It has been a long time since we have seen such positive and hopeful prospects for comprehensive immigration reform in our country.
Several factors are at work here:
* the 2012 Presidential election showed the importance of the Hispanic and the Asian-Pacific vote, and the growing importance of these communities for the future
* 62% of Americans now favor a solution to the 11 million undocumented people living among us that includes an earned path to legal residency, and eventually, to citizenship; fewer than 20% think some type of mass deportation would work or even be a solution
* a growing realization that our immigrant people perform jobs and work which no one else is interested in doing--and work that is essential to the vitality of our country
* that "blended families" where some members have papers and some do not will on their own split up--and for many years; they will do anything to maintain their families united and together
* we cannot go on exploiting these people living in the shadows without bestowing upon them their human dignity and rights
Yes, there will be many hurdles and challenges in the Senate and in the House. But with a sound bipartisan group of Senators coming together, along with the President, the hour has come for us at long last to reach out to our undocumented people with a new spirit of compassion and welcome.
What can you and I do? First thing: email your Congress representative and your U.S. Senator and tell them that you support strong comprehensive immigration reform.
Continue to pray for a change of hearts and minds among our citizens, and our elected representatives.
2013 could well be the year when it finally happens!!