Key questions in the debate over immigration reform dominated a special workshop session featuring top policy experts during the Anti-Defamation League’s 2013 Centennial Summit on April 29 in Washington, D.C.
Panelists for the interactive workshop included Angela Maria Kelley, Vice President, Immigration Policy & Advocacy, Center for American Progress; Kevin Appleby, Director, Office of Migration Policy & Public Affairs, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops; Lorella Praeli, Director of Policy & Advocacy, United We Dream Network; and Lauren Jones, ADL Assistant Director of Legal Affairs. The discussion was moderated by Justine Fanarof, ADL’s Jean & Jerry Moore Southwest Civil Rights Counsel.
Through legislative advocacy, litigation and public awareness campaigns, ADL has promoted fair and humane immigration policies since its founding in 1913. ADL supports a comprehensive approach to reform that includes (1) a path to legalization for undocumented immigrants, (2) fair treatment and equal access to basic human services for immigrants, and (3) a border security strategy that is tough and constitutional. ADL has helped expose anti-immigrant hate that too often has been a fixture of the immigration debate, and has called for a responsible public debate that will honor America’s history as a nation of immigrants.
"Many of us in the Jewish community have parents or grandparents who came to the United States seeking refuge or a better life, so we understand particularly well the importance of keeping our borders open," said Ms. Jones. "We understand what it means to be the other. And because, in many cases, we are one or two generations removed from the immigrant story, people don’t always expect us to have a voice in the immigration debate. So it’s particularly important for us to stand up when Arizona passes an anti-immigrant law, or when we hear anti-immigrant rhetoric, and say we reject that."
Comprehensive immigration reform was a leading topic and advocacy point for more than 500 ADL leaders on Capitol Hill during lobbying visits with their representatives on April 30th.
In order to prepare lay leaders for their Congressional visits, this session was set up to pose and answer many questions regarding the proposed legislation, challenges and progress on border security, specific laws and policy impacting Dreamers, deportation issues, anti-immigration efforts at the state level, and other human rights concerns.