Evangelical Leaders Commend Bipartisan Efforts to Address Immigration Challenges

 In Press Releases

Washington, D.C. — Last week Sens. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Arizona) and Reps. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) and Tony Gonzales (R-Texas) introduced the Bipartisan Border Solutions Act. The following is a statement from the Evangelical Immigration Table:

As evangelical leaders, we have long affirmed both that our government has a responsibility to ensure secure borders and that those fleeing persecution and seeking asylum in the United States should be afforded due process and treated humanely, with particular concern for the well-being of children. The introduction of this bipartisan legislation is an encouraging step toward resolving longstanding and recurring challenges along the U.S.-Mexico border.

In a season when bipartisanship has become increasingly rare, we are particularly encouraged by the good faith process by which Sens. Cornyn and Sinema and Reps. Cuellar and Gonzales developed this bill. No amount of partisan bickering and blame-casting will resolve the current humanitarian crisis at our border. Only a bipartisan, problem-solving approach like that used to forge this agreement will ultimately make a difference for vulnerable children, women and men, each of whom our faith teaches us is made in God’s image and worthy of respect.

We pray this example of bipartisan cooperation will serve as a model as Members of Congress work together to resolve various other urgent challenges within our immigration system. Most urgently, that should include providing a path to citizenship for Dreamers, for long-term residents living with the uncertainty of Temporary Protected Status, and for agricultural workers on whom we all rely. Ultimately, we need bipartisan collaboration to create opportunities for other undocumented immigrants to make restitution for past immigration violations and then earn permanent legal status and eventual citizenship.

The following are quotes from individual leaders of evangelical organizations:

Walter Kim, President, National Association of Evangelicals:
“Senators Cornyn and Sinema have shown that pragmatic, bipartisan approaches to the challenges facing our nation are still possible, even in today’s polarized climate. Their carefully crafted proposal combines workable ideas that both Republicans and Democrats can support, making the processing of asylum claims more efficient without sacrificing human rights protections. It is an important first step toward the larger, urgently needed overhaul of our broken immigration system.”

Russell Moore, President, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention:
“Developing a solution for our broken immigration system shouldn’t be a partisan process. That is why I am heartened to see a real across-the-aisle effort being made by these senators and representatives. But we should be clear-eyed about this: Addressing both the humanitarian and security concerns that plague our immigration system, particularly as it relates to our southern border, will take careful work by leaders at every level of local, state, and federal authority. That is why introducing legislation, as these members of Congress have done, is so important. It creates an avenue for real reforms to advance. We will be praying that our leaders in Washington act on this opportunity.”

Margaret Schuler, Senior Vice President, International Programs Group, World Vision:
“With the well-being of vulnerable children at stake at our Southern Border, World Vision applauds the bipartisan cooperation of Congress to provide needed solutions that prioritize the safety of migrant children and their families and respect their dignity as children of God. Ultimately, we encourage continued cooperation in Congress to address the root causes of migration through foreign assistance, while pursuing much-needed comprehensive immigration reform as a permanent solution.”

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