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Press Release: NETWORK, A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby, Calls for Improvements in House Republican “Standards for Immigration Reform”

FOR RELEASE: January 31, 2014
CONTACT: Stephanie Niedringhaus, 202-347-9797 x224, sniedringhaus@networklobby.org

Washington DC: Sister Simone Campbell, executive director, has announced that NETWORK, a National Catholic Social Justice Lobby, is pleased that House Republicans finally decided to address immigration reform, but is disappointed with the “Standards for Immigration Reform” released yesterday by their Caucus. Their statement provides no clear indication of what steps will be taken to pass legislation that will fix our broken immigration system.

The fundamental structure of our current system is flawed: the application process is backlogged; families are divided while business receives priority; and the economic needs of our country are not met. The House Republican standards do not adequately address these problems or the inevitable flow of immigrants to the U.S. for years to come.

Root causes of migration such as war, climate and our foreign trade policies are also ignored by the House Republican Caucus.

Most unacceptable is the lack of an explicit path to citizenship for aspiring Americans. Let’s be clear: we are not advocating for a “special path” to citizenship; we are looking for a system that works. As people of faith, we are called to recognize the inherent dignity of all individuals regardless of age, education level or country of origin, as well as the dignity of work. The U.S. immigration system must reflect this, and it must respect the right of families not to be torn apart. Real solutions to our broken immigration system will benefit the 100%.

It is absolutely essential that immigration reform include a clear (not special) pathway to citizenship and protect family unity. Congress finally has the opportunity to pass genuine reform, and we must seize the moment. NETWORK will tirelessly advocate for passage of immigration reform that:

  • Ensures family unity
  • Protects the rights of immigrant workers
  • Acknowledges that our borders are already secure, with only minor changes needed
  • Speeds up processing of already-approved immigrants
  • Enhances the present diversity visa program
  • Provides a clear and direct path to citizenship.

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