A bipartisan group of congressmen in the House, many of whom have been working on immigration reform for four years, are planning to roll out a plan as early as this week that will include an "indirect" path to citizenship from guest worker status.
"Our bill does not grant any fast track to citizenship for anyone who has broken the law," said Rep. John Carter (R-Texas), who told The Christian Post that although he cannot disclose any of the details, he would confirm that E-Verify would be a big part of their plan.
Carter said Friday the group is "very, very close to having a finished product next week." more >>
There has been much discussion recently about the welcome prospect of pending immigration reform legislation. This is a propitious moment for our Nation to be having this important debate. Unfortunately, many people are narrowly framing this discussion through the lens of political expediency. Political pundits on both sides of the aisle are commenting about why the Republicans need immigration reform as a means to reach out to the Hispanic community. They do. But it is so much more than that. The truth is that most conservatives - and most progressives for that matter - actually do want to find a solution to our Nation's immigration crisis. Unfortunately, the traditional opponents of immigration reform and immigration in general, are doing their best to mitigate against the coming political winds that favor a bipartisan reform of our immigration laws. These anti-immigration advocates, who are in fact paid lobbyists, point to the extraordinarily poor showing for Republicans among the Hispanic voters in the recent election results as just an inevitable part of doing business, and they are encouraging Republicans to blindly follow them as they continue to bury their heads in the sand, and continue to spout their "anti-immigrant agenda" talking points.
We caution people involved in the ongoing discussion about immigration policy to put the rhetoric surrounding this issue into perspective. As people of faith, we and our Conservatives for Comprehensive Immigration Reform colleagues see the need for immigration reform as both a moral issue, and an economic issue, although we acknowledge the obvious political ramifications of this issue for both the Republicans and Democrats. We note that important political and policy leaders have suggested that the Republicans should change their tone on immigration and immigration reform. They should. However, while tone should be a part of this discussion, rhetoric alone will not solve either the political or policy problems inherent in this issue. We actually have to get the policy right. Tone alone will not solve the moral crisis engendered through having 11,000,000 undocumented people, their 5,000,000 citizen children, and the several million legal or citizen spouses of the undocumented that are living desperate lives in the shadow of the American Dream. Tone alone will not solve America's inevitable economic difficulties as we struggle to remain the most productive economy in human history. Tone alone will not protect our Nation's borders against drug and human smuggling, and tone will not remove the magnet of illegal immigration because tone alone will not insure that our Nation's businesses verify that all employees are eligible to work here legally.
However, tone is ethically relevant. It bestows on all people the dignity of humanity. For example, black people do not prefer to be called Negroes; they prefer to be called Black or African American. Therefore, it is ethical and bestows dignity upon all of us to define our African American brothers and sisters through terms that do not offend them. The same can be said of the undocumented. While they are technically illegally present, these 11,000,000 Human Beings prefer to be called undocumented. We are ethically and morally bound to treat them with the dignity that all people deserve, and should not demean them by using the pejorative slang term "illegal's." It just is not, for lack of a better term, polite. However, it actually goes much deeper than that. How we define the most vulnerable among us defines us as a nation. more >>
A new Gallup poll released on Monday revealed that young Hispanics appear to be abandoning the traditional Catholic faith of their parents and turning more often to Protestant alternatives.
"A majority of Hispanics in America continue to identify as Catholic, although the Catholic percentage among Hispanics appears to be decreasing and the youngest Hispanics in America today are less likely to be Catholic than those who are older," Gallup stated about the implications of the results.
"Additionally, those Hispanics who are Catholic are much less religious than those who are Protestant." more >>
A German couple will have its day in court once more as it appeals a decision barring them from seeking asylum in the United States in order to homeschool their children.
Uwe and Hannelore Romeike, a devout Christian couple with five school-aged children, appealed to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, which decided last week to have oral arguments take place in April.
The Romeikes, who came to the United States in 2008, are being represented by the Home School Legal Defense Association. more >>
Evangelical leaders have been more supportive of immigration reform in recent years, but whether or not lay evangelicals will follow their leaders on this issue is still an open question, Dr. Ruth Melkonian-Hoover noted in a Wednesday presentation at the American Enterprise Institute.
Using data from Pew Research Center, Melkonian-Hoover, associate professor at Gordon College, Wenham, Mass., found that the amount of church attendance did not make a difference in perceptions of immigrants or support for immigration reform, but positive messages from pastors about immigrants did make a difference.
Among white evangelicals who say they have heard a positive message about immigrants from their pastor, 81.5 percent support a path to legalization for unauthorized immigrants, compared to only 54 percent of all white evangelicals. Among regular churchgoing white evangelicals, the percentage of those who see immigrants as a threat to society or the economy drops from 50.7 percent to 26.1 percent when they hear a positive message about immigrants from their pastors. more >>
America has always been a nation of immigrants. Their religiosity, high birth rates and work ethic settled a continent, built railroads, populated our cities, filled our houses of worship and grew our economy.
Between 1840 and 1860, 1.7 million Irish endured an inhumane trans-Atlantic passage, though nothing compared with that of slaves brought here against their will. Italians, Greeks and Russian Jews fled poverty and pogroms in the late 19th century. Cubans risked a watery death on rickety craft to escape Fidel Castro. In our own time Mexicans, Indians, Koreans and others come to the USA for the same reason: They hunger to be free.
Economics and security, too more >>