An interfaith coalition of religious groups held a “pray-in” at the Capitol today in support of the DREAM Act, which would provide a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who were brought to this country by their parents as children. The bill passed the House of Representatives last week, and the Senate is expected to vote on it before the end of the lame duck session.
Rabbi David Saperstein, Director and Counsel of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, said in a statement:
Time is running out for the Senate to act on the American DREAM Act. Time is running out to extend the American dream to 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.
This important but modest 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).
The DREAM Act is opposed by religious right groups like Concerned Women for America and Eagle Forum, but Conservatives for Comprehensive Immigration Reform, which includes representatives of the National Association of Evangelicals, the Southern Baptist Convention, and the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, supports it.