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Evangelical Leaders Urge Passage of the Adoptee Citizenship Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today evangelical leaders sent a letter to members of Congress in support of the Adoptee Citizenship Act, a bipartisan bill to ensure that adopted children of U.S. citizen parents are recognized as U.S. citizens.

The bill seeks to address a loophole in current law: under the Child Citizenship Act of 2000, most children adopted from foreign countries by U.S. citizen parents are guaranteed U.S. citizenship, but an estimated 35,000 adoptees who were already 18 years or older when this law went into effect were not included. As a result, though children of U.S. citizen parents, these individuals lack the benefits of U.S. citizenship and in rare cases could even be subject to deportation.

“As Christians, we are called by God to care for both orphans and immigrants. Fulfilling this mandate is among our highest callings,” the leaders write. “We strongly believe that these adoptees, who are American in every way except their immigration status, should gain the rights and protections of U.S. citizenship.”

The letter concludes: “We hope that you will take swift action to reduce the pain and fear these individuals and their families face every day, and strengthen our country’s tradition of providing safety and refuge to adoptees born outside our borders.”

The following are quotes today from Evangelical Immigration Table leaders who signed the letter:

Leith Anderson, President, National Association of Evangelicals:
“Adoptees get new birth certificates with the names of their citizen parents. Congress needs to stand behind these legal birth certificates with citizenship for all adoptees. Ask just about anyone on any street if children adopted by U.S. citizens become citizens themselves. They will say, ‘Of course they become citizens.’ Let’s make what everyone knows is right into the law of our land. Legal adoptions must include citizenship.”

Scott Arbeiter, President, World Relief:
“Adoption is an expression of love and compassion and historically recognized by Republicans and Democrats alike as good for the child, the family and our national character. We urge Congress to address this gap in current law to extend the right of citizenship to those adopted by U.S. citizens.”

Shirley V. Hoogstra, President, Council for Christian Colleges and Universities:
“Family is a cornerstone of American society, and adoptees are no less a part of their families, their communities, or our nation, whatever their country of birth. Congress recognized this when it passed the Child Citizenship Act in 2000. Congress should now act quickly to address the loophole that has prevented 35,000 adoptees from obtaining U.S. citizenship.”

Hyepin Im, President and CEO, Faith and Community Empowerment:
“This bill is long due. The full promise of America was made to adoptees including so many from South Korea. It has been a travesty to have so many who grew up as Americans discover later in their lives that they were not full citizens. We urge Congress to pass this bill and deliver its promises made to these adoptees.”

Jo Anne Lyon, Global Ambassador, The Wesleyan Church:
“In the Hebrew Scriptures, there are three groups of vulnerable people mentioned repeatedly as individuals of special concern to God, whom he loves and whom he commands his people to love: the widow, the orphan and the immigrant. With the Adoptee Citizenship Act, Congress has an opportunity to correct a loophole that has exacerbated the vulnerability of individuals who have been both orphans and immigrants. Our laws should clearly affirm that adopted children belong in our country every bit as much as biological children born to U.S. citizen parents.”

Russell Moore, President, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention:
“International adoptees, and those of us who are their families and friends, are grateful for the bipartisan Adoptee Citizenship Act of 2018. We encourage Congress to provide a permanent legal remedy for the thousands of sons and daughters of U.S. citizens who were left in the gap of uncertainty.”

Samuel Rodriguez, President, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference:
“I am thankful for this bipartisan, bicameral bill to close a loophole which has left the immigration status of far too many international adoptees in limbo. Our hope and prayer is that this small but important bill can expeditiously become law and inspire congressional action on much broader immigration legislation that our country greatly needs, especially a permanent solution for Dreamers and securing our borders.”

Trump Kills DACA on Easter Morning

April 2, 2018

President Donald Trump said on Easter that there will be no deal for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which seeks to offer a solution to hundreds of thousands of immigrants facing deportation. He noted that countries like Mexico are “laughing” at the United States.

Critics, including Ohio Governor John Kasich, blasted Trump in response for taking away hopes from “innocent children,” and for failing to understand how DACA works.

Read more from Christian Post>>

From Samuel Rodriguez to Russell Moore, Christian Leaders Beg the Nation to Engage in Prayer

March 8, 2018

Major Christian leaders from Samuel Rodriguez to Russell Moore have called on the nation to pray as the White House mulls a solution to immigrant children who were illegally brought into the United States. The children, known as Dreamers, are part of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program created by former President Barack Obama in 2012. Last September, President Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the end of DACA, citing March 5 as the deadline.

Read More from Charisma Caucus>>

Christian Leaders Launch Prayer Campaign for Dreamers; Call on Congress to Act as DACA Expires

March 7, 2018

The Evangelical Immigration Table is calling on Christians to pray for those affected by the expiration of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

On Monday, the DACA program expired, six months after the Trump administration had announced that they were ending the program in the expectation that Congress enact legislation to help the children of illegal immigrants, known as Dreamers.

Read more from BCNN1>>

DACA deadline arrives without action

March 05, 2018

WASHINGTON—Monday marks the deadline set by President Donald Trump to find a legislative solution for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, but recipients likely won’t feel any immediate effects. Trump announced the demise of DACA in September with a six-month delay for Congress to reach an agreement on how to replace the Obama-era program that protects immigrants brought to the country illegally as minors. Lawmakers failed to pass any immigration legislation despite bipartisan support to protect the 700,000 DACA recipients. 

Read more from the Sift>>

Evangelical Leaders Launch Prayer Campaign for Dreamers; Urge Congress to Act as DACA Expires

March 6, 2018

The Evangelical Immigration Table is calling on Christians to pray for those affected by the expiration of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

On Monday, the DACA program expired, six months after the Trump administration had announced that they were ending the program in the expectation that Congress enact legislation to help the children of illegal immigrants, known as Dreamers.

