December 18, 2014 · 26 Kislev

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Reform Jewish Movement Responds to Senate’s Failure to Complete Immigration Reform Legislation

Pelavin: Although the Senate’s impasse is disappointing, the House has an opportunity to pick up the mantle of comprehensive immigration reform.

Contact: Sean Thibault or Cara Fisher
202.387.2800 or

Washington, DC— In response to last night’s failed vote to end a filibuster of comprehensive immigration reform legislation, Mark J. Pelavin, Associate Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:

The Senate’s inability to achieve agreement on comprehensive immigration reform is deeply saddening.  Although we had numerous concerns with the underlying legislation being considered, the effort to address the many failings of our current and broken system was essential.  

Both our Jewish tradition and our historical experiences lead us to support immigration policy that is compassionate and fair.  Throughout the centuries Jews have known what it has meant to be strangers in the lands in which they dwelled.  Whether in search of religious freedom or economic opportunity, they have arrived in this nation eager to contribute and share in the honor of being Americans.  So many other individuals of a variety of faiths but similar motivations continue to come to our shores each year.  And yet our nation’s policies remain rooted in antiquated ideas about the realities of our economy and the world of which we are a part.

Although the Senate’s impasse is disappointing, the House has an opportunity to pick up the mantle of comprehensive immigration reform.  By moving forward on legislation that includes improvements to our visa processing system; brings those undocumented individuals who are already living here as law-abiding and contributing members of our communities out from the shadows; welcomes refugees fleeing persecution; matches the demands of American employers and our domestic labor force with the availability of supplemental immigrant workers; and provides immigrants with a path to citizenship, the House can succeed where the Senate has not.

We look forward to working with members of Congress in both chambers, and on both sides of the aisle, on this issue that speaks so directly to the core of our nation’s history, identity, and values.



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

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