Local Pastors, Prominent Guests Engage on Immigration

 In Press Releases

Pastors Discuss Biblical Perspective at Northwest Nazarene Conference

August 27, 2014

NAMPA — Local pastors and professors joined guests from Colorado and Arizona today at Northwest Nazarene University for a pastors conference, “Engaging Immigration: A Ministry Leader’s Conference on Thinking Biblically about Immigration.”

The conference, hosted by the Christian Community Development Association (CCDA) and the Evangelical Immigration Table, included a panel discussion on the economic and moral imperatives for action on immigration reform and a screening of the film The Stranger, which has screened more than 2,100 times in 45 states this summer.

The following are quotes from participants in today’s panel discussion:

Dr. Pete Crabb, Professor of Finance and Economics, Northwest Nazarene University:
“Economic theory and empirical evidence show that immigration is good for the U.S. and its workers. When the Idaho agricultural industry wants to hire workers to pick produce, the residency of those workers shouldn’t matter. Any time we prevent mutually beneficial transactions, we reduce competition and all its benefits to society.

“Research using state-level data shows that immigrants expand the economy’s productive capacity, stimulate new investment, and boost productivity. States with higher immigrant worker populations have higher rates of output per worker. If we want competitive markets for the things we buy and if we are going to advocate for free trade throughout the world, we must also support free trade in the labor market.”

Adam Estle, Center Director, Refugio Phoenix:
“It is tremendously important for churches and faith leaders to engage the issue of immigration the same way we should engage any social issue: through biblical and compassionate lenses. Hopefully, people in the pews will love and care for their immigrant neighbors in greater and great ways. When the time comes for Congress to re-engage in the effort to fix our broken immigration system, we pray for a tidal wave of support from the evangelical community that will compel Washington to listen and respond in a way that brings a just immigration reform to the president’s desk as soon as possible.”

Michelle Warren, Director of Advocacy & Policy Engagement, CCDA, Denver:
“Immigration affects people — native and foreign born. We as a country cannot continue to allow partisan politics to define what we should do and how we should do it. The citizenry, especially those who call themselves Christians, must lead this conversation in our churches and in our communities and lead our legislators so that we can both establish and enhance opportunities for everyone that will move our country forward.”

Dr. Burton Webb, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Northwest Nazarene University:
“Throughout human history people have migrated around the globe. So immigration is not a new issue. Thousands of years ago the scriptures and other wisdom texts urged people to care for the immigrant. As people of faith we need to read, remember, and redeem.”

Join the conversation on Twitter using #EngageImmigration and follow the film @thestrangerfilm.

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