Thought that you might want to see a letter to our legislators that I co-authored with Rabbi Andrew Straus, and signed by many of our rabbinic colleagues. While I do not harbor any illusions that this letter will change the outcome (I also am of the belief that this is a federal matter and will be dealt with eventually at that level), it is important to not let our elected officials think that this is ok or that everyone is in agreement with them (nor do I expect that everyone reading this will be in agreement with me). Should you be in agreement and wish to make your voice heard, contact information is below:
We, the undersigned, are writing to state our opposition to state efforts to reinterpret the Fourteenth Amendment in an attempt to eliminate birthright citizenship, despite the clear text of this amendment and the U.S. Supreme Court rulings guaranteeing the fundamental principle, policy and right to U.S. citizenship to those born in the U.S.
Eliminating birthright citizenship is an assault on our commitment to equality under law by creating a two-tiered society in our country in which some born in the U.S. will have fundamental rights and others will be denied these blessings. Further, eliminating birthright citizenship would impose significant administrative and financial burdens for both our government and parents in proving citizenship.
We are motivated by our ethics and the moral imperatives of the Bible and the history of our people. Thirty-six times the Torah reminds us that we were slaves in Egypt; we know what it is like to be the stranger; we must not oppress the widow, the orphan and the stranger; one law you shall have for resident and alien alike, the Torah teaches us numerous times. The prophet Isaiah calls on us to act in ways that are compassionate and caring
Learn to do good. Devote yourselves to justice; aid the wronged.
Furthermore throughout our long history as Jews, we have often been the ‘Other’, the stranger who has been discriminated against, oppressed and expelled. We cannot sit by while others are now the victims of what we have experienced in the past.
We call on others of conscience to make your voices heard and speak out to prevent further divisiveness that afflicts our community and its soul. We strongly urge our Governor and the Arizona State Legislature to work in conjunction with our Congressional delegation and to speak up in support of and work for comprehensive immigration reform that would focus on providing real solutions to the failed and broken immigration policies in our state and nation that are in existence today.
February 16, 2011
Rabbi Andrew Straus Rabbi Bonnie Sharfman (and the following undersigned members of the Greater Phoenix Rabbinic Community):
Here are the email addresses for the appropriations committee members. Their next meeting is this Tuesday at 2pm:
Olivia Cajero Bedford