November 21, 2014 – Metropolitan Community Churches and the Global Justice Institute applaud U.S. President Barack Obama for making bold moves to reform the U.S. immigration system. Building on the immigrant reform actions of his nine predecessors, he announced changes that would permit children brought to the U.S. by their parents to remain indefinitely, expand the system of work permits, reduce barriers to higher education, and support family unification for certain bi-national families. These measures constitute a major step in the right direction.
While we applaud President Obama, we are reminded that these actions fall short of the comprehensive immigration reform we, along with all other fair-minded stakeholders, have been seeking for years. We must not leave LGBT families separated across borders, isolate and marginalize LGBT asylum seekers, or exclude any immigrant group from access to health care and social services. Money spent on border security would better serve immigrants’ need for quality health care, education, affordable housing. Despite these shortcomings, the President’s reforms constitute an expanded foundation upon which we must pursue greater freedoms.
We remind the President and Congress that immigrants are our sisters and brothers, neighbors, co-workers, friends, classmates, and fellow parishioners. They are contributors to healthy, vibrant communities. They are all children of God who deserve dignity, respect, and the freedom of opportunity that all other U.S. residents enjoy. Because executive actions by any President are temporary, we call on Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform legislation to ensure that all who desire a better life in the United States have a permanent and legal pathway toward that pursuit.
For more information on MCC/GJI’s immigration reform principles, see our statement “No Stranger to God: A Call for Sensible Immigration Reform that Supports and Reunites Families”