In a show of support for a legal path to immigration, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and one hundred Episcopal Bishops have issued a joint statement in favor of President Obama’s executive action on immigration.
The action is less binding than the order that some pundits thought the President would enact. Instead of a set of directives, it’s a statement of intent and purpose, which may be adhered to with variations in exactitude.
Together with families and communities across the United States, I give thanks for President Obama’s announcement that nearly five million undocumented immigrants will soon be eligible for relief from the threat of deportation. Too many families have lived for too long continually worried about parents being separated from children, wage-earners and caregivers from those who depend on them, and unable to participate fully in their communities and the nation’s economy. Permanent and comprehensive reform of our broken immigration system through congressional action is still urgently needed, but the President’s action is a constructive step toward a system that honors the dignity and intrinsic value of every human being. It will immediately strengthen our nation’s communities by allowing immigrant families much fuller participation in American civic and economic life.
The Episcopal Church will work with Congressional leaders and the White House to press for implementation of the President’s plan as quickly, fairly, and inclusively as possible. The President’s plan is not perfect. Some deserving persons and families are excluded, meaning that additional work lies ahead. All persons equally deserve the ability to pursue their dreams and contribute to their communities and families with liberty, dignity, and freedom. I pray that the President’s action will lead our nation toward a future in which those sacred possibilities are open to all.
The Episcopal Church issued a press release and the full list of signatories on their website.