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Immigration

Senate Immigration Bill: Unfair, Unjust, Unwise

United Methodist Women rejects the disciplinary nature of the current Senate immigration bill, making it more urgent for us to continue our advocacy for positive immigration reform.

United Methodist Women has deep concerns with “The Border Security, Economic Opportunity & Immigration Modernization Act” (S. 744) passed by the Senate on June 27. Hailed as a historic vote in advancing comprehensive immigration reform, the legislation offers a grueling pathway to citizenship for a limited number of immigrants while authorizing unprecedented militarization of the U.S.-Mexican border

“We desperately need immigration reform, but this is not the reform we need,” stated Harriett Jane Olson, United Methodist Women’s general secretary and CEO. “As we pause this week to celebrate Independence Day, it is a moment to look deeply into the vision and meaning of this nation.”

We understand the national debate on immigration as part of this ongoing civil rights agenda in the United States—an agenda that calls us to live up to the vision of a just and inclusive nation. Our nations’ leaders are prioritizing military spending over the health and well-being of our communities. 

Brutal elements of border security

Brutal new elements of border security changed the character of Senate Bill 744. As amended, the bill:

Women and children will not benefit from bill

This is unfair, unjust and unwise. United Methodist Women sees the faces of those who will not benefit from this bill:

Toward humane immigration policy

United Methodist Women rejects the disciplinary nature of the current Senate immigration bill and proposals in the House of Representatives. “Rather than target and criminalize immigrants for coming to the United States without papers, we must address the reasons that migrants are forced to come. Human rights and racial justice must be at the core of both U.S. economic and immigration policy,” said Janis Rosheuvel, executive for racial justice.

According to United Methodist Women’s resolution “Criminalization of Communities of Color in the United States,” policies such as S. 744 “render whole communities of color … as guilty until proven innocent. … This approach is based on a theology and worldview of scarcity. In contrast, The United Methodist Church affirms, ‘God’s vision of abundant living is a world where we live out a theology of “enough” for all.’” 

As people of faith, this is a key moment to bring our theologically grounded policy proposals to our leaders. United Methodist Women members will continue to raise their voices for just and humane polices. We hope to infuse immigration reform with a much-needed reorientation toward human rights for immigrant women, children and families.

United Methodist Women National Office reiterates our core concerns for just immigration reform:

  • Offer a rapid and affordable pathway to citizenship for all unauthorized immigrants.
  • Offer public services, including health care, to immigrants regardless of status.
  • Reunite families and keep families together.
  • Protect the labor rights of both immigrant and U.S. workers.
  • Guarantee due process and protect the civil and human rights of all immigrants.
  • Demilitarize the U.S.-Mexico border
  • End enforcement practices that criminalize migrants because of their status.
  • Address migrant women’s rights: precarious work conditions, protection and redress from violence.
  • Develop humane economic, trade and foreign policies to reduce forced migration.
  • Suspend detention and deportation of migrants and shift resources to underserved communities.

“United Methodist Women has worked tirelessly for justice for immigrants,” said Carol Barton, executive for community action and coordinator of United Methodist Women’s Immigrant and Civil Rights Initiative. “These turn of events makes it more urgent for us to continue our advocacy for positive immigration reform.”
 

Last Updated: 04/03/2014
 
 

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