The same group of Catholic nuns that traveled across the country to protest Republican budget cuts has now turned their attention to immigration reform. Led by Sister Simone Campbell, Nuns on the Bus kicks off their 15-state tour this week at Ellis Island.
“Immigration is at the heart of our Catholic faith,” Campbell said. “It’s about community. We need to welcome the stranger, and treat the stranger as yourself.”
Their tour kicks off at a key point before the Senate begins floor debate on comprehensive immigration reform in June. It also highlights the broad support, religious and bipartisan, to grant a pathway to citizenship for the undocumented.
Other religious groups have launched their own efforts to pass reform, highlighting a momentum even among groups that were once wary of granting citizenship. According to a 2010 Public Religion Research Institute poll, white evangelicals strongly support reform with citizenship by a margin of 2–1. And just this week, the Evangelical Immigration Table launched a $250,000 media blitz targeting members of Congress to pass legislation.
“Evangelicals understand that our broken system is a moral issue; this isn’t just a legal issue, it isn’t a political issue or an economic issue only,” said Dr. Russel Moore of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. “It’s a moral issue and it’s been a stain on our country for too long. Now is the time for the country to come together for an immigration system that respects the God-given human dignity of every person.”