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New Obama Immigration Policy: Huge Step in the Right Direction

August 19, 2011, 12:34 pm | Posted by Tara Culp-Ressler

stopdeportation.jpgIn a positive step forward on the path to immigration reform, the Obama administration has announced the suspension of deportation proceedings against undocumented immigrants who don’t pose a threat to national security or public safety. Under the policy, the hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants who don’t have a criminal record won’t face the threat of deportation and separation from their loved ones. As Adam Serwer notes, this is a victory for all those who have been pushing back on the administration’s deportation strategy so far and calling for a fair, compassionate approach to reforming the nation’s immigration policy, including so many people of faith.

J. Kevin Appleby, the director of migration policy at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, told the New York Times that the new initiative honors religious values by keeping immigrant families together. “It is consistent with the teaching of the church that human rights should be respected, regardless of an immigrant’s legal status,” he said.

The Obama administration deserves praise for this move. As the momentum around the passage of Durbin’s DREAM Act has increased and faith communities have continued to speak out against anti-immigration laws that contradict their values, it’s gratifying to see a new policy in line with the moral call to approach immigration reform with compassion and human dignity.

Photo credit: Todd Dwyer, Flickr

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