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"Jesus Was a Refugee": Conservative Christians Speak Out for Reform

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A U.S. News and World Report article this week speaks to the growing chorus of religious conservatives standing up for comprehensive immigration reform:

Many of the same faith-based groups attacking Obama and the Democrats (on other issues), including the National Association of Evangelicals, the Southern Baptist Convention, and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, are poised to become major players in the president’s coming push for comprehensive immigration reform, which would include a path to citizenship for many illegal immigrants. “There is a strong biblical teaching about showing hospitality to the stranger and the alien,” says (National Association of Evangelicals chief lobbyist Galen) Carey.

Carey’s organization, the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), made news earlier this month when its board unanimously passed a resolution in support of reform.

The detailed resolution outlines what the Association describes as the “Biblical Foundations” of the case for reform—as NAE president Leith Anderson reminded reporters:

Jesus was a refugee.

But the resolution also addresses the “modern realities” of immigration, and its “Call to Action” includes seven specific policy recommendations. Here’s a sampling of them:

  • That the government establish a sound, equitable process toward earned legal status for currently undocumented immigrants, who desire to embrace the responsibilities and privileges that accompany citizenship.

  • That the government establish more functional legal mechanisms for the annual entry of a reasonable number of immigrant workers and families.

  • That the government recognize the central importance of the family in society by reconsidering the number and categories of visas available for family reunification, by dedicating more resources to reducing the backlog of cases in process, and by reevaluating the impact of deportation on families.

You can read the full resolution here.