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Mountain West Leaders’ Message to Congress: Pass Immigration Reform This Year

​Conservative leaders in six Western states sent an unequivocal message to Congress this week: Meaningful immigration reform is priority No. 1 this summer.

Faith, technology, business, law enforcement, community and agriculture leaders in six states have signed a letter to Congress calling for immigration reform that keeps our communities secure, boosts our local and national economy and emphasizes human dignity.

“Immigration reform has been a politically divisive issue, but both sides of the aisle agree that our current system is inefficient and inhumane,” said Will Stoller-Lee, Director of the Fuller Theological Seminary in Colorado, who signed the letter. “For people of faith this issue is informed by our deep commitment to Scripture. We encourage our political leaders to seize this timely opportunity to replace this broken system now with a bipartisan solution that represents the best of our faith traditions and our society.”

“Evangelical leaders have embraced the need for broad immigration reform,” said David Warren, Executive Director of Open Door Ministries in Denver, a signatory who participated in a Colorado press call Tuesday. “The Bible commands us to love the immigrant, and we have developed significant relationships with immigrant believers in our churches and denominations. Their pain has become our pain as well.  It is time to move immigration reform forward.”

“We must come to some kind of clarity [on immigration],” Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder said during a press conference the same day at the Utah Capitol. “Otherwise, tensions will continue to mount and problems will occur.”

“From an economic perspective, it's absolutely essential that we pass immigration reform,” added James Lundy, president and CEO of Alliance Bank of Arizona and chair of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, during a news conference at the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce.

And at a press conference in Boise, Milk Producers of Idaho President Brent Olmstead said, “It's time for Congress to [take action].”

Leaders from Nevada and New Mexico also have signed the letter. The letter and related events in the Mountain West complement other reform-focused events this week, including the release of a poll showing Tea Party support for reform.

“All of these converging forces offer Congress a unique opportunity,” the Deseret News in Utah editorialized Thursday. “We call on our members of Congress to take the lead in ensuring that immigration reform can happen.”

Join the conversation on Twitter using #VoteOnReform.

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