Today, two Christian leaders in Arizona delivered a petition signed by thousands of Christians to Gov. Jan Brewer calling on her to retract her controversial executive order denying driver’s licenses and other benefits to undocumented young people who qualify for deferred action. The petition was signed by members of the Sojourners community and reads:
We believe every person, regardless of immigration status, is created in God's image. Your recent executive order denying driver's licenses and other benefits to undocumented young people who qualify for deferred action is harsh and short-sighted. As people of faith, we urge you to reconsider your position and retract this executive order so that all God's children in Arizona can contribute to your state's economy and strengthen its communities.
Pastor Yvette Lopez of the New Life Church of God in Tucson, Ariz., also helped deliver the petition.
“I’m a conservative, but this is this was the last straw for me,” Lopez said.“This executive order is deplorable, and it must be rescinded; my faith and my politics demand this.”
“As a Christian, I am deeply disturbed by this executive order,” said Rev. Eve Nunez, vice president of the National Hispanic Leadership Conference, who delivered the petition. “I have worked tirelessly for just immigration reform and I cannot believe the extreme lengths to which this Governor will go to marginalize and destroy the lives of young people who came to this country by no fault of their own. My Christian faith teaches me to love the least of these, not punish them, and that is precisely what this executive order does.”
Gov. Brewer’s actions were prompted by a shift in federal immigration policy that would allow hundreds of thousands of young people lacking immigration status to find meaningful work or pursue a college education. Brewer has a record of taking stridently conservative positions on immigration issues, including her support for a law passed by Arizona’s legislature known as SB 1070, which was mostly struck down by the Supreme Court in June.
Beau Underwood is Campaigns Manager for Sojourners.