Evangelicals Call on Congress for Immigration Reform
A photo of an immigrant in North Carolina, who lives in the United States without legal authorization. (Laura Elizabeth Pohl/Bread for the World)
By Krisanne Vaillancourt-Murphy
Immigration reform is perhaps the only policy issue in the nation that has both bipartisan support and political momentum. It is a popular issue in Congress these days, with the real possibility of bipartisan action. This week, the New York Times published an op-ed on the series of breakthroughs moving the nation toward a historic overhaul of the immigration system this year.
While reducing poverty may not be the primary goal of most immigration reform efforts, it should certainly be one of its explicit objectives. Bread for the World envisions immigration policies that reflect both biblical perspectives toward immigrants and the spirit of U.S. democracy. Immigrants who are living in the United States without authorization, regardless of their countries of origin, need a timely and fair path to legalization. Meanwhile, targeted development assistance in immigrant-sending communities that supports inclusive and sustainable economic opportunities abroad can reduce the need for people to migrate illegally to the United States.
Immigration has stymied policymakers for decades but the coalition of faith communities and religious organizations supporting reform this year is unprecedented. A big part of the increased push is coming from a group of evangelical organizations that have prioritized immigration reform. The Evangelical Immigration Table includes the Southern Baptist Convention, the National Latino Evangelical Coalition, and the National Association of Evangelicals, and other prominent faith groups. Bread for the World is also proud to be part of the Table and its efforts to promote just immigration reform of a broken system.
On April 17, hundreds of evangelicals will gather in Washington for the Evangelical Day of Prayer and Action on Immigration Reform to raise an evangelical voice proclaiming a biblical vision for immigration reform that respects the rule of law, reunites families, and upholds human dignity. The event will include prayer services with the participation of Bread for the World President David Beckmann and other leaders, including Bill Hybels, senior pastor at Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Ill., and Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference. Find registration information and an event schedule here.
Krisanne Vaillancourt Murphy leads national evangelical church relations at Bread for the World.
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