Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice applauded the news that Members of Congress will move forward on immigration reform by filing a discharge petition which would compel a floor vote. Immigration reform, which has bipartisan support, has been stymied in the House after passing with bipartisan support in the Senate last year.
“Eleven million of our neighbors, friends and loved ones are living in this country without many of the basic rights the rest of us take for granted,” said Stosh Cotler, CEO of Bend the Arc. “Americans of many faiths know this to be wrong and have demanded change, and yet change has remained elusive for the most disappointing of reasons: politics. This is a crisis of governance, and it’s a crisis of our national conscience. We need a vote on immigration reform now.”
The discharge petition creates a new moment of debate on immigration in Congress. It comes on the heels of President Obama’s recent directive to review his administration’s deportation policies, and precedes a continuation of the 22-day fast by immigration activists that captured the nation’s attention last year. Bend the Arc is leading efforts to push the debate in Congress by bringing the Jewish community together to sign a petition pressuring Majority Leader Eric Cantor to put immigration up for a vote on the House floor. The effort is a collaboration among many of the nation’s leading Jewish organizations.
“Jews believe that we are all interconnected, and we have a responsibility to those around us,” continued Cotler. “When we deport people, we tear apart families, and that rips at the fabric of our communities. It weakens all of us. We need a vote on immigration reform now.”
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.
Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice, is a national organization inspired by Jewish values and the steadfast belief that Jewish Americans, regardless of religious or institutional affiliations, are compelled to create justice and opportunity for Americans.