WASHINGTON — Immigration reform is unlikely to get passed this year in the U.S. House, Rep. James Lankford (R-Okla.) told The Christian Post this week. He also spoke about his efforts to combat human trafficking.
"I don't anticipate taking up anything on immigration before we get to the [November] election," Lankford said.
Last year, the House Judiciary Committee developed four bills addressing immigration. Then in January, House Republican leaders released a document Standards for Immigration Reform that included a path to legal status for current unauthorized immigrants. more >>
A group from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee will walk along the Arizona-Mexico border Tuesday to remember the deaths of migrants in the U.S. desert and to pray for immigration reform.
The gathering aims to create awareness of the suffering caused by a broken immigration system and will conclude with a mass to honor 6,000 people who have died attempting to cross the border since 1998.
"What we fail to remember in this (immigration) debate is the human aspect of immigration, that immigration is primarily about human beings, not economic or social issues," Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, auxiliary bishop of Seattle and chairman of the USCCB Committee on migration, said in a statement. "Those who have died, and those deported each day, have the same value and innate God-given dignity as all persons, yet we ignore their suffering and their deaths." more >>
Elvira Arellano, an undocumented Mexican woman who crossed into the United States Tuesday, is asking the government for asylum on humanitarian grounds after she was deported in 2007.
Arellano led a group of deported young adults – who are from Mexico and Central America but were raised in the U.S.– across the border and into San Diego as part of an effort organized by the National Immigrant Youth Alliance. Despite the repercussions of re-entering the country illegally, they intend to protest against deportations and U.S. immigration laws.
"I am requesting asylum in the U.S. on humanitarian grounds, because I am a defender of human rights in Mexico and I have received kidnapping and violence threats," Arellano said, according to The Associated Press. "But more importantly, because they have separated my son for his chance to have a good upbringing." more >>
House Republicans have been debating whether they should pass immigration reform this year or wait until later. Either choice contains benefits and risks. Here are the pros and cons of delaying immigration reform.
Obama may not enforce it anyway. more >>
Leaders from the Evangelical Immigration Table and U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops joined in a letter to Congress asking for passage of a bill this year that fixes the immigration system.
"Common sense fixes to our immigration policies are long overdue. As a nation founded upon the principles of the rule of law and the centrality of family, we can no longer delay fixing this system," the letter states.
The leaders note that they encounter the difficulties caused by the nation's immigration system through interactions they have with people in their faith communities. more >>
Gathering under the vision of impacting a generation for justice, the third annual Justice Conference convened this weekend in Los Angeles. Filling the beautiful and historic Orpheum Theater and simulcast around the country, this gathering brought organizations, activist, business leaders, and students together to encourage one another to soldier on in their fight for the vulnerable and oppressed. Conference speakers consistently offered a solid and ordered definition for justice. Defining it as right relationship with self, others, and creation which is rooted in scripture, core to the gospel, and at the heart of God. The application of justice was more varied. Ranging from largely apolitical issues like trafficking and the exploitation of women to the explicit political advocacy of comprehensive immigration reform. Same-sex marriage, abortion, and persecution of Christians around the world were left for "those other conferences."
In a pre-conference session, Justice Conference founder Ken Wytsma offered a refreshingly biblical and philosophical understanding of justice. He noted the distinction between primary justice, when things are as they ought, and restorative justice, when things are brought back to how things ought to be. Highlighting the words of Jeremiah concerning justice, Ken warned against rejecting the term social justice, "Just because we don't like how the social justice has been use doesn't mean we can just hate and reject the phrase. People misuse the word love too."
After nearly a half dozen speakers spoke on a variety of issues Eugene Cho, pastor of the self-described "multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, and multi-lingual" Quest Church in Seattle, offered a word of warning to those doing "the work of justice." Eugene asks, "The question isn't just do we do justice, but how we do justice? Are we open to the idea that justice must do us…cause if not, we are just peddling things. If we are not pointing people to the gospel or the savior named of Jesus we are elevating our own savior complexes." more >>