Next week, we celebrate our independence as a nation. "One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." "Una nacion bajo Dios, entera, con libertad y justicia para todos." A nation whose Statue of Liberty welcomes "the huddled masses yearning to be free." Freedom. Equality. Justice. Hospitality. Values we are proud of, values that other nations have admired. Values that have drawn millions of immigrants to cross our borders of land, sea and air to participate in this great democratic enterprise. We are a nation of immigrants (including my grandparents). Our country has been built by the labor of immigrants. But today there are holes in our national soul. One of them is an anti-immigrant attitude in some across our land and some in Congress, determined not to provide a path to citizenship for millions of men, women and young people who live here, work here, and contribute to our society.
Today we call on the God of all faiths who commanded, love Me, and love your neighbor as yourself. Do unto others as you want them to do to you. We all want to be treated with respect, with fairness, with kindness. So we pray that hardened hearts will be softened, that closed minds will be opened, so that our legislators will do the right thing, the good thing -- the American thing -- and open up a path to citizenship for our undocumented brothers and sisters; we pray that they will honor the tradition of family unity; that they will protect workers, refugees and asylum seekers. We pray for all of us, that we may mend this hole in our national soul and live up to the ideals and values we will celebrate on July 4th -- one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all, con libertad y justicia para todos, for ALL. God of all nations, races and creeds, hear our prayer. Amen.