Lutheran leaders gathered in D.C. December 8 and 9, including Bishop Richard Graham of the ELCA Metro D.C. Synod, for the Lutheran Immigration Leadership Summit hosted by Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS).
With the House and Senate both considering votes on the DREAM Act, summit leaders had a timely opportunity to share experiences, receive training and visit House and Senate offices to relay support for compassionate and comprehensive immigration reform in the new Congress.
“We have come to Washington as we have come many times before, to talk with members of Congress about the importance of immigration reform in this country,” said Bishop E. Roy Riley, ELCA New Jersey Synod and LIRS Board Chair and Executive Committee Chair. “We know that we have to be relentless, because change does not just happen. It has been over ten years since we have been promoting the idea of providing some kind of opportunity for children who were brought to this country through no fault of their own. These are children who have grown up in our communities, gone to our schools, been friends with our kids, and are now ready to move into society.”
The DREAM Act (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act of 2009) is bipartisan legislation that will allow undocumented students who came to the United States as children, who are long-term U.S. residents and have good moral character to obtain lawful permanent residency, provided that for two years they attend college or serve in the U.S. military. Additional information is available from LIRS. See also a letter from the ELCA presiding bishop to members of Congress.