Eric Cantor: Act on Jewish Values, Allow a Vote on Immigration Reform

Jesse Rabinowitz, member of Jews United for Justice

In his speech to the Union for Reform Judaism, President Obama said to the Jewish community, “Your parents, your grandparents, your great-grandparents, they remembered what it was like to be a stranger, and as a result treated strangers with compassion.”

What was true of our parents is also true of us. A new generation of Jews is standing up and saying, “Enough. Our immigration system is broken, and we need to act.” We are doing this because we have friends who are Dreamers, or whose parents have been deported; because the status quo, which creates an underclass of Americans, offends our moral values (many of which come from Judaism); and because we know that our grandparents and great-grandparents immigrated here not too long ago, securing a better life for us.

I would expect Representative Eric Cantor (a proud Jew) to remember our recent history as a persecuted group who found a home in America, and to act on the Torah’s injunction to welcome the stranger. Unfortunately, he has not. 2013 came and went without action in the House on Immigration Reform, but advocates are gearing up for a fight in 2014. I decided to do what I could to support this effort.  I wrote a letter to Representative Cantor (an old acquaintance) asking him to call for a vote on comprehensive immigration reform, and with Jews United For Justice, an organization working on local social justice issues in the Metropolitan Washington D.C. area, I recorded this video explaining why I care about this issue. Will you sign my letter calling on Representative Cantor to act?

As a Jewish community, we have a proud history of standing up for marginalized communities. We can be Representative Cantor’s conscience; we can move him to act. Will you join me?