As President Barack Obama and the U.S. Congress grapple with the contentious issue of immigration reform, Mexicans and other Central Americans are continuing to seek to cross the U.S. border illegally and some have been making the risky trip with prayers.
A recent report by Fusion on the illegal movement across the U.S. border highlights the social networking activities of young risk takers sometimes openly asking friends and family to pray for God's blessing in making their way to America, sharing even snapshots of their journey through selfies.
"Friends and family say a prayer for me, and my three friends - in a few minutes we are going to try (to cross)," wrote Lourdes*, a Mexican border crosser on her Facebook page. "Please, give me your best wishes and prayers, I will thank you with my heart, and thank you God for letting me make it this far, and I ask that you don't forget me, guide us." more >>
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is urging Congress to vote on immigration reform before the August recess without delay, saying that the time has long since come to enact major changes to America's immigration system and help suffering families that are being split apart by the current policies.
"Our strength as a nation is drawn from our diversity and the unique talents of persons from around the world. Under our current immigration system, we weaken our country, not strengthen it. By not acting, we alienate a generation of young persons, who are the future leaders of our country. We are saying "we do not want you or your families," Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami , who is part of the USCCB's Committee on Migration, said in a statement Thursday.
Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, auxiliary bishop of Seattle and Chairman of the USCCB's Committee on Migration, lamented that each day, families are being divided by deportation, and as many as 100,000 U.S. children are being separated from their parents each year. more >>
Sojourners President Jim Wallis said that House Speaker John Boehner faces both a moral and a biblical choice regarding putting immigration reform up for a vote in Congress before the August deadline, or it will likely be delayed for another year.
"Fixing this broken system right now is the moral test for the common good of this Congress. One man stands in the way of that. One man can fix this system, by just allowing a vote. That's Speaker John Boehner," Wallis told The Christian Post in a phone interview on Wednesday.
"The faith community is going to be watching John Boehner very carefully, of whether he will make a moral decision here. The Catholic Church is completely clear about this. He is a Catholic, and his bishops have been clear, the pope has been clear - it's time for John Boehner to make the right moral choice. It's time for John Boehner to listen to and obey his own