Evangelical Coalition Outlines Immigration Policy Priorities for New Congress, Biden Administration
December 7, 2020
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Immigration policy issues of concern to evangelical Christians are the focus of an agenda for the new Congress and administration that the Evangelical Immigration Table released today.
An Evangelical Immigration Agenda for the 117th Congress and the New Administration is guided by principles of human dignity, family unity, respect for the rule of law and other biblical commitments.
Among the Evangelical Immigration Table’s top policy priorities for the new Congress are establishing a path to citizenship for Dreamers, the urgency of which is underscored by ongoing legal challenges to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Table leaders also reiterate their call for a broader, restitution-based legalization process for undocumented immigrants who arrived as adults, urging a way forward that avoids the extreme policies of either mass deportation or amnesty. And they urge Congress to appropriate adequate funding to ensure secure borders, to facilitate legal immigration processes and to address root causes that fuel emigration.
President-elect Biden and his administration can play a proactive role in forging bipartisan consensus on these legislative priorities, the agenda notes. The incoming administration also should rebuild the U.S. refugee resettlement program, restore the asylum system and to prioritize the protection of vulnerable children, among other administrative actions.
In the weeks and months to come, Evangelical Immigration Table leaders will be sharing these policy priorities with policymakers, while continuing to provide resources to assist evangelical Christians throughout the country to engage questions of immigration in ways guided by the Bible.
The following are quotes from Evangelical Immigration Table leaders:
Nathan Bult, Senior Vice President of Public and Government Affairs, Bethany Christian Services:
“Scripture teaches nations and individuals to treat people who are displaced from their homes with empathy and compassion. The Table’s Immigration Agenda for the 117th Congress and the Biden administration is consistent with biblical principles, proposing the enactment of humane policies for those seeking refuge in the U.S. while respecting the rule of law. I urge our elected officials to put an end to decades of partisan fighting about immigration and enact bipartisan reforms.”
Galen Carey, Vice President of Government Relations, National Association of Evangelicals:
“Immigrants and refugees have long been a blessing to the United States, bringing strength and resilience to our businesses, churches and communities. With a new administration and a new Congress come new opportunities for fresh solutions to long deferred challenges: reuniting separated families, protecting those fleeing persecution, securing our borders and providing a path to legal status and citizenship for the undocumented. The Evangelical Immigration Table’s recommendations offer a blueprint that can win broad bipartisan support.”
Russell Moore, President, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention:
“Immigrants are not an abstraction. They are people created in the image of God, many of whom are already our neighbors in our communities and fellow believers in our churches. Most Americans agree on many of these questions, such as a path to legal permanence for Dreamers, which is quite a feat in times as divided as these. Congress and President-elect Biden should move immediately next year to protect our Dreamer neighbors and on other issues of just and unifying consensus regarding both our immigrant neighbors and immigrant brothers and sisters in Christ.”
Gabriel Salguero, President, National Latino Evangelical Coalition:
“As part of the broad coalition of the Evangelical Immigration Table, the National Latino Evangelical Coalition remains hopeful that we can work with both the incoming Congress and Biden administration to help resolve the long-standing challenges in our immigration, refugee and asylum systems. Our prayerful hope is that the priorities we have enumerated can lead to humane and commonsense bipartisan legislation that provides real solutions to our immigration system. Together we can achieve this for the benefit of our nation and the most vulnerable among us.”
Jenny Yang, Senior Vice President of Advocacy and Policy, World Relief:
“We are hopeful that the new administration will commit to providing concrete protections for immigrants, refugees and asylum-seekers as well as the pursuit of immigration reform in Congress so immigrants can regularize their status and have more opportunities to thrive while in the United States. There will be many competing agenda items as President-elect Biden takes office, but we hope he will make immigration reform a top priority and lead in a bipartisan fashion with Congress. The United States needs to continue to support immigrants on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19 and also lead on humanitarian efforts to provide refuge to those fleeing persecution. Many in the evangelical community are eager to support and engage at various levels in advocating for immigration reform and supporting our immigrant neighbors.”
The Evangelical Immigration Table is a broad coalition of evangelical organizations and leaders advocating for immigration reform consistent with biblical values.