Cooperation. Common sense. Courage. These are not words that most would associate with the political processes which take place in nation’s capital. Yet yesterday afternoon, the Senate displayed these traits – and several other commendable ones – when Republicans, Democrats, and Independents alike when they overwhelmingly voted to pass S.744, the historic comprehensive immigration reform bill. Friends, make no mistake about it – with a vote of 68 – 32, Thursday afternoon’s vote was an incredible victory.
At G92, we are simultaneously reacting to the Senate’s passing of the bill in two ways. The first way we are reacting is simply by acknowledging the fact that, as mentioned earlier, today’s vote was a victory. We are extremely grateful to all those who have tirelessly advocated and fought for immigration reform. We are grateful to all the Senators who voted for this bill – and if one or both of your Senators voted yes, we urge you to take one minute to pick up the phone and call him/her/them right now to thank them.
Most importantly, however, we are thankful to God for bringing us to this moment! We would be sorely remiss if we did not take time to explicitly praise and thank God for faithfully answering our prayers. In this moment, we are reminded of the instance in Joshua 4 where God tells the Israelites to set up memorial stones so that they would forever remember that their prayers were answered and that they were delivered. Similarly, God tells the Israelites in Exodus to commemorate Passover each year for all generations in remembrance of their deliverance from Egypt. Clearly, it is important to acknowledge what God has done for us, to be thankful, and to remember.
While we at G92 are definitely celebrating and feeling grateful, our second response to the Senate’s passing this immigration bill is to realistically understand that we are far from finished. Now that the bill has cleared the Senate, it must be passed by the House of Representatives in order to become law. If you do a simple Google News search for “immigration,” you will quickly understand that getting the bill passed through the House will be a challenge. Representatives often represent districts that are less demographically diverse than states (which are represented by Senators); as a result, representatives are less likely than Senators to have constituents for whom immigration reform is a vocalized priority.
So far, Republican leadership within the House of Representatives has indicated that they will not take up the Senate’s immigration reform bill (though they are at least saying that they do want to tackle immigration reform, albeit in their own way). While G92 does not exist to lobby for any particular bill, the idea of trying to achieve immigration reform through piecemeal immigration (favored by the House) makes us nervous. Comprehensive immigration reform, such as that proposed in S.744, is the best way we see to effectively ensure that the rightful concerns of both the right and the left (border security and the path to citizenship for qualifying immigrants who are currently undocumented), both of which G92 shares, are addressed. Hopefully, the bill’s strong passage in the Senate will indicate to House leadership that the American people want to see immigration reform comprehensively addressed, and that the country wants to see the House exhibit the same moral courage and leadership the Senate displayed Thursday afternoon.
In short, G92 is simultaneously gratefully reflecting and celebrating while gearing up for action. We invite you to join us in this response! Immigration reform is close to passing – but to make it happen, we need your help! Will you commit to praying for immigration reform – and will you commit to making it happen? Lord willing, and with your help, 2013 can be the year immigration reform finally passes. Call your Representative today, tomorrow, and every day until immigration reform passes. Invite your friends to do the same. Immigration reform can pass; it will take hard work, dedication, and divine favor – but “with God, all things are possible.” Let’s get to work!
Daniel Watts graduated from Wheaton College in August 2012 and is the G92 Coordinator.
Please note that the views expressed do not necessarily represent those of everyone associated with G92 or any institutions with which the blogger may be affiliated.
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