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Laser: "As we rejoice in today's victory, we call upon the House of Representatives to swiftly adopt legislation that contains these key protections of our country's vulnerable populations, and that ensures America's security and prosperity for future generations."
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Washington, D.C., June 27, 2013 - In response to today's Senate passage of the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013, Rachel Laser, Deputy Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:
"Today's passage of a comprehensive immigration reform bill by the United States Senate is an historic step on our journey toward justice for all aspiring Americans.
We recognize that the bill passed today is not a perfect one. The path to citizenship is too long, and does not allow immigrants to access crucial social services. The family reunification provisions do not extend to siblings and adult married children. Yet today's bill is also a cause for celebration, significantly improving many of the failings of our current, broken immigration system. The bill contains priorities the Reform Jewish Movement has long championed, including a pathway to citizenship, legal avenues for future flow of immigrants, enhanced ways for families to be reunited, and important protections for workers.
Immigration reform is a deeply personal issue for the Jewish community. From our biblical narrative of being 'strangers in a strange land' (Exodus 2:22) to our historical experience as immigrants in this country and others throughout history, we know the tangible effects that immigration policies have on the lives of men, women, and children. In particular, Reform rabbis from coast to coast have made immigration reform a priority, mobilizing their congregants and others in communities. They have advocated for a just bill in Washington, D.C. and in their Senators' district offices. Today, these efforts have born sweet fruit.
With today's Senate passage, our attention now turns to the House and ensuring that America's promise of 'liberty and justice for all' is fully realized. As we rejoice in today's victory, we call upon the House of Representatives to swiftly adopt legislation that contains these key protections of our country's vulnerable populations, and that ensures America's security and prosperity for future generations."