Some have described the recent Unitarian Universalist ministers’ statement against HB 87 as advocating lawlessness. It is not so. We do not support open borders. We do not support illegal immigration. What we do support is comprehensive immigration reform that is both humane and fair. Too many politicians on both state and national levels cop out by exclusively focusing on “securing our borders,” when many of the truly problematic issues go unexamined. These issues have to do with employers not held sufficiently accountable; draconian requirements for securing work visas; the length of time it takes to get a green card; temporary worker programs which are extremely difficult to get into; and a lack of vision and leadership about what to do with the 12-15 million undocumented immigrants already in our country. Our current immigration laws and protocols are ineffective if not broken, and we need new ones.

But HB 87 is not the way forward. Making life a living hell for undocumented immigrants, in the hope that they will self-deport, is not a viable solution. And what happens if 50 different states were to create 50 different immigration laws? This is regress, not progress.