June 27, 2013

CWS Celebrates Historic Senate Vote for Immigration Reform

Immigration Reform: June 26 March
Rev. Noel Andersen of Church World Service, Rev. Michael Livingston of Interfaith Worker Justice, Rev. Dr. Sharon Stanley-Rae of the Disciples of Christ, and Rabbi Jason Kimelman-Block of Bend the Arc march on the US Capitol yesterday calling for comprehensive immigration reform in anticipation of the Senate vote. Photo: CWS

Church World Service commends the Senate on its critical vote this afternoon to achieve comprehensive immigration reform. The Senate passed the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act with a robust bipartisan majority of 68-32.

“This vote represents a historic landmark in the path to justice for millions of families across our nation who have spent too long facing family separation wrought by our broken immigration system,” said the Rev. John McCullough, President and CEO of Church World Service. "This unprecedented legislation will help reunite families, create a pathway to citizenship and improve the lives of refugees.”

Although CWS did not support the additional border security provisions added to the Senate bill and remains opposed to the changes regarding siblings and married children over age 31, CWS did support the overall bill.

“While the bill is not perfect, it certainly is an improvement over the status quo,” added McCullough. “This bill will improve the lives of millions of aspiring Americans.”
 
Immigration reform surely will face challenges in the House, and CWS will work with Representatives, the conference committee, and the administration to see that the final legislation reunites families, protects refugees, meets the needs of border communities, and provides a pathway to citizenship for as many people as possible. CWS also will continue to advocate for immigrants' rights on national, state and local levels because even this great step forward is not the end of the road to justice.

CWS has a long history of serving refugees and immigrants, and is one of nine organizations working with the State Department to resettle refugees in United States. CWS advocates for immigration reform as part of its mission to build stronger, more welcoming communities.