The Hindu American Foundation today joined numerous faith-based groups in urging President George W. Bush and elected leaders in Congress to enact comprehensive immigration reform legislation that establishes a safe and humane immigration system consistent with American values as well as the values espoused by all the diverse faith traditions practiced in the United States.

The statement, which quoted from Christian, Hindu, Jewish and Muslim scriptures to highlight how all faiths regard charity and kindness to strangers as among the highest virtues, has been signed by over fifty national and over one hundred local faith-based organizations, along with a number of prominent individual leaders.

“There is a need for a fair and equitable immigration legislation that respects the God-given dignity of every individual and his family while also protecting America’s economic and national security interests”, said Swaminathan Venkataraman, member of Hindu American Foundation’s Executive Council. “Hindus are one of the most highly educated and prosperous immigrant communities in the US and we desire that the enormous opportunities that this nation affords should remain open to immigrants in future”, he said.

The statement calls for legislation that supports regularization of existing workers upon satisfaction of reasonable criteria, reduced waiting times for reunification of separated families, legal avenues for workers and their families who wish to migrate to the U.S. and border protection policies that treat all individuals with respect while also allowing authorities to prevent entry of terrorists and dangerous criminals.