National Lutheran News

Senate rejection of immigration bill disappoints Lutheran agncy

Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service says defeat will hurt alien workers

A Lutheran immigration advocacy group supported by both ELCA and LCMS says the failure of the U.S. Senate to pass comprehensive immigration reform legislation is bad news for the country, as well as for those who want to immigrate.

Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) issued a statement after the Senate failed to secure a sufficient number of votes to close debate on the complex bi-partisan bill. President George W. Bush had supported the bill, which would have been a significant marker for his legacy as chief executive.

In its statement, LIRS said, “[We are] deeply disappointed that the Senate failed to pass comprehensive immigration reform this year.” The statement said the U.S. is still lacking but still needs “a humane, workable system that promotes family unity, safeguards human rights and worker rights, brings undocumented people out of the shadows and provides a path to permanence.”

LIRS had criticized the proposal, which failed to pass, because it would show a preference for alien workers who were skilled in certain areas, but would have split up families by denying entry to the U.S. by spouses and children.
“The U.S. immigration system is still broken,” the LIRS statement declared. It said, “It is … critical that our government not resort to an enforcement-only approach to our broken system by stepping up raids, arrests, detention and deportation of the undocumented.”

Opponents of the failed legislation had criticized its proposal to grant what critics had called “blanket amnesty for lawbreakers.”