As descendants of an immigrant tradition, we have a moral duty to welcome the stranger, as is commanded of us on 36 occasions in the Torah. Honoring this legacy, the Jewish Center for Justice believes we must call on our elected leaders to reform our nation’s broken immigration system in a manner that acknowledges rule of law while also recognizing the human dignity of undocumented individuals by providing a pathway to legal citizenship.
- More than 60 percent of immigrants in the United States today have lived here for at least 15 years, and a large majority of immigrants have lawful status. Of the approximately 41 million immigrants in the U.S. in 2013 (the most recent year for which there are statistics), close to 47 percent were naturalized citizens. (Source: ADL)
- Under federal law, all children, regardless of their citizenship or residency status, are entitled to a K‑12 education, including college counseling services. School districts that either prohibit or discourage children from enrolling in schools because they or their parents are undocumented immigrants may be in violation of federal law.
(Source: National Immigration Law Center)
- Unaccompanied children have been entering the United States for decades based on treaties that we have with other countries. These ensure the safety and well-being of children who are fleeing violence and persecution. (Source: National Immigration Law Center)
Connections: Jewish Sources
You shall not oppress the stranger, for you know how it feels to be a stranger in a new land for you were a stranger in the land of Egypt. — Exodus 23:9
You shall not turn over to his master a slave who seeks refuge with you from his master. He shall live with you in any place he may choose among the settlements in your midst, wherever he pleases; you must not ill-treat him. — Deuteronomy 23:16-17
Shammai said: Make your Torah fixed, say little and do much, and receive every person with a cheerful countenance. — Pirke Avot 1:15
There shall be law for the citizen and for the stranger who dwells among you. — Exodus 12:49
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