.That kind of decisive leadership would do more than provide a road map to citizenship for the aspiring Americans living next door; it would offer a pathway for our entire community to embrace one another, live together peacefully and work together for a more just and compassionate society.
By clicking the link in the headline above, you can read the entire op-ed. Please show your support by Liking and Sharing the piece through Facebook and other social media, and sending the link to your friends, colleagues, and family members. In this day and age, these are the critically important ways for us to get the word out!
As Members of Congress spend time in their districts over August recess, we can presume that they’ll be reading the paper. If not, we know that their staff is carefully reading the editorial pages and will bring a piece like this to the representative’s attention. That makes it a critical time for Rev. Burkholder’s op-ed. I’m grateful for his leadership on immigration and refugee issues. I also appreciate the Lafayette Journal and Courier’s dedication to lifting up important issues like this one.
If you read Rev. Burkholder’s words and feel inspired, now is the time to raise your own voice for fair 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.
Thank you for all that you do to Stand for Welcome!