Evangelicals Urge Congressional Action on Dreamers, Border, Farmworkers and Afghans in Lame Duck
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, several prominent evangelical organizations sent a letter to every member of Congress, imploring them to address urgent border and immigration policy issues before the current Congress departs.
Specifically, the letter urges action on:
- An opportunity for DACA recipients and other Dreamers to earn citizenship.
- Improvements to border security and management that make processes more orderly and respect due process rights for those seeking asylum.
- Reforms to ensure a reliable, lawful agricultural workforce.
- A process by which Afghans resettled to the U.S. could apply for Lawful Permanent Resident status.
“We are thankful that bipartisan bills addressing each of these issues have already been introduced in the current Congress, and some of them have already passed the U.S. House of Representatives,” the letter reads. “But the time to pass them into law is short – because it will likely become even more difficult to forge the bipartisan consensus to actually pass legislation in the new Congress.”
As the letter notes, a recent study by Lifeway Research found that 80 percent of all evangelicals “support Republicans and Democrats working together on a combination of immigration reforms that strengthens border security, creates a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children, and provides a reliable number of screened, legal farmworkers.” Seventy percent of evangelicals affirm that the U.S. has a moral responsibility to accept those who have fled persecution. And 71 percent say it is important that Congress pass significant immigration legislation this year.
The following are quotes from several leaders of evangelical organizations that signed the letter:
Myal Greene, President & CEO, World Relief:
“The Christmas story as recorded in the Gospel of Matthew ends with Jesus being forced to flee the threat of persecution from a tyrannical king and being brought as a small child across a border into a foreign land. What better time for Congress to set aside partisan differences to pass legislation such as the Afghan Adjustment Act and the DREAM Act, ensuring that individuals who have fled persecution and those brought to our country as children are allowed to apply for permanent legal status and eventual citizenship.”
Shirley Hoogstra, President, Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU):
“The CCCU has supported a permanent solution for Dreamers since the DREAM Act was first introduced in 2001, and we continue to advocate for policies that recognize the dignity with which God has endowed all people, regardless of their ethnicity, race, or place of origin. We believe a bipartisan, permanent legislative solution for Dreamers from Congress is the best means to provide a long-term solution for these young people and their communities.”
Walter Kim, President, National Association of Evangelicals:
“When the history of the 117th Congress is written, I hope that a highlight will be the courageous action by Republicans and Democrats who responded to our common humanity and put country over party, providing meaningful relief to Dreamers, farm workers and border communities. We are praying for leaders who will meet the challenges of our times with clarity and compassion.”
Gabriel Salguero, President, National Latino Evangelical Coalition:
“The recent elections demonstrated that Latino evangelicals are swing voters, not fitting cleanly into either political party. But one thing that the vast majority of Latino evangelicals agree upon is the need for a legislative solution for DACA recipients and other Dreamers, many of whom are integral members of our churches. Time is running short: we need Republicans and Democrats to work together to pass legislation in the next few weeks.”