Read more from the Christian Post>>

Evangelicals Engage in Prayer for Dreamers

Leaders Urge Congress to Pass a Solution

WASHINGTON, D.C. MARCH 5, 2018 — Today evangelical leaders are calling upon Christians to pray for Dreamers and urging Congress to resume negotiations to reach a permanent solution.

March 5 is the date that the administration set in September for the final termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Throughout the country, Christians are praying this week for Dreamers, their families, members of Congress, and the president. Along with Voices of Christian Dreamers, the Evangelical Immigration Table has prepared a Prayer Guide to help encourage people to pray.

While court decisions have allowed many DACA beneficiaries to file for renewal of their work authorization and protection from deportation, thousands still could lose their protections because renewal applications take several weeks or even months to process.

The result: Law-abiding employers would be required to lay off employees, and Dreamers and their families would face a sudden disruption of income and the risk of deportation.

The following are quotes from Evangelical Immigration Table leaders:

Leith Anderson, President, National Association of Evangelicals:
“The gift of delay has been given to 700,000-plus who are caught in the politics of the DACA dilemma. But a few months of reprieve are not enough. Congress and the White House need to give the gift of permanent status to dreamers.”

Scott Arbeiter, President, World Relief:
“The Bible instructs us to ‘pray without ceasing,’ and specifically to pray for those in positions of governmental leadership. Our elected officials in Washington, D.C., need divine wisdom and courage to accomplish what has thus far eluded them, reaching a bipartisan consensus that will allow DACA beneficiaries and other Dreamers to earn permanent legal status and citizenship in the country they consider their home.”

Shirley V. Hoogstra, President, Council for Christian Colleges and Universities:
“Many students on Christian college and university campuses throughout the United States are Dreamers, immigrants brought to this country as children. They are campus leaders and classmates, teammates and mentors. If Congress fails to pass a permanent, legislative solution that addresses the rescission of the DACA program, not only these students, but their families, friends, educational institutions, employers, and religious communities will suffer for it. We continue to pray that Congress will act wisely, justly, and swiftly.”

Hyepin Im, President and CEO, Faith and Community Empowerment:
“As Dreamers throughout the country confront an uncertain future, Christians are uniting in prayer with and for them, asking God to intervene at what seems to be a political stalemate. While court decisions in recent days mean short-term relief for some, the long-term consequences of congressional inaction are stark. My prayer is that they will come together quickly, on a bipartisan basis, to find a solution that protects Dreamers and keeps families together.”

Jo Anne Lyon, Ambassador, The Wesleyan Church:
“We’re not just praying today for Dreamers—we have been praying for months and will continue to pray. Our faith is in a God who is larger than any political impasse. We’re asking Him to intervene on behalf of these young people who have been such a blessing to our churches, our communities, and the nation.”

Dr. Russell Moore, President, Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention:
“There is absolutely zero excuse for failing to provide a solution for Dreamers. Every week that Congress does not act, men and women created in the image of God will lose legal protections and work authorization. Families will face the risk of being torn apart. Let’s pray for and petition our elected leaders to find a way forward from this totally avoidable crisis and for our churches as they care for our neighbors in this new stage of uncertainty.”

Samuel Rodriguez, President, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference:
“The wellbeing of Dreamers must not be sacrificed on the altar of political expediency. Our elected officials urgently need to resolve the status of DACA recipients and other Dreamers—and Hispanic evangelicals will be praying fervently for them until they do, while also praying for Dreamers, their families, and others directly affected by congressional inaction.”

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South Bend area evangelicals rally in support of DACA

February 27, 2018

MISHAWAKA — About 150 people gathered at Bethel College for a program Monday called “Evangelicals for Dreamers” to show their support for open immigration.

“On the news, we are regularly told that evangelicals and Dreamers are at odds,” the Rev. David Cramer said of the young immigrants whose fate rests in the nation’s capital — whose legal status is protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. But evangelicals, he said, aren’t all “white conservatives who are opposed to open immigration.”

Read more from South Bend Tribune>>

Trump Gets What He Wants in Immigration Debate: Quiet on the Right

February 15, 2018

WASHINGTON — In 2006 and again in 2013, Republican moderates joined Democrats in the Senate to pass sweeping overhauls of the nation’s immigration laws with a pathway to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants, only to see the compromises torpedoed by a wave of angry activism in the conservative news media and grass roots.
This time, as senators again search for a way forward on immigration, a revolt from the right has so far failed to materialize, in large part because of the intransigence of a different player: a man in the White House who has mostly satisfied immigration hard-liners.

Read more from New York Times>>

Baptists weigh in on Senate immigration/DACA debate

February 15, 2018

WASHINGTON (BP) — Southern Baptist voices are addressing the U.S. Senate’s current effort to resolve the fate of undocumented immigrants brought to this country as children.

Senators began yesterday (Feb. 14) moving toward votes on legislation to address the category of undocumented immigrants known as Dreamers, as well as other parts of the tangled web of immigration that Congress has failed to address in recent decades. The Senate is expected to make decisions on a series of amendments in an attempt to agree before the Presidents’ Day recess (Feb. 19-23) on a bill that will have the support of 60 senators and thereby overcome an effort to block passage under the chamber’s rules.

The Senate is deliberating as a critical deadline for Dreamers nears. On March 5, a program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) — which has given about 800,000 people relief from deportation — will expire. If no legislative resolution is achieved by that date, an estimated 1,000 people a day will lose their protection from deportation. Two federal judges — one in New York and another in San Francisco — have temporarily blocked the Trump administration from ending DACA, however.

 

Read more from Baptist Press>>

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