A Pastoral Letter from the Stated Clerk on Reuniting Families
February 22, 2013
In a pastoral letter to Presbyterians across the country, the Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) applauded the re-introduction of the Reuniting Families Act. The Act was re-introduced in the 113th Congress and will reduce family separation due to immigration backlogs. Currently, some families must wait years to be together causing them to miss births, graduations, deaths, and other family milestones.
Rev. Gradye Parsons encouraged Presbyterians to take bold action on behalf of immigrant families. In the letter, he stated:
The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church has often lifted up family unity as the bedrock of our nation's immigration law. The Reuniting Families Act has been reintroduced in the House and it is a good first step in ensuring families are able to be together and hold one another during both the deepest valleys and highest mountaintop's of their life together. Family members are often first responders during these difficult and blessed times together by caring for the elderly, children, and sick. Strong and united families are good for our communities, congregations, and economy and this legislation recognizes this fact.
The Reuniting Families Act is a good first step in helping resolve the crisis created by a broken immigration system. The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) supports comprehensive reform of immigration law that includes: a pathway to citizenship for families and individuals already working and living in the U.S., elimination of backlogs, making family unity a priority, facilitating the integration of immigrants, the creation and implementation of a smart border maintenance that respects due process, and others. To review General Assembly policy on immigration visit the Office of Immigration Issues website.
Download the full letter. (PDF)