The Common Good

Bibles, Badges, Businesses Call for Immigration Reform

Date: December 4, 2012

A bipartisan coalition of religious, business, and law-enforcement leaders is asking for federal comprehensive immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship for those in the country illegally.

The group met in Washington on Tuesday to pressure Congress and the White House to make immigration reform its “first priority” in 2013.

“The country is hungry for Congress to work together,” said Jim Wallis, of Sojourners, a social-justice ministry. “Comprehensive immigration reform is that common ground.”

The coalition, coordinated by the National Immigration Forum, also called on lawmakers to modernize the country’s immigration laws, but recognized the need for border security.

Religious leaders of several faiths said that immigration reform was a moral issue. Representatives for law-enforcement officials said that the lack of immigration reform had complicated their work and made their communities less safe by driving immigrants underground and leading them to distrust local authorities. Business leaders described a need for both high- and low-skilled workers despite high unemployment levels.