Leaders from across the evangelical community held a press call this morning announcing the release of open letter to President Obama and to Congress calling for immigration reform. The call discussed the growing consensus for immigration reform within the evangelical Christian community, and asked the President and Congress to meet with the evangelical immigration table in the first 92 days of the new term (92 is how many times the Hebrew word for immigrant, “ger,” appears in the Bible).
The group is calling for a bipartisan immigration solution that:
- Respects the God-given dignity of every person
- Protects the unity of the immediate family
- Respects the rule of law
- Guarantees secure national borders
- Ensures fairness to taxpayers
- Establishes a path toward legal status and/or citizenship for those who qualify and who wish to become permanent residents
As Dr. Barrett Duke, Vice President for Public Policy and Research of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Conventionsaid during the press call:
We’re a diverse group of people. We didn’t all vote the same way on Election Day. But we share some beliefs about what values our nation should reflect. Immigration is not just a Hispanic issue, it’s an Asian issue, a European issue. It’s a Christian issue. It’s a moral issue. That’s why we’ve committed to educating other Christians about the reality of immigration. We don’t need to choose between American security and the dignity of immigrants who are already here.
Jim Wallis, President and CEO of Sojourners, follower up, saying:
We think the country is hungry to see something positive come from politics, some common ground that brings common good. The country would be very relieved to see politicians come together to enact something like immigration reform. The country is very hungry to see something like that.