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Evangelical Group Advocates for Immigrants

September 20, 2018

On September 12-13 the evangelical non-profit World Relief sponsored a conference that trained attendees in pro-immigrant advocacy. This event, named the “Justice Conference,” gathered a range of speakers to Washington, D.C., including aid workers, lobbyists, activists, and poets. The speakers emphasized Christians’ duty to aid the most vulnerable members of society, including immigrants.

Read more from Juicy Ecuminism>>

A door swinging shut?

September 20, 2018

The Trump administration announced Monday it may reduce the annual number of refugees allowed into the United States from the already historic low of 45,000 to 30,000 in the next fiscal year. Some evangelical leaders are pushing back, saying the reduction will harm persecuted Christians and other religious minorities and is a step backward for the United States’ humanitarian efforts.

When Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the new refugee ceiling of 30,000, he said security concerns and a “massive backlog of outstanding asylum cases and greater public expense” as a reason for the cut.

Read more from World>>

One Day We Will Be ‘Ashamed’ of Trump’s Refugee Policy, Russell Moore Says

September 20, 2018

Southern Baptist ethicist Russell Moore and other evangelical leaders have spoken out against the Trump administration’s recently announced reduction to the U.S. refugee cap.

Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, joined about five other leaders affiliated with the Evangelical Immigration Table in issuing statements responding the 30,000-refugee limit to the U.S. Refugee Resettlement Program in fiscal year 2019 that was announced by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo this week.

Read more from the Christian Post>>

Evangelicals Argue Against US Reducing Refugees to 30,000

September 20, 2018

A maximum of 30,000 refugees will be allowed to resettle in the United States next fiscal year. The new ceiling imposed by the Trump administration marks a dramatic decrease from this fiscal year’s 45,000-person cap, which had also been a significant reduction.

For three decades before that, the US resettlement ceiling hadn’t dropped below 70,000.

The policy shift was announced by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday; evangelical and Catholic advocates for refugees were quick to push back.

Read more from Christianity Today International>>

 

Here’s What Trump’s New Limits On Refugees Mean

September 20, 2018

The Trump administration recently announced a new level of refugee admissions many find controversial. The Pilgrims came to America fleeing religious intolerance and since the country’s founding refugees from around the world have seen the United States as a place to find freedom. But not everyone has welcomed refugees to our shores.

To understand the administration’s recent announcement on refugees and its implications, I interviewed Matthew Soerens, U.S. director of church mobilization at World Relief and the national coordinator of the Evangelical Immigration Table. Matthew is the co-author of the recent books Welcoming the Stranger: Justice, Compassion & Truth in the Immigration Debate and Seeking Refuge: On the Shores of the Global Refugee Crisis.

Read more from Forbes>>

Evangelical Leaders Object To Trump Administration Refugee Cap, Call for Increase

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Monday a ceiling of just 30,000 refugee admissions for fiscal year (FY) 2019, far lower than what leading evangelical voices have been urging.

Before President Trump consults Congress and formally signs a declaration, some evangelical Christian leaders are asking that they raise the cap significantly so that it reflects both the historical norm and the current record-high number of refugees worldwide.

They say that further cuts to the refugee resettlement program would harm religious freedom internationally and continue to shut out refugees of all backgrounds, including persecuted Christians and other religious minorities.

National leaders from the Evangelical Immigration Table sent a letter asking the Trump administration to admit more refugees for these reasons, also signed by more than 400 local pastors and leaders.

The announced new cap is even lower than this year’s historic low of 45,000 for this FY 2018, and the U.S. is on track to take in fewer than 22,000 refugees this fiscal year, also a record low.

The following are quotes from Evangelical Immigration Table leaders:

Scott Arbeiter, President, World Relief:
“A cap of 30,000 jeopardizes the safety of future refugees, including persecuted Christians, who will no longer be able to find refuge in the U.S. It also does not reflect the actual capacity or willingness of Americans to receive and resettle refugees. This decision contradicts the administration’s declared commitment to helping persecuted Christian and religious minorities in dangerous and oppressive countries. Evangelicals should be concerned by this assault against our call to support ‘the least of these.’”

Galen Carey, Vice President, Government Relations, National Association of Evangelicals:
“Since the passage of the Refugee Act of 1980, the United States has resettled more than 3 million refugees, an average of over 80,000 per year. Over this time, our GDP in real dollars has nearly tripled, while the number of refugees forced to flee their countries has also tripled to more than 25 million. The United States has led the world in providing opportunities for the world’s most vulnerable refugees to rebuild their lives in safety and peace. And yet, for 2019 the State Department has proposed to resettle only 30,000 refugees, a drastic reduction from our historic norm across Republican and Democratic administrations. We can do much better than this. We call on President Trump to approve a refugee admissions target of at least 75,000 for 2019.”

