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by December 8, 2011
Acceptance: Immigration is an American experience and acceptance is an American value. The contributions of immigrants make our nation and our state stronger. The greater the diversity of skills and experiences we have, the more we can achieve together. Opportunity: An essential part of creating a welcoming state is to create real opportunities for everyone in our communities. A job that pays a living wage, a chance to own a home for the first time, a scholarship to be the first in your family to attend college, a loan to start a small business - these are the opportunities that have helped families in our communities prosper over the generations. Compassion: The simple passage, "I was a stranger and you welcomed me", reminds us that it is our responsibility not to simply "look out for #1" but to look out for all of God's people. As people of faith, our faith teachings call us to help the suffering - to feed the hungry, to give water to the thirsty, to open our homes and our communities to welcome strangers. Fairness: Fairness is one of our most deeply held values. Since the passage of the fourteenth amendment after the Civil War, we have been striving to ensure equal protection of the laws for everyone. Sometimes we've done better than others. While the gains of the civil rights movement were a huge leap forward in ensuring fair treatment for all people, regardless of race, the legacy of discrimination lives on in the neglect of the basic rights of immigrants. Respect: South Carolinians remember, honor, and value our roots, and we respect and embrace the values of family, faith, and hard work. South Carolinians are welcoming people, and we believe in a shared responsibility to treat all neighbors with respect and decency. We share a fundamental belief in the human dignity of all people.
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