To the Editor:
Now is the time for immigration reform. Encourage your congress persons to enact laws that provide legal paths for immigrants to work in the United States and fill in labor force gaps. Pass laws that provide a path to citizenship for undocumented persons and preserves family unity. Restore due process to our immigration policies.
For the past two years I have been visiting detained immigrants who are jailed waiting for their court cases. The majority of these men and women are hard-working, contribute to the work force and are strong family members. Most have not committed any crime and are jailed because they did not have appropriate documentation. They have come to this country for a better life for their families; some have fled from a dangerous country. If sent back to their country, they will be killed.
Many have been in the U.S. for 20 years and when detained have lost jobs and been torn from their families. Some will be deported to a country where they have no job or family. In 2013, more than 400,000 people were deported from the U.S.
The Center for American Progress reports that providing legal status for undocumented immigrants and reforming the visa system increases the Gross Domestic Product by $1.5 trillion. This increases tax revenue, investments and jobs over a 10-year period.
Urge members of Congress to enact immigration reform this year. For information, visit www.justiceforimmigrants.org or www.go.sojo.net.
I invite you to join the Clinton Franciscan Center for Active Nonviolence and Peacemaking on May 15 at 6:30 p.m. at the Canticle, 843 13th Ave. N., Clinton, for the Social Justice Film Fest and view “A Better Life.” A gardener in East Los Angeles struggles to keep his son away from gangs and immigration agents while trying to give his son the opportunities he never had.
Sr. Maria Zeimen, OSF