Shirley V. Hoogstra, President, Council for Christian Colleges and Universities:
“Students and faculty in many Christian college and university communities, along with their local churches, have been deeply invested in welcoming refugees and helping them to integrate into local communities for many years. Now, though, the number of refugees admitted nationally is down roughly 75 percent from what it was just two years ago, and this week’s proposal to further reduce the refugee ceiling means arrivals will likely decline even further. Throughout the country, there are many eager to apply our Christian faith by welcoming those who have been forced to flee persecution. I urge our government to return the refugee ceiling to a level consistent with past administrations.”

Jo Anne Lyon, Ambassador and General Superintendent Emerita, The Wesleyan Church:
“The administration has made some laudable efforts to highlight the importance of protecting religious freedom internationally. But this proposed dramatic cut to the U.S. refugee resettlement program — which over the past four decades has provided safety, religious freedom and a new start to hundreds of thousands of persecuted Christians forced to flee their home countries — undermines our national credibility on questions of religious freedom. It’s not too late for President Trump to change course and sign a presidential determination for a refugee ceiling closer to the historical norm, such as 75,000, which would mean hope for thousands of persecuted people throughout our world.”

Russell Moore, President, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention:
“Seeing yet another drop in refugee numbers should be a shock to the conscience of all Americans. One day we will be ashamed that we as a nation turned inward, and away from our great tradition of serving as a beacon of liberty to those fleeing for their lives. Obviously, we cannot take in unlimited numbers of refugees, but the increasingly lower number of those we do take is far below the level where America could and should be in leading the world in compassion for those in peril. As a Christian, I am concerned for the well-being of all those in peril. And I stand in solidarity with my brothers and sisters in Christ in the persecuted church, many of whom will be harmed by this closed door.”

Samuel Rodriguez, President, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference:
“America has long been a beacon of freedom and safety for those fleeing persecution, including many persecuted for their Christian faith, but the proposed cap of just 30,000 refugees would mean stepping back from our historic role of global leadership. We can both be a secure nation and a compassionate nation, leading the world in resettling the most vulnerable refugees who have been identified and vetted abroad and ensuring due process for those who reach our country to request asylum.”

Number Of Christian Refugees Admitted To The U.S. Falls Over 40% Under Trump

September 13, 2018 

In his relentless push to cut the number of refugees admitted to the U.S., President Donald Trump has ended up hurting members of a group he once pledged to protect ― Christians fleeing persecution in countries where they are unable to freely practice their faith.

Early in his presidency, Trump promised his evangelical base that Christian refugees would be prioritized. Vice President Mike Pence, speaking at a summit organized by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association last year, told the world’s persecuted Christians, “We stand with you.” And over the summer, the State Department made overtures illustrating its commitment to protecting persecuted minorities, organizing an international conference about the importance of religious freedom.

Read more from Huffington Post>>

Trump Hurting Religious Freedom Worldwide With Refugee Cuts, Evangelical Leaders Say

September 13, 2018

Evangelical leaders are continuing to speak out against the Trump administration’s cuts to United States refugee resettlement, arguing that the historically low levels of refugees being resettled harms international religious freedom.

As President Donald Trump and his administration continue to deliberate on what to set the U.S. refugee resettlement cap at for fiscal year 2019, before it begins on Oct. 1, local evangelical pastors are joining national evangelical leaders in calling on the Trump administration to do its part to better serve a small minority of the nearly 70 million refugees around the world who don’t have a home.

Read more from The Christian Post>>

People of faith urge Trump to admit more refugees

September 12, 2018 

With a decision looming on how many refugees to admit into the country, and rumors swirling that the number could drop dramatically from this year’s historic low, people of faith are coming together to ask the Trump administration to instead allow tens of thousands more to enter the United States.

Representatives of some of the largest Protestant denominations in the country — including the General Board of Church and Society of the United Methodist Church, the United Church of Christ, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the Episcopal Church — were planning to gather outside the White House on Wednesday (Sept. 12) to press President Trump to raise the number of refugees admitted in the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1 to 75,000 people.

Read more from The Presbyterian Outlook>>

Frontline Report: The Border

Re-posted with permission from World Relief: https://www.worldrelief.org/blog/frontline-report-the-border 

By Ted Oswald and Kevin Woehr

September 6, 2018

Lea este artículo en Español, Aquí.

Ted Oswald, World Relief Sacramento’s Immigration Legal Services staff attorney, and Kevin Woehr, DOJ Accredited Representative with World Relief DuPage/Aurora, recently returned from Tijuana, Mexico as part of a team comprised of World Relief staff from across the U.S. advising asylum seekers at the border. The following offers a brief but powerful glimpse into their time on the border.

(more…)

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