Changing How We Talk About Immigration

By Jim Wallis 11-15-2007

Last spring, Sojourners helped launch Christians for Comprehensive Immigration Reform. Following Congress' failure to pass meaningful reform, we have continued to work to provide churches and clergy with effective educational materials, encouraged and mobilized congregations to oppose punitive laws, and supported a rapid response media team of religious leaders around the country to respond to reports of intolerance.

Yesterday, CCIR held a news conference to urge Americans to recall, in the week before Thanksgiving, both the blessings in their lives and the needs of "the least of these" in our nation, many of whom are undocumented immigrants working for a better life. I joined the Most Reverend John Wester, bishop of Salt Lake City, chairman, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Migration; Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference and James Winkler, general secretary of the United Methodist Church, General Board of Church & Society.

We released a comprehensive report - A House Divided: Why Americans Of Faith Are Concerned About Undocumented Immigrants which carefully documents three major consequences of Congress not resolving the issue.

Here are my remarks at the news conference:

The immigration system is broken. We all know that, we all agree on that. We missed a chance to fix it in this Congress and the debate since that time has gone sour. Today we are not here to advocate a bill but to share concerns about our conversation, how we are talking about people.

We've often cited Leviticus 19:34

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