With midterm elections taking place on Nov. 4, 2014, it’s especially important for people seeking U.S. citizenship to get out and vote. Many believe that this year’s midterms will play a big role in President Barack Obama’s decisions regarding immigration reform, and if the Republican Party takes hold of the Senate, it could mean a retreat by the Democrats concerning changes to the country’s immigration policy. The religion-based social justice group Nuns on the Bus also knows how important it is for immigrants and reform supporters to hit the polling place during this time, which is why they took to the road in late October to spread the word.
What is Nuns on the Bus?
Nuns on the Bus is a group of Catholic sisters who tour the country in an effort to promote social justice. The organization is a part of the NETWORK project, which is a National Catholic Social Justice Lobby. Nuns on the Bus is strongly in support of immigration reform and, in a call for change, explained that it believes the state of the immigration system in the U.S. is in terribly disarray.
“Increased enforcement is tearing families apart and causing suffering for those who are otherwise willing and eager to contribute to our society,” Nuns on the Bus explained in a statement. “Our nation needs an immigration system that reflects our faith values and the needs of the 21st century. Such a system reunites families and allows workers the opportunity to come forward without fear to pay taxes and earn legalization. A functioning system will serve the needs of our entire nation.”
The organization calls for “commonsense immigration reform” that helps bring families together, protects the rights of immigrant workers, and speeds up the process of granting green cards and American citizenship to those already approved. Other goals the group hopes to reach with reform include enhancement of the diversity visa program as well as a clearer, more direct path to U.S. citizenship for the more than 11 million undocumented immigrants in the country. Additionally, the tour group hopes to convince the public and politicians to acknowledge that the nation’s borders are already secure and that they only require minor changes.
About the midterm election tour
In advance of the midterms, Nuns on the Bus hit the road to reach out to the family members, friends and other supporters of undocumented immigrants seeking American citizenship. These Catholic Sisters trekked across 10 states to visit three dozen cities, in which they held a total of 75 events. Along with encouraging people to vote so their voices can be heard, the group urged voters to hold candidates responsible – that legislators fulfill the promises they make during election periods and make decisions that reflect their voters and benefit the entire population. With these objectives in mind, Nuns on the Bus named the expedition the “We the People, We the Voters” tour, reminding all people that it is their responsibility as Americans and humans to pursue justice and fairness for all.