Evangelical Leaders Urge Congress to Preserve Family Reunification Options

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Evangelical Leaders Urge Congress to Preserve Family Reunification Options

February 15, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C.— 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).

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