Archives

Category Archive for: "Statements and Press Releases"

Leading Evangelical Women Address Refugees, Family Separation, Dreamers

A recording of today’s call is available here.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Prominent evangelical women from across the nation called for compassionate solutions to family separation and other pressing immigration challenges during a press call today.

Some of the speakers will join a delegation of evangelical women and men meeting with congressional offices Tuesday.

Speakers addressed the plight of refugees and others fleeing persecution ahead of World Refugee Day on Wednesday, as well as the importance of unified families and a solution for Dreamers. Thousands of evangelical women and hundreds of local pastors have signed on to a June 1 letter Evangelical Immigration Table leaders sent to President Trump, urging his administration to reverse the policy that separates families.

Despite a record number of refugees worldwide. the country is on pace to admit fewer than 22,000 refugees in 2018, down from nearly 100,000 in 2016 and more than 200,000 in 1980.

The following are quotes from speakers on today’s call:

Jennifer Foy, Executive Director, World Relief Triad (High Point, N.C.):
“The dramatic decline in refugee admissions over the past year has directly contributed to the crisis we’re seeing at the border today. With far fewer opportunities to come lawfully as a refugee — after applying abroad and undergoing a thorough screening — more and more individuals facing very real threats of violence feel they have no choice but to make a difficult journey to the U.S. border to request asylum. That we’d then take their children from them is simply wrong.”

Kathryn Freeman, Director of Public Policy, Texas Baptist Christian Life Commission:
“Each of the issues we discussed today — refugee resettlement, family separation along our border with Mexico, and Dreamers — are significant issues for Texas Baptists. I’m eager to share with Texas elected officials on Capitol Hill tomorrow why it’s so urgent that we find solutions.”

Jo Anne Lyon, Global Ambassador, The Wesleyan Church:
“As a mother and a grandmother, I’m horrified by what our government is doing to children at the U.S.-Mexico border. We’re calling on the administration to reverse this ‘zero tolerance’ policy immediately, while also urging them to resume our nation’s historical role of leadership in resettling refugees.”

Helena Muliwa, former refugee from Burundi, resettled by World Relief Triad:
“I’m so thankful for this country for providing me, for the first time in 25 years, with a safe and secure place. While I’m grateful for my own sake, though, I’m mindful of the many other refugees, fleeing various conflicts around the world, who are not offered the same opportunity that I had. I’m praying our elected officials will listen.” 

Dr. Shirley Mullen, President, Houghton College, Houghton, N.Y.:
“Refugees are playing a key part in the economic and cultural revitalization of our northern cities like Buffalo and Utica. They are bringing to America in 2018 the same kind of renewing energy that refugees have always brought to America throughout its history. We strongly support the return to traditional higher levels of refugee resettlement. As we have worked to provide affordable and high-quality educational resources for refugees in Buffalo and Utica, we have found them to be among the most appreciative, energetic and grateful citizens of our country today. They are committed to investing in an America that will be better for all of us.”  

Trillia Newbell, Director for Community Engagement, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention:
“For evangelicals, the Bible is our top authority. The Scriptures are clear that God loves and protects refugees and other immigrants. He cares for children. He made each person in his image, and their lives are worth protecting.” 

Kelly Rosati, Justice Liaison, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference:
“Whether we’re talking about families showing up at the border right now or Dreamers who were brought here decades ago, we all ought to be able to agree that we should not punish children for the actions of their parents. I personally think those parents are heroic, seeking to provide safety and a future for their kids. But, even for those who disagree, we ought all agree that we should not punish children for their parents’ decisions, nor use these kids’ as a political bargaining chip.”

Ava Steaffens, CEO, Christian Community Development Association:
“Having grown up in a family who came to the U.S. as refugees from Cuba, these issues are deeply important to me personally. For the thousands of local ministries that are a part of the Christian Community Development Association, these are concerns that affect us every day. I’m praying that our elected leaders will act quickly to reverse harmful administration policies that are diving families at the border and dramatically restricting the U.S. refugee resettlement program, and that Congress will work together on a bipartisan basis to find a permanent, inclusive solution for Dreamers without draconian cuts to legal immigration options.”

