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Rabbi Saperstein: "This long overdue legislation is a just response to the needs of young adults who wish to continue to make a positive contribution to our nation."
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WASHINGTON, D.C. December 9, 2010 -- In response to the House of Representatives' passage of bi-partisan immigration legislation, Rabbi David Saperstein, Director and Counsel of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:
Late last night, the House of Representatives passed the American Dream Act (H.R. 1751), to address the situation faced by young people who were brought to America as undocumented immigrant children, and who have since grown up, stayed in school, and been law-abiding contributors to our communities. This long overdue legislation is a just response to the needs of young adults who wish to continue to make a positive contribution to our nation. It will make it possible for them to serve our nation in the military and by furthering their education, eventually attaining legal residency and citizenship.
The passage of this bill embodies the Jewish principle that "When strangers sojourn with you in your land, you shall not do them wrong. 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" (Leviticus 19:33-34). Throughout more than 350 years of Jewish immigration to America, we have been actively engaged in the struggles of new immigrants and in the development of a just and compassionate immigration policy. In that spirit, we call on the Senate to take this bill up quickly, and complete the work needed to ensure the enactment of this vital legislation.