Had a fascinating discussion with my fellow CCDA (Christian Community Development Association) cohorts last week when we convened in Chicago. We spent one entire afternoon debating how a concerned Christian should view and respond to the need for comprehensive immigration reform in the United States. I have all kinds of opinions on this, and many of them been formed through relationships with the many wonderful immigrants i know in our great city. But I’ll save those for another time.
Though no consensus was reached, we did note the importance of the National Association of Evangelicals releasing a position paper on the topic. It is a good starting point for interacting with the discussion. The entire paper is worth reading, and can be found here.
The paper concludes with the following call to action:
That immigrants be treated with respect and mercy by churches. Exemplary treatment of immigrants by Christians can serve as the moral basis to call for government attitudes and legislation to reflect the same virtues.
That the government develop structures and mechanisms that safeguard and monitor the national borders with efficiency and respect for human dignity.
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.
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 legislate fair labor and civil laws for all residing within the United States that reflect the best of this country’s heritage.
That immigration enforcement be conducted in ways that recognize the importance of due process of law, the sanctity of the human person, and the incomparable value of family.