Southern Baptist Convention Reaffirms Support for Immigrants

DALLAS — The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) overwhelmingly passed a resolution affirming its support for immigrants and call for immigration reform during its annual meeting Tuesday.

The resolution highlights the importance of maintaining family unity, the need for a pathway to legal status for undocumented immigrants with appropriate restitutionary measures, and the importance of secure borders.

“I am grateful for the strong, unanimous vote of the Southern Baptist Convention in support of our immigrant neighbors and brothers and sisters in Christ. I am grateful for the way that churches all around the country are ministering to immigrant communities,” said Dr. Russell Moore, President of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. “Now is the time for our country to act justly, to stop separating families, and to fix an immigration system that is hurting too many people in our country today.” The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission is a member of the Evangelical Immigration Table.

The resolution also calls upon Southern Baptist churches to actively minister to vulnerable immigrants and denounces “any form of nativism, mistreatment, or exploitation [as] inconsistent with the gospel of Jesus Christ.” A separate resolution, also passed Tuesday, specifically reaffirms a 2016 call for “Southern Baptist churches and families to welcome and adopt refugees into their churches and homes.”

The Southern Baptist Convention, which is the nation’s largest evangelical denomination, last passed a resolution calling for immigration reform in 2011. As Tuesday’s resolution notes, “after seven years of continued policy gridlock, there have been no substantive changes in the immigration system that would make it more just, humane, efficient, and orderly.”

Other leaders within the Evangelical Immigration Table added their support for the SBC resolution:

Leith Anderson, President, National Association of Evangelicals
The Southern Baptist Convention got it right about immigration reform taking too long.  Government hears pleas and debates recommendations but keeps postponing to future years while so many children and families keeping waiting.

Scott Arbeiter, President, World Relief:
“Southern Baptists and other evangelicals have long advocated for immigration reform consistent with biblical values of compassion, family unity, and respect for the rule of law. This new resolution re-affirms that evangelicals continue to stand with immigrants. In the midst of a number of troubling changes to US immigration policy, I’m encouraged that evangelical Christians are speaking up clearly for the dignity of our immigrant brothers, sisters, and neighbors.”

Shirley Hoogstra, President, Council for Christian Colleges & Universities:
“We commend our Southern Baptist brothers and sisters in Christ for their reaffirmation of the value and dignity of immigrants, their call for a just and equitable immigration system, and their encouragement for churches to serve their local immigrant communities. We pray Congress will act to fix our broken immigration system so that it reflects these values and most immediately provides a permanent, legislative solution for Dreamers — beloved children of God.”

Hyepin Im, President & CEO, Faith and Community Empowerment (formerly Korean Churches for Community Development):
“The Southern Baptist Convention’s resolution on immigrants is a powerful testament to who we are and what we are called to do as believers.”

Jo Anne Lyon, Global Ambassador, The Wesleyan Church:
“I’m so grateful to the Messengers of the Southern Baptist Convention for this powerful resolution. I look forward to how we will all work together making this resolution a reality in the lives of millions of immigrants and refugees who will experience the love, hope and a future through the servants of Jesus Christ.”

Samuel Rodriguez, President, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference:
“Hispanic evangelicals — including many Southern Baptists as well as many in other denominations — are grateful for this very strong, unanimous resolution from the Southern Baptist Convention this week, clearly affirming both the urgency of immigration reform and the call on all Christians to extend God’s love to the immigrants in our midst.”

Local Pastors Decry Family Separation, Echoing National Evangelical Leaders

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Hundreds of evangelical Christians across the country, including about 200 local pastors and ministry leaders, have added their names to a letter denouncing policies that divide children from their parents.

National evangelical leaders sent the letter to President Trump Friday, as Christianity Today, CBN, the Arizona Republic, the San Antonio Express-News and others have reported.

