American faith leaders call for humane immigration reform

 In an interfaith press event held on Ash Wednesday, Cardinal Theodore E McCarrick of Washington called upon President Bush and Congress to work together toward the enactment of comprehensive immigration reform "which protects our national security, respects our common humanity, and reflects the values---fairness, compassion, and opportunity--upon which our nation was built." Cardinal McCarrick was joined by several other interfaith leaders, including Reverend Samuel Rodriguez, Jr, President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference; Rabbi Scott Sperling, Director of the Union for Reform Judaism's Mid-Atlantic Council; and Rev Dr Robert Edgar, General Secretary of the National Council of the Churches of Christ. In his statement, Cardinal McCarrick acknowledged that immigration "is not a simple issue, but one that evokes strong passions and economic, legal, social, and national security debates." However, Cardinal McCarrick added that immigration is also a humanitarian issue that "impacts the basic dignity and life of the person, created in the image and likeness of God." "It is because of this impact on basic human dignity and human life that we believe immigration is, first and foremost, a moral issue." Cardinal McCarrick called for the adoption of principles included in the Secure America and Orderly Immigration Control Act (S. 1033, HR. 2330) of 2005 as well as several other immigration bills now pending before the US Senate. The Senate Judiciary Committee was expected to take up immigration legislation yesterday. "Every day, we in the Catholic Church see the human consequences of a flawed system. We see families separated, workers exploited, and migrants abused by smugglers and who sometimes die in the desert, "Cardinal McCarrick stated. "Changing the status quo is an issue of moral gravity" the Cardinal said "Our nation must create an immigration response that is humane, while also serving our nation's economic and national security needs." To read the full statement see:

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