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Texas/Mexico Border Immigration: A Missionary’s Perspective

By Nathanael Sommers

August 8, 2018

A young mother recalls her journey to the United States at a Border Patrol detainment center in South Texas. The Border Patrol officer listens intently, asking questions she has asked to countless other newly arrived undocumented immigrants. The mother’s two children, a boy and girl both under twelve, are being interviewed in a separate room as officers seek to understand the small family’s situation.

(more…)

2018 EIT Highlights

  • January 9, 2018: The EIT sends another letter to Congress urging a Dreamer solution along with an accompanying press statement.
  • January 14, 2018: The EIT releases a statement on the president’s alleged comments about African countries, Haiti & El Salvador accompanied by reactions from other prominent evangelical leaders.
  • January 29, 2018: The EIT releases a statement on the White House immigration framework.
  • February 15, 2018: EIT releases a letter and statement urging Congress not to make dramatic cuts to legal family reunification programs within U.S. immigration law. 
  • March 5, 2018: Week of Prayer for Dreamers press release and prayer guide release.
  • April 19, 2018: EIT sends a letter to Congress and an accompanying press statement urging support for the Adoptee Citizenship Act, which would close a loophole that has prevented an estimated 35,000 adoptees from becoming U.S. citizens.
  • April 30, 2018: EIT launches a blog, entitled Telling a Better Story to highlight the refugee and immigrant ministry efforts of local churches and evangelical institutions.
  • June 1, 2018: EIT releases a letter and statement to the president expressing concern over the “zero tolerance” policy causing family separation at the U.S. – Mexico border.
  • June 2018: 3,610 evangelical leaders including over 1,000 pastors sign onto the same family separation letter, the EIT releases a statement covering the sign-on effort with quotes from local evangelical leaders.
  • June 13, 2018: EIT principals release a statement of support for the Southern Baptist Convention after the SBC overwhelmingly passed a resolution affirming support for immigrants and immigration reform.
  • June 18, 2018: EIT organizes a press call of prominent evangelical women leaders speaking out about family separation and refugee resettlement.
  • August 7, 2018: EIT principals sent a letter accompanied by a press statement asking the Trump administration to raise the refugee ceiling, citing religious liberty and our nation’s history of offering safe haven to people fleeing religious persecution.

In 2017 & 2018, the Evangelical Immigration Table was directly mentioned in news media 95 times, including in all major Christian news outlets, the Washington Post, Fox News and Politico

2017 EIT Highlights

  • January 29, 2017: EIT leaders signed an unbranded letter expressing concern about the refugee travel ban, covered exclusively by Politico.
  • June 19, 2017: EIT Letter and accompanying press statement to former DHS Sec. Kelly calling for a halt to deportations of Iraqi Christians.
  • June 2017: Press call on Iraqi Christian deportations featuring Galen Carey, Matthew Soerens, the former acting director of ICE and the president of the Chaldean Community Foundation.
  • August 30, 2017: Table letter(s) & to Speaker Ryan, President Trump & Senate Leader McConnell urging protection for DACA recipients while Congress works on a legislative solution. Accompanying press statement with quotes was also released. 
  • September 10, 2017: Five days after DACA is formally rescinded, the same Dreamer letter garners over 3,450 signatories of pastors and evangelical leaders from all 50 states. 3 additional press releases with quotes from notable signatories are sent out.
  • November 1, 2017: EIT Letter is sent to Acting DHS Sec. Duke urging DHS to extended TPS for Honduras, Nicaragua, Haiti & El Salvador along with accompanying press statement.

A Taste of the Kingdom

By Tim Holt

In 2010 a Bulgarian theology student stood at the doors of what was soon to become our new church home and with tears in his eyes declared, “The nations are going to come to this place…” Stefan knew of the J1 Program, how 4,000 young international students, from 50 different countries come to our resort community every summer, working, saving their money, to experience life in America.

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Some Christian Leaders Criticize Paula White for Saying Jesus Wasn’t an Illegal Refugee

July 13, 2018

Both conservative and left-leaning Christian leaders are speaking out in response to President Donald Trump’s spiritual adviser, Paula White, after she claimed in a recent interview that Jesus as a child refugee was different than refugees crossing into the United States illegally today.

“Maybe there should be a moratorium on Protestants quoting or citing the Bible when discussing border policy or immigration,” Mark Tooley, president of the Washington-based think tank Institute on Religion & Democracy, wrote in a blog post Tuesday. “Whether conservative or liberal, the end result is typically unpleasant.”

Read more from Black Christian News Network One>>

Trump’s Spiritual Adviser: Sure, Jesus Was A Refugee, But He Didn’t Do Anything Illegal

July 11, 2018

In the face of a global refugee crisis, Christians from Pope Francis to American evangelicals have tried to inspire sympathy for people fleeing violence and persecution by pointing out that Jesus himself was once a refugee.

The Christian Gospels suggest that Jesus’ family fled to Egypt shortly after he was born to escape a massacre ordered by a tyrannical king. The family lived in Egypt until the death of that king.

Read more from The World News>>

Muhammad’s Story

By Kristy Perano

I thought I was good at trusting in God’s sovereignty until last January 26th, 2017.

That was when I got personally involved with trying to help an Afghan refugee family marked for death by the Taliban and left behind by our country. Muhammad had faithfully served the US military in Afghanistan as an interpreter from 2003 until 2010, then worked for the UN for three years before fleeing with his wife and daughters to Pakistan to live in hiding illegally as a refugee, losing all contact with the US military in the process. Hunted by both the Taliban and the Pakistani government, he and his family are living in critical danger.

(more…)

US Accepts Record-High Percentage of Christian Refugees

June 29, 2018

The United States is accepting an increasingly large share of Christian refugees, primarily from Africa, while the number of total arrivals remains on track for a historic low this fiscal year, federal data show.

With three-quarters of the fiscal year over, and amid massive cuts to the U.S. refugee program under the Trump administration, nearly 68 percent of arriving refugees this fiscal year are Christian — a 16-year high, according to State Department statistics reviewed by VOA. Prior to this year, the highest proportion was in fiscal 2007, at 60 percent.

Read more from VOA News>>

America Loves Refugees, Celebrates World Refugee Day Nationwide

June 25, 2018

In honor of refugees worldwide on Wednesday, June 20, World Relief celebrated World Refugee Day with national and local activities to highlight refugees’ stories and equip Americans to welcome and resettle those newly arrived in their communities. Since 1979, World Relief has helped 300,000 refugees make America their home, and the results were celebrated across the country this week.

Read more from The Buffalo News>>

Latest Immigration Controversy Points to Possible Political Shift Among Evangelicals

June 22, 2018

White evangelical Protestants may be among President Trump’s strongest supporters, but some evangelical leaders have spent the past decade quietly steering the movement away from hardline views on immigration, culminating in their public opposition to Trump’s policy of family separation at the border earlier this month.

One leader credits evangelical opposition with playing a role in Trump’s decision this week to reverse the policy.

Read more from National Catholic Register>>

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