This letter was sent to memers of Congress on Monday, Nov. 11 to urge them to act this year to fix our broken immigration system:
Dear Member of Congress,
On this Veterans’ Day, as our nation remembers with gratitude the thousands of men and women who have died during wars since WWI, Franciscan Action Network remembers especially immigrants from many countries who have given their lives in military service to our nation. Following the teachings of Jesus, Francis of Assisi, and the social teachings of the Catholic Church, we believe in the dignity of all persons and defend human rights when we perceive them to be violated or ignored. Therefore, we work with other faith organizations on behalf of immigration reform that is badly needed in our country.
Most legislators acknowledge that our country’s immigration system is broken and does not serve the best interest of our nation. We regret that there is no consensus in the Congress on how to repair the system. Meantime, millions of hard working immigrants live in the shadows, in constant fear of being arrested, put into detention and deported. Thousands of families have been painfully separated. Many immigrants came to the United States legally and overstayed their visas, hoping to become productive citizens. Thousands who have crossed the southern border have done so out of desperation because waiting in line for visas takes years, and they have children to feed. We know stories of immigrants who have returned to their home country to renew their visas, have used up their savings without obtaining a visa, and have crossed back into the U.S. to be with their families. Now they are imprisoned in harsh detention centers. Mothers work at several jobs to provide for children who cry for their fathers.
Our country can do better than this. We urge the House of Representatives to act now to mend our broken immigration system. Genuine reform will include an earned, reasonable path to citizenship; it will promote family unity; it will protect the rights of all, and will address the poverty, violence and policies that are the root causes of migration into the United States.
Franciscan Action Network joins the faith community across the country in appealing to our Representatives, both locally and in the Capitol, participating in prayer vigils and fasting actions, demonstrating our commitment to the goal of passing legislation that will create a fair, reasonable, compassionate immigration system that enables undocumented immigrants to be on a path to eventual citizenship. We hope to work with you in achieving this end, and hold you in prayer.