“We are concerned that the new ‘zero tolerance’ policy at the U.S.-Mexico border … has had the effect of separating vulnerable children from their parents,” the letter reads. “The traumatic effects of this separation on these young children, which could be devastating and long-lasting, are of utmost concern.”

The letter also urges the president to resume a robust refugee resettlement program. The U.S. is on track to resettle fewer than 22,000 refugees in 2018, down from nearly 100,000 in 2016 and more than 200,000 in 1980.

The following are quotes from local evangelical leaders who have signed on to the letter:

Laurie and Kenton Beshore, Lead Pastors, Mariners Church, Orange County, California:
“Evangelical Christians have a range of political beliefs when it comes to immigration issues, but one thing that unites us is a biblically-informed view that God has established families and that we should do all we can to protect children. It’s wrong to separate small children from their mothers and fathers who are seeking asylum under the terms of our laws. Doing so could have long-term traumatic impacts on these children. I hope and pray that our nation will reverse course on this policy.”

Sam Creagar, Pastor of Outreach, Faith Evangelical Free Church, Manhattan, Kansas:
“My faith and my conscience lead me to believe a ‘zero-tolerance’ policy that separates children from their families is wrong. I know border security is difficult and I understand that our nation’s laws must be enforced for the common good, but justice without discretion leads to cruelty, tyranny, and ultimately injustice.”

Lauren Fernandez, Pastor, Rhythm Church, Miami, Florida
“As followers of Jesus, we believe that God calls us to extend compassion for the suffering. The reasons Central America families, many of whom I call friends, travel to the border and seek asylum are complex. When we’ve reached the point of tearing children from their mothers as they arrive at the border, as is the effect of this new ‘zero tolerance’ policy, we’ve clearly gone too far and we have completely missed God’s call to suffer with others. My prayers are our leaders will extend mercy on the families and create justice through reformed immigration policies.”

Leslie Leyland Fields, Writer and Speaker, Kodiak, Alaska:
“As a mother of six, and as a Christian, I have to speak up against this wrong-headed ‘zero-tolerance’ immigration policy. Wars are raging around the world, and this is what we focus our power and influence on: separating families? Evicting, dividing and destroying our weakest and neediest neighbors? This is the furthest thing possible from the gospel.”

Chris Sicks, Associate Pastor, Alexandria Presbyterian Church, Alexandria, Virginia:
“The nuclear family was ordained by God as the strong foundation of a society. When the zeal to enforce a valid man-made law knowingly causes innocent children harm, it violates eternal moral law.”

Kevin McBride, Senior Pastor, Raymond Baptist Church, Raymond, New Hampshire:
“The current policy of separating children from their families at the border violates a biblical principle of protecting the family unit and tries to impose a false justice upon innocent children who have no voice in decisions made for them. As a Christian pastor I am called to help protect and heal families with God’s grace and mercy, not punish them.”

 

Evangelical Leaders Urge President Trump to Keep Families Together

June 1, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today evangelical leaders sent a letter to President Trump expressing concern over the new “zero tolerance” policy at the U.S.-Mexico border that is dividing children from their parents.

The new policy, announced recently by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, already has separated hundreds of families, including those who are seeking asylum in the United States. In their letter, evangelical leaders urge the president to work with the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security to reconsider this “zero tolerance” policy and to provide due process to people seeking asylum.

Signatories also urge the president to work with the U.S. State Department to resume a robust U.S. refugee resettlement program, which in the past has allowed those with a credible fear of persecution to apply for refugee status abroad and enter lawfully, after a thorough vetting process, without making a dangerous trip to the U.S. border to request asylum.

“As evangelical Christians guided by the Bible, one of our core convictions is that God has established the family as the fundamental building block of society. The state should separate families only in the rarest of instances,” the letter states.

The Evangelical Immigration Table also opened up the letter today for local pastors and other evangelical leaders to add their names. If you are an evangelical leader, you can add your name here.

