To The Editor:

As faith communities, our Scriptures are very clear that we are to welcome and provide help to strangers and foreigners among us, in fact, to treat them as we treat our neighbors and kin.

To do so is not only right, but it will strengthen our nation, just as have influxes of immigrants in the past, the Germans and Irish for example.

We do indeed believe that no more families should be broken up by deportations while Congress works on immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship for 11 million aspiring Hispanics who are living, working, raising families and paying taxes here, and they are contributing to our communities.

However, rather than the 13-year waiting period for citizenship currently proposed by President Barack Obama and the Gang of Eight, we support a seven-year process which more quickly brings these Hispanics from the shadows and allows them to become full participants in our society.

For example, a foreigner is required to wait eight years for citizenship in Germany.

In the meantime, let us follow the Scriptures and provide help and brotherly love to the foreigners among us.