Our 11,000,000 undocumented immigrant brothers and sisters spread across the country have reason for new hope that their status in the shadows may finally give them a new future which leads to legal residency and to citizenship. Thank God for this blessing!
Three post-election events give me great hope:
1. Senator Charles E. Schumer (D--NY) and Senator Lindsey Graham (R--SC) have agreed to dust off their previous bipartisan plan for comprehensive immigration reform, and to begin discussions among other Senators to help broaden the debate and to move legislative initiatives forward. This is a most helpful step forward since any immigration legislation will need to begin in the Senate and be adopted by that body before going to the House of Representatives.
2. Emerging coalitions of Evangelical Churches and their pastors are pressing forward with their congregations on behalf of immigrants in our land, and are setting forth proposals which are very much in harmony with those promoted over the years by our Catholic Church. I surely welcome these religious partners in helping to bring dignity, respect, and legal protection for all immigrants in our midst. This is a new moment for comprehensive immigration reform, and we need to seize the moment with new vigor and determination.
3. Even more conservative national radio and TV commentators are beginning to broaden their own thinking on the issue of how to deal with the 11,000,000 undocumented immigrants among us. Sean Hannity is a good example of a shift in understanding and outlook. He recently stated on his program that his position on immigration has "evolved," and that he sees the need to find a pathway to legal residency and even citizenship for this large group. I would hope that other conservative groups would help change minds and hearts with their members, and join us to view our immigrants as a value and asset, not a threat.
We have arrived at a new moment in our struggle on behalf of the 11,000,000 unauthorized immigrants, and we need to use every means possible to help bring about a lasting and just resolution to their plight.