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Rabbi Linder: "We are here today to answer the call of our God to ensure not only that we love the stranger, but that our government and its agencies love the stranger as well."
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WASHINGTON, D.C., May 13, 2010 -Rabbi John Andrew Linder of Temple Solel in Phoenix, Ariz., today joined Bishop Minerva G. Carcano of the United Methodist Church, Bishop Gerald Frederick Kicanas of the Roman Catholic Church and other Arizona clergy in an "emergency delegation" visiting Washington, D.C. to condemn Arizonas Safe Neighborhoods Act (SB 1070). The new law makes failure to carry identification a crime and dangerously extends enforcement of federal immigration law to local police.
The delegation of religious leaders began their day with a visit to Senator Charles Schumers office to urge his introduction of a comprehensive immigration reform (CIR) bill. Sen. Schumer recently released a framework for a CIR bill known as the Real Enforcement with Practical Answers for Immigration Reform (REPAIR) Act. The passage of SB 1070 in Arizona, and news that twelve other states plan to follow suit, has added a heightened level of urgency to the immigration debate, making the introduction of national legislation all the more vital.
Rabbi Linder and the other members of the group also visited members of the Arizona congressional delegation, including Senators Jon Kyl and John McCain and Representatives Gabrielle Giffords and Raul M. Grijalva.
"Our job, as people of faith, is to support human dignity and support human rights from our teachings of love, justice, and compassion," Rabbi Linder said. "We are here today to answer the call of our God to ensure not only that we love the stranger, but that our government and its agencies love the stranger as well." A leading advocate for immigration reform, Rabbi Linder joined 12 other Arizona Reform Rabbis last week to send a letter calling on Governor Jan Brewer to repeal SB 1070. (Full text here)
The clergy delegation also met with officials in the Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security and the White House Domestic Policy Council to discuss humane enforcement measures and urge the Presidents leadership on immigration reform.