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Monday, June 10, 2013 - 10:38pm
El Paso,TX (KDBC) — A bus full of nuns paid a visit to El Paso today to push for immigration reform.
They call themselves "Nuns on a Bus" and they're touring states across the country, just as a highly anticipated immigration bill makes its way to the Senate floor.
"It's an act of faith, it's a moral act to welcome in the stranger," said Sister Simone Campbell, from Nuns on a Bus.
As bipartisan legislation for comprehensive immigration reform is being debated in the U.S. Senate this week, the issue of border security remains a top priority for many.
"The bill as drafted is legalization first, border secure later, and tracking visas overstays later...if at all," said Republican U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley from Iowa.
"Our bill will secure the border and stop future illegal immigration. The border between the United States today is safer and stronger than it's ever been in 40 years," said Democrat Senator Dick Durbin from Illinois.
Advocates hope Senators will put politics aside, and vote to approve a bill that creates a path to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the country.
"We knew in slavery it was wrong to have 2 classes of people in our nation, we know again it is wrong to continue this," said Sister Simone.
Ali Boyd, who works with the "Annunciation House," a migrant shelter in El Paso, says immigration reform is critical to residents of this region because El Pasoans know the border on "an intimate level."
"The border is urban, we look very different than a lot of border cities, you can walk and be in downtown Juarez in 5 minutes. So, you have families that are very much bifurcated by the border reality," said Boyd.
"Immigration is the glory of our past and the hope for our future. We're on it," said Sister Simone.
Debates in the Senate will continue throughout the week.