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

Leith Anderson, President, National Association of Evangelicals:
“The Bible says that families came first and government later. Let’s not buck the Bible by separating families.”

Scott Arbeiter, President, World Relief:
“I’m deeply troubled that as families fleeing persecution reach our border, children are being separated from their parents. I know that President Trump doesn’t want to separate families, either, and I pray he’ll do all he can to reverse these policies as well as to ensure that the U.S. refugee resettlement program continues to allow vulnerable, persecuted families to be carefully vetted abroad and then rebuild their lives in the U.S. without needing to make a dangerous journey to our border.”

Hyepin Im, President and CEO, Faith and Community Empowerment:
“We as a nation are still bearing the pains and consequences of broken families as a result of war, slavery, divorce, immigration policies and other matters. It is tragic to inflict unnecessary pain by separating children from parents because of manmade rules … I pray that God will give wisdom to President Trump and our nation’s leaders to create the right policies that do not repeat the mistakes of the past but can protect our nation while leaving room to address and respond to humanitarian needs.”

Jo Anne Lyon, Global Ambassador, The Wesleyan Church:
“Americans are divided politically, but this issue is beyond politics. Any of us can imagine the terror that strikes a child separated from her mother or father, and the despair of a mother whose child has been taken from her. It’s vital that we respect our country’s longstanding asylum laws, that we do all we can to keep families together, and that we resume our history of welcoming refugees.”

Russell Moore, President, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention:
“As Christians who care deeply about protecting families and children, we reject the idea that separating children from parents is a sensible component of any immigration policy. As Christians, we affirm both the rule of law and compassion for the vulnerable. Splitting up families is not in the best interests of the United States. American policy, even immigration policy, should promote the flourishing of families.”

Samuel Rodriguez, President, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference:
“President Trump is a father and a grandfather, and I know he cares about families, including immigrant families. He also rightly cares about securing our borders. I believe he can find ways to both keep immigrant families together and protect American families from those who would do harm, and many Hispanic evangelicals are praying for him as he addresses these vital policy decisions.”

Rich Stearns, President, World Vision U.S.
“While the U.S. needs to address real concerns about our immigration system, approaches must be family-centered and child-focused,” said Rich Stearns, President and CEO of World Vision. “The single most important relationship for all children, especially those at risk of violence or in high stress situations, is that of a parent.  Separating children from their parents can have a devastating long-term effect on children’s mental, physical, and emotional development.”

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.”

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.”

###

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).

###

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.”

###

In Light of President Trump’s Comments, Evangelical Leaders Urge Solution for Dreamers

WASHINGTON, D.C. JANUARY 14, 2018 — Today, executives from the seven national Christian organizations that form the leadership of the Evangelical Immigration Table released a statement regarding recent reported comments from President Trump and the bipartisan Congressional negotiations over a legislative solution for recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

This joint statement follows additional statements on this topic from Evangelical Immigration Table organizations, including the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference and World Relief.

“Jesus emerged from the despised and disregarded town of Nazareth, a reminder that we ought never pre-judge any person based on his or her community of origin,” they write. “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.

“Our president reportedly made statements recently that stand in opposition to these core biblical and American values. The President has now denied some of the reported language. We would hope that nothing approaching what was reported would ever be said by an American leader.”

The statement then calls upon Congress to work together for a solution for Dreamers.

Following initial reports on Jan. 11, the president’s remarks have been met with dismay across the faith community. The following are quotes from other evangelical leaders:

 Mark Labberton, President of Fuller Theological Seminary:

“As a fellow human being, as a citizen of the United States, as a seminary president, and specially as a disciple of Jesus Christ, I am horrified by and ashamed of Trump’s comments about Haiti and African countries, and their peoples…May this moment awaken a profound national lament, true repentance of racist hearts, and a fresh commitment to personal and systemic change that honors all human beings as creatures made in the image of God.”

Eugene Cho, Lead Pastor of Quest Church in Seattle, Washington:

“God loves the nations. The Scriptures make this clear. No one – let alone, the leader of a country – should ever disparage other nations with such a disgusting comment. To Haiti & many countries of Africa: We are so sorry. Please accept our apologies on behalf of President Trump.”

Ann Voskamp, Bestselling Christian Author:

“It’s not political but biblical to stand & say it is indefensible, incomprehensible, reprehensible & completely unacceptable to profanely disdain countries of People of Color, but entertain welcoming people of blonde hair. Demonizing people is the 1st step to justifying anything.”

###

Evangelical Leaders Call on Congress for Dreamer Legislation

WASHINGTON, D.C. JANUARY 9, 2018— Evangelical leaders sent a letter today to members of Congress, asking them to prioritize passing a legislative solution for Dreamers without further delay.

“We are disappointed that, nearly four months after the announcement of the termination of the [Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals] DACA program, there has still been no legislative solution for these young people,” they write. “… We continue to call on you to take action now on a legislative solution that allows these young people to continue working lawfully, to continue contributing to our communities.”

This letter follows August letters to the president and congressional leadership also calling for legislative action on Dreamers, to which more than 3,450 pastors and evangelical leaders from all 50 states since have signed on.

The following are quotes today from Evangelical Immigration Table leaders:

Leith Anderson, President, National Association of Evangelicals:
“Giving hope is something America is really good at doing. Taking it away again is neither a Christian nor American ideal. It’s time to give permanent hope to Dreamers raised in the USA who love and serve our country.”

Scott Arbeiter, President, World Relief:
“At World Relief, we’ve worked in partnership with local churches to assist thousands of young people to apply for work authorization through the DACA program over the past five years. Now, these Dreamers are beginning to lose their permission to work, and thus their jobs and their livelihoods as well. Each day that passes without Congress passing a legislative solution for these Dreamers, more individuals are directly impacted, as are their families, their churches, their employers, and our economy. We urge Congress to act immediately to pass a bill that will allow these young people to keep their jobs, to continue to contribute, and eventually to earn citizenship in the country that they call their home.”

Shirley V. Hoogstra, President, Council for Christian Colleges and Universities:
“Christian college and university campuses throughout the country have been blessed by the presence of Dreamer students. Many Dreamers have been able to pursue higher education because of the work authorization and protections from deportation offered through the DACA program, which is now being phased out. These Dreamers are integral members of campus communities and of this nation, which they have embraced as their own. Congress should act urgently to resolve their status.”

Hyepin Im, President and CEO, Faith and Community Empowerment:
“Let’s invest in building lives and the future of our country. These Dreamers have demonstrated that they deserve the opportunity to contribute to the future of our country. We urge you to introduce legislation so that these individuals can move forward and we can all invest our energy in building our country and achieving the American dream for all.”

Jo Anne Lyon, Ambassador, The Wesleyan Church:
“Only Congress has the authority to permanently resolve the urgent situation faced by Dreamers, and they should not defer action any longer. I hope that they will heed the biblical wisdom of Proverbs 3:27-28: ‘Do not withhold good to those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act. Do not say to your neighbor, “Come back tomorrow and I’ll give it to you” — when you already have it with you.’ Congress can and should act immediately.”

Dr. Russell Moore, President, Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention:
“Dreamers have been working as productive members of our communities and sitting in the pews next to us in our churches. They are parts of families, including many who are parents of U.S. citizen children. Dreamers have come forward at the invitation and request of the federal government — and now the government has changed the rules. So the Congress has a responsibility to act, and to do so quickly. Justice delayed is justice denied.”

Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, President, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference:
“As hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients face the impending expiration of their work authorization and protection from deportation, evangelical Christians are standing with them. Many of these Dreamers are integral members of local churches throughout our country, and what affects them affects all of us. We’re praying that Congress will quickly come together to find a permanent, inclusive solution for Dreamers. Further delay is unacceptable.”

###

page  1  of  11
Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Not readable? Change text. captcha txt

Start typing and press Enter to search