WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a momentous 68-32 bipartisan vote this afternoon, the Senate passed S.744, The Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, the first immigration reform bill to clear the U.S. Senate in decades.
For over a year now, leaders in the Bibles, Badges and Business for Immigration Reform network have fought for a better immigration process—one that honors the American values of freedom and hard work and that will move our economy, our communities and our country forward.
Following today’s historic vote, members of the Bibles, Badges and Business for Immigration Reform network applauded the Senate’s courage and reaffirmed their commitment to getting broad immigration reform through the House:
Ali Noorani, Executive Director, National Immigration Forum:
“Today's passage reminds us that immigration is about people, not just fences. We’ve made real progress because our political leaders are finally realizing that this isn’t about politics; it’s about who we are as a country and how we fulfill our nation’s promise.”
Steve Case, Chairman and CEO of Revolution LLC and Co-Founder of America Online:
“Today, an overwhelming majority of Senators moved us one important step closer to passing comprehensive immigration reform. This bill, should it become law, will enable us to win the global battle for talent and remain the world’s most entrepreneurial nation. I applaud the bipartisan decision in the Senate and encourage leaders in the House to seize the opportunity because America needs a smarter immigration system that meets the needs of our 21st century economy.”
Mark DeYmaz, Founding Pastor, Mosaic Church of Central Arkansas, Little Rock:
“Evangelicals across the country, and here in Arkansas, have been united in our support of comprehensive immigration reform, and in urging Washington to fix a broken immigration system. Thankfully, our collective voice has been heard. For evangelicals, immigration reform isn’t about politics. It's about following where Scripture leads in honoring Jesus' call to love our neighbors and to care for the least among us — people often marginalized by society for one reason or another. Personally, I'm thankful for the progress that we are witnessing and pray that Washington will continue to listen to the voices of faithful Americans, including millions of evangelicals, who are closely watching this debate. We will continue to encourage and expect comprehensive immigration reform from this Congress. Indeed, the time is now.”
Dr. Leonardo Guerrero, Pastor, Fuquay Varina Baptist Church, Fuquay Varina, NC:
“We give thanks to God for today's victory in the Senate, which brings us one step closer to fixing our broken immigration system. Immigration reform will fulfill the dreams of millions of families and the promise of a nation. The hard work and especially the prayers of the faithful have lifted up the moral imperative before us and the biblical call to act on behalf of our immigrant brothers and sisters. We know a long road still lies ahead, but we are strongly encouraged and deeply committed to final passage of broad, commonsense immigration reform laden with evangelical values. Our nation, our families and our spirit simply cannot wait any longer.”
Craig Miller, Pastor, Grace Baptist Church, OH
“Compromise is never easy and often less than satisfying, but it has been crucial to see movement on a bill that would secure our borders and deal with the 11 million non-legal residents in our land. The Senate has taken the lead and I trust the House will also act, leading to a bill can be sent to the President that will begin the process of repairing a non-working immigration policy.”
Dr. Russell Moore, President, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, Southern Baptist Convention:
"The Senate should be commended for accomplishing something we don't often see: bipartisan cooperation across the ideological spectrum for the common good. Most of us can agree that our current immigration system is broken, and is neither just nor fair. While this legislation isn't perfect, it's clear that our leaders are working toward ‘both/and’ solutions, solutions that both secure our borders and demonstrate compassion for hardworking immigrant families. As Christians, we are called to affirm the rule of law and compassion for the vulnerable. Let's pray for just such a solution to our immigration crisis."
Wendy Tarr, Director, Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice of Orange County (CLUE OC):
“We celebrate the historic progress that was made today toward establishing immigration reform that provides for the economic needs of our country and maintains a path for legal status and citizenship for immigrants who are contributing members of our communities. We remain in earnest prayer, hope and faith for a final bill that protects the core principles that we have been upholding as people of faith. Our communities have waited long enough. Now is the time for members of the House to show leadership toward unifying our nation and bringing millions of people who have been part of us out of a second-class position.”
Robert T. Stephan, former Kansas Attorney General
"The American dream of immigrants to have a better life for themselves and their family is at the core of the values espoused by all freedom loving citizens. As Kansas Attorney General for 16 years, I always supported a legal path to citizenship for those who came to our great nation illegally and lived a life otherwise legal. It is encouraging to see the Congress embracing a commonsense approach to immigration reform. "
Nan Walden, Vice President and Counsel, Farmer Investments Co.
“In passing comprehensive immigration reform, Senators put political differences aside and acted in the best interest of the country. This legislation gives businesses the certainty they need to prosper while showing compassion to those who only want to share in the American dream. While much work remains to be done and the House must act now, today's development reminds us what it is really good about our country.”
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