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June 27, 2013: JCPA Welcomes Bipartisan Senate Cooperation to Bring About Serious Immigration Reform

05:27 PM Jun 27, 2013

JCPA Welcomes Bipartisan Senate Cooperation to Bring About Serious Immigration Reform

Washington, DC - The bipartisan immigration reform bill passed by the Senate today is a viable solution to our country’s outdated immigration laws, said the Jewish Council for Public Affairs. The Jewish umbrella applauded the bipartisan cooperation that made the vote possible and said the bill is a serious proposal that deserves timely consideration by the House of Representatives.

“We are an Immigration Nation,” said JCPA President Rabbi Steve Gutow.  “For hundreds of years, people from all over the world have traveled to the United States to build better lives. Our national commitment to immigration has been critical to our national prosperity: powering innovation, creativity, and growth.  However, over the past decades, our system has become tarnished with an outmoded visa system, long waiting times, harsh detention and deportation policies, and millions of immigrants without a lawful status.  Today, the U.S. Senate acted in accordance with our best values: national leaders compromising to expand justice, dignity, and opportunity,” said JCPA President Rabbi Steve Gutow. “In the Torah, we are taught to ‘welcome the stranger’.  Today the Senate restored our national commitment to immigration and relit the torch of promise that welcomes aspiring Americans through the golden door.”

“We applaud the leadership and conviction of the bipartisan group of Senators that introduced and guided this bill,” said JCPA Chair Larry Gold. “That spirit of compromise and cooperation has sadly become a rarity in Washington, but today is a reminder of the important results it can yield. The Senate today has taken an important step towards a more humane system of immigration that reflects our morals while meeting our security and economic needs. However, this bill still needs improvement. We remain concerned about the level of resources being dedicated to the Southern border and how this impact communities. We look forward to working with Congress to refine this legislation. The Senate’s action today was a model of bipartisanship and we encourage the House of Representatives to adopt this spirit and quickly consider this serious bill that would bring our immigration system into the 21st century.”

For decades, the JCPA, through policies adopted by national member agencies and local affiliates, has advocated for an equitable immigration policy that promotes opportunity and protects the human rights of all aspiring Americans.  In a 2007 resolution, the JCPA called for comprehensive immigration reform that would provide legal status for undocumented workers and simultaneously create a judicious, timely, and rational policy for accepting future immigrants. This was followed in 2011 with two resolutions on preserving birthright citizenship and supporting the federal role in immigration enforcement. This year at the JCPA Plenum, the annual policy symposium of community, lay and professional leaders, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano spoke with delegates about the Administration’s plans for immigration.

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