Evangelical Leaders to Congress: Prioritize Orderly Borders and Human Dignity

 In Press Releases

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Monday, as Congress considers legislation seeking to address the situation at the U.S.-Mexico border, evangelical leaders sent a letter urging members of Congress to pursue policies that improve border security but also ensure due process and legal protections for asylum seekers and unaccompanied children.

“[W]e urge you to consider these two principles — ensuring secure borders and respecting the God-given dignity of each person — as you legislate, and to oppose proposals that would either make our borders less secure or would erode existing legal protections for those vulnerable to persecution, human trafficking or other significant harm,” the letter reads in part.

Evangelical Christians believe that God has made each person in his image with inherent dignity. Consequently, the letter states, “human life is worth protecting, regardless of one’s nationality, ethnicity, religion, gender or any other factor.” Reflecting this biblical principle, the leaders insist that the U.S. government should treat all people humanely, ensure due process for those who profess a credible fear of persecution and are seeking asylum under the terms of U.S. law, and preserve existing legal protections for vulnerable unaccompanied children.

Evangelical leaders also note that, while border challenges are significant and require congressional response, there are also other urgent priorities impacting a range of immigrant communities already living in the United States. Many of these groups are in need of permanent legal status that only Congress can provide, including Dreamers, Afghan and other humanitarian parolees, and long-term beneficiaries of Temporary Protected Status. We will continue to advocate for Congress to take good-faith steps to ensure that our immigration policies are updated in a just and compassionate manner, as this letter details.

Matthew Soerens, National Coordinator of the Evangelical Immigration Table, said, “Evangelical Christians, like most Americans, simultaneously believe we should have safe, orderly borders and that our laws should reflect the dignity of each person. We should never abandon the principle of offering asylum to those fleeing a well-founded fear of persecution. The status quo at the border is clearly unacceptable, so we urge Congress to keep working until they can come up with bipartisan solutions. We are grateful for the ways that local churches on both sides of the border and across the country are stepping up to meet human needs in Jesus’ name, even in the absence of long-overdue policy changes.”

The full text of the letter is available here.

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