Monday, March 24, 2014

Jewish Leaders Pressure Eric Cantor on Immigration Reform

From Bend the Arc:

Jewish voters are ratcheting up the pressure on Majority Leader Eric Cantor to move comprehensive immigration reform through the House. On Monday, Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice launched a petition calling on Rep. Cantor to bring immigration reform to a vote. The effort, spearheaded by Bend the Arc, is a collaboration of many of the nation’s leading Jewish organizations.
The petition (at makes clear that immigration reform is a priority issue for the Jewish community:
“As American Jews, we believe in a nation that grants today's immigrants access to the same basic freedoms and opportunities that drew our ancestors and yours.”
The Jewish community’s petition comes as House Democratic leaders plan to file a discharge petition to move the immigration bill to a floor vote. Even though Rep. Cantor has acknowledged that immigration reform would boost the economy, he has offered only excuses for the long obstruction of a floor vote on immigration reform.
“Leader Cantor, like all of us in the American Jewish community, owes his place in this nation to previous generations who were welcomed by our country’s immigration system,” said Stosh Cotler, CEO of Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice. “This petition is meant to remind him of that shared history and of the responsibility we have as American Jews to show compassion and fairness to the hard-working families seeking to build a better life in America.”
Over the past year, Bend the Arc has organized around the issue of immigration, arranging meetings between Jewish leaders and congressional staff, hosting immigration-themed Shabbats, organizing petitions and participating in marches, vigils and town halls to deliver the message that immigration reform is a top priority for Jewish voters. In October, Bend the Arc’s rabbi-in-residence was arrested at a national demonstration for immigration reform alongside members of Congress during an act of civil disobedience on the National Mall.
“Many American Jews are only one, two or three generations removed from our families’ first days in this country,” said Ms. Cotler. “We believe in an America that strives to fulfill the ideals of fairness and opportunity it stands for. That’s why we’re dedicated to making sure that today’s immigrants are given the same opportunities that enabled us to thrive.”


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