The Common Good

Immigration

Immigration: What do you think about immigration reform? How do we keep our borders safe?

Bible

  • We believe that all people, regardless of national origin, are made in the "image of God" and deserve to be treated with dignity and respect (Genesis 1:26-27, 9:6).
  • We believe there is an undeniable biblical responsibility to love and show compassion for the stranger among us (Deuteronomy 10:18-19, Leviticus 19:33-34, Matthew 25:31-46).
  • We believe that immigrants are our neighbors, both literally and figuratively, and we are to love our neighbors as ourselves and show mercy to neighbors in need (Leviticus 19:18, Mark 12:31, Luke 10:25-37).
  • We believe in the rule of law, but we also believe that we are to oppose unjust laws and systems that harm and oppress people made in God's image, especially the vulnerable (Isaiah 10:1-4, Jeremiah 7:1-7, Acts 5:29, Romans 13:1-7).

[from Christians for Comprehensive Immigration Reform]

Value

Christians for Comprehensive Immigration Reform represents a coalition of Christian organizations, churches, and leaders from across the theological and political spectrum united in support of comprehensive immigration reform. Despite our differences on other issues, we are working together to see comprehensive immigration reform enacted this year because we share a set of common moral and theological principles that compel us to love and care for the stranger among us. [Candidates Briefing Booklet]

Establish humane and holistic immigration policies. Immigration policies should be both compassionate and just. It is important to make our borders secure, but we should do so in humane and realistic ways. Immigration policies should establish a dignified guest worker program that can lead to earned citizenship. Individuals and families already living in the U.S. and working hard should have the option to apply for permanent legal status and eventual citizenship.—“Voting God’s Politics” Issues Guide

The current U.S. immigration system is broken and now is the time for a fair and compassionate solution. We think it is entirely possible to protect our borders while establishing a viable, humane, and realistic immigration system, one that is consistent with our American values and increases national security while protecting the livelihood of Americans. Immigration reform that incorporates these elements, rejects anti-immigrant and nativist measures, and strengthens our American values will enrich the vitality of America and advance the common good. We stand together in calling upon President Obama and Congress to seek humane and holistic immigration reform.

Policy

The biblical principles above call us to support comprehensive immigration reform legislation that includes the following elements:

  • Border enforcement and protection initiatives that are consistent with humanitarian values while allowing the authorities to enforce the law and implement American immigration policy;
  • Reforms in our family-based immigration system that reduce the waiting time for separated families to be safely reunited and maintain the constitutionally guaranteed rights of birthright citizenship and the ability of immigrants to earn naturalization;
  • An opportunity for all immigrant workers and their families already in the U.S. to come out of the shadows and pursue the option of an earned path towards permanent legal status and citizenship upon satisfaction of specific criteria;
  • A viable guest worker program that creates legal avenues for workers and their families to enter our country and work in a safe, legal, and orderly manner with their rights and due process fully protected and provides an option for workers to maintain legal status independent of an employer sponsor; and
  • A framework to examine and ascertain solutions to the root causes of migration, such as economic disparities between sending and receiving nations.

Further Reading from Sojourners

Justice for Immigrants by Jeff Carr
It’s About Being Human by Aaron Gallegos
Looking for Welcome Helene Slesserev Jamir
The New 'New South' by Jorge Mariscal
Aliens or immigrants? by Bethany Spicher
A pilgrimage of hope and life along the U.S.-Mexico border by Judy Coode
Men With Guns by James Reel

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