The Common Good

Come Together On Immigration Reform

Date: October 28, 2013

What does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy (Micah 6:8). My church exists because a clergyman, Rev. A.B. Simpson, refused to stop loving immigrants, even at the cost of his own church membership.

When Simpson's metropolitan church said "no" to welcoming new Italians during the early 1900s, he resigned from that church and founded the Christian & Missionary Alliance (C&MA), a denomination of which I am a part. Like many other denominations, the C&MA has a history of caring for immigrants transitioning to America, including my Swedish grandparents.

Our country's immigration system has changed significantly since 1923, when my Swedish grandfather arrived at Ellis Island. Citizenship is no longer obtainable by simply waiting on Ellis Island, but rather is a complex, expensive and time-intensive process. Immigrants must tackle mountains of paperwork, significant monetary costs and convoluted immigration laws that frustrate even native English speakers.

And even that difficult process is not available at all to a large number of aspiring Americans...

Signatories to these principles include leaders from Liberty Counsel, Sojourners and many evangelical organizations in between — a religious kaleidoscope. And it reflects the general opinion of evangelical Christians: Recent polls show that growing majorities support broad reform of immigration laws, including the opportunity for earned citizenship.