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Evangelical Leaders Urge Congress to Preserve Family Reunification Options

WASHINGTON, D.C. FEBRUARY 15, 2018 — Today evangelical leaders sent a letter to members of Congress urging them against making dramatic cuts to legal family reunification programs within U.S. immigration law.

While celebrating progress in the U.S. Senate toward a legislative solution for the young immigrants known as Dreamers, evangelical leaders defended longstanding family reunification programs, noting that opportunities already are limited to close family members of U.S. citizens and not extended family such as grandparents, uncles or aunts, or cousins.

“Simply put, the misleading idea that immigrants bring an unlimited chain of extended family members with them to our country is false,” they write. “The existing family sponsorship categories are limited and, we believe, should remain in place to preserve the unity of families.”

The letter concludes: “We urge you to work on a bipartisan basis to find a permanent solution that allows Dreamers to earn citizenship in the only country they have known as home, achieves lasting border security improvements for the safety of our country and the integrity of our immigration laws, and avoids making dramatic cuts to existing laws for family reunification.”

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

Leith Anderson, President, National Association of Evangelicals:
“Mom, Dad, brother, sister, family — these are those we know best and love most. Let’s keep families together.”

Scott Arbeiter, President, World Relief:
“We are encouraged by the growing, bipartisan recognition of the need to find a durable legislative solution for Dreamers. We urge Congress to act now on their behalf and to also maintain our historic commitment to the reunification of close family members, protecting the God-ordained family structure as a matter of both compassion and national interest.”

Hyepin Im, President and CEO, Faith and Community Empowerment:
“Families and family support are the values we uphold as humanity and as a country. Numerous studies have shown strong families make our communities and our country stronger socially and economically. We lift you up in prayers to do the right and good thing for our country and our conscience.”

Jo Anne Lyon, Ambassador, The Wesleyan Church:
“Since creation, family has been the bedrock of a fruitful society. All members of a family will flourish when they are united and supporting each other resulting in a strong nation.”

Additional signatories to the letter include Dr. Russell Moore (President, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention), Rev. Samuel Rodriguez (President, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference), and Shirley Hoogstra (President, Council of Christian Colleges and Universities).


Faith Leaders on Immigration: ‘Families Aren’t Chains’

January 30, 2018

Faith leaders are ready to hear the President spell out his plans to fix immigration in his State of the Union speech tonight, but they’re hoping he won’t use the newly popular term “chain migration.”

Rev. Gabriel Salguero, president of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition has urged evangelicals to condemn the wording saying “the appropriate term is family unification, not chain migration. By changing the language many obfuscate the human toll of separating families.”


Read more from CBN News>>

My Take: Time to act on ‘DACA solution’ is now

January 30, 2018

The government shutdown is over and Congress still hasn’t passed a Dream Act. There is a promise from Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, that he will open the floor to debate and voting surrounding a “DACA solution.” Even so, there is no guarantee that the House would take up the bill. Our hope is members of Congress from Michigan will act with compassion and determination for those who are affected by the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. As Christians, we encourage lawmakers to act in a way that is consistent with the message of the Bible.

We write as a pastor of City Life Church, and as a “Dreamer” who works in Immigrant Connection, a low cost immigration legal services office that is a ministry of the church. Our perspective is one we learned from the Bible, that all people — regardless of country of origin — are created in the image of God. Because of that, each person should be treated with respect, love even, and given the opportunity to contribute in God’s good world.

Read more from Holland Sentinel >>

Evangelical Leaders Respond to White House Immigration Framework

WASHINGTON, D.C. JANUARY 29, 2018— Today evangelical leaders issued a statement in response to the White House framework for immigration legislation.

The signatories thank President Trump for supporting an opportunity for Dreamers to earn citizenship, while also emphasizing the need for family unity, the value of existing legal immigration pathways and the importance of prioritizing a solution for Dreamers, rather than addressing too much in one bill.

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

Leith Anderson, President, National Association of Evangelicals:
“It’s time for us all to become Dreamers. It’s time for Congress to make the Dreamers have their dreams finally come true. When Congress turns DACA into law, it will be an answer to a million prayers.”

Scott Arbeiter, President, World Relief:
“I’m encouraged by the president’s call for an earned path to citizenship for Dreamers. I’m concerned by the potential for significant cuts to legal immigration options, including restrictions on existing processing to reunite immediate family members. I hope this will serve as a starting point, not the final word, from which Congress will work together on a bipartisan basis to reach a consensus.”

Shirley V. Hoogstra, President, Council for Christian Colleges and Universities:
“The White House is to be congratulated for pushing the right result for Dreamers. Christian colleges and universities are blessed by these students who love to learn, want to give back to America and show inspiring courage in the face of insecurity. We encourage Congress to reflect America’s highest ideals as they grapple with competing interests and pray that they will do so with wisdom, imagination and courage. As a grandchild of immigrants, I believe in an America that gives a hope and a future to individuals and families who desire to overcome enormous obstacles to flourish in a new country, which I believe should include, the tired, the poor, those yearning to breathe free.”

Hyepin Im, President and CEO, Faith and Community Empowerment:
“Dreamers are our investment and very much part of America. It is our loss to lose them. We pray for wisdom, fortitude and creativity for President Trump and our Congress members to find a pathway to hope and citizenship for Dreamers and safety for our country.”

Jo Anne Lyon, Ambassador, The Wesleyan Church:
“The Wesleyan Church remains committed to serving and advocating for all immigrants in our communities, including Dreamers. While we have concerns with some of the other parts of this White House framework on immigration, we are thankful to see the president’s willingness to promote a pathway to citizenship for a significant proportion of the Dreamer population. We will continue to pray for wisdom and courage for those in the administration and in Congress working on this issue.”

Dr. Russell Moore, President, Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention:
“I’m pleased to see the White House offer a framework for Dreamers. I’m especially glad it outlines a path to citizenship. This is a good starting point for Congress to get to work. Our immigration system has been broken for too long, and it’s well past time to pass a permanent solution.”

Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, President, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference:
“We stand at the precipice of achieving a permanent solution for Dreamers, and both sides of the immigration debate must be willing to make a compromise to get the job done. While there are certainly aspects of this proposal either party may disagree on, there is also much they can celebrate. Let us accomplish a bold and lasting solution for childhood arrivals, and yes, let us deliver enhanced border security too. In the spirit of compromise, with so many lives and families hanging in the balance, I strongly urge Congress to not let this historic opportunity slip away, but instead embrace a compromise that history will record as a righteous victory for our nation.”


Senators, find a solution to keep Dreamers here

January 18, 2018

Congressional wrangling and presidential commentary over a “DACA solution” have dominated headlines. In the midst of the news circus, though, we pray that those who represent Hoosiers in Washington will keep their focus on the people directly impacted by the termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. As Christians, our faith compels us to urge them to keep working for a solution consistent with biblical values.

Read more from Indy Star>>

These Trump Advisers Want a Dreamers Deal Enough to Meet with Nancy Pelosi

January 18, 2018

Many evangelicals won’t let partisan divides keep them from rallying for immigration reform, particularly the urgent push for congressional action to allow Dreamers—who entered the US as kids—to remain in America.
Several pastors and members of Trump’s evangelical advisory board met Thursday with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who they cheered for her defense of young immigrants fighting for legal status.

Read more from Christianity Today>>

Evangelical organization joins condemnation of Trump’s ‘s***hole countries’ comments

January 16, 2018

US-based humanitarian agency World Relief has joined a chorus of outrage against President Trump’s reported comments about ‘s***hole countries’.
The evangelical relief and development organisation signed a letter written collectively by members of the Evangelical Immigration Table, a coalition of leaders and organisations seeking biblical solutions for immigration.

Read more from Christian Today>>

Why it’s important to publicly shame Pence and others

January 16, 2018

During a service attended by Vice President Mike Pence and his wife on Sunday morning, a pastor in Prince George’s County denounced remarks made by President Trump earlier this week.
“I stand today as your Pastor to vehemently denounce and reject any such characterizations of The nations of Africa and of our brothers and sisters in Haiti,” said Pastor Dr. Maurice Watson of the Metropolitan Baptist Church.

Read more from Washington Post>>

Continued work for immigration remedy urged

January 16, 2018

WASHINGTON (BP) — Southern Baptist ethicist Russell Moore and some other evangelical Christian leaders are urging the federal government to continue to work toward a long-term solution for undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children in the wake of reported comments by President Trump that have embroiled the effort.

Trump made critical comments — allegedly marked by obscene language — about African countries in a White House meeting Jan. 11 with legislators. The controversial remarks came two days after Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), and the other evangelicals had called for Congress to prioritize a remedy for Dreamers, a label that stems from the name of a bill introduced to protect this category of immigrants.

Read more from Baptist Press>>

First in Playbook: EVANGELICAL IMMIGRATION TABLE releases a letter about immigration

January 15, 2018

The EVANGELICAL IMMIGRATION TABLE is releasing a letter: “The Scriptures teach us that each human person— regardless of their country of origin—is made in the image of God, with inherent and infinite dignity. … These biblical values inform our national values as well. The United States was founded upon the conviction that all people are created equal—though, as Martin Luther King, Jr. reminded our country, we have not always lived up to that truth.

Read more from Politico>>


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