Pelavin : With only a few weeks until the legislative recess, we urge the Senate to remain steadfast in its commitment to comprehensive immigration reform and not to accept unrealistically narrow solutions to a complex and human situation.
In response to yesterday’s House passage of legislation establishing a 700 mile fence along the U.S.-Mexico border, Mark J. Pelavin, Associate Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:
Washington DC September 15, 2006 - The House of Representatives’ vote on the Secure Fence Act of 2006, authorizing the construction of 700 miles of fencing along the U.S.-Mexican border, is a disappointment to all advocates of immigration reform who believe strongly in the need for immigration-related legislation that is comprehensive in nature, rather than punitive. With only a few weeks until the legislative recess, we urge the Senate to remain steadfast in its commitment to comprehensive immigration reform and not to accept unrealistically narrow solutions to a complex and human situation.
The Reform Jewish Movement holds fast to the words of Leviticus, “the strangers who sojourn with you shall be to you as the natives among you, and you shall love them as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” At the same time, we well understand the need for stricter law enforcement on our nation’s borders. Yet a piecemeal approach to the problems of our immigration system does not serve either those who live in this country or those who seek to enter. Our immigration policies will remain flawed until we address the issues such as a path to legalization for undocumented workers who already live in the United States. We call on House leaders to abandon their plans to continue to bring up additional, punitive measures such as that passed today, and call on Senators to reject any immigration reform legislation that is not comprehensive in nature.
The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the Washington office of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose more than 900 congregations across North America encompass 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, whose membership includes more than 1800 Reform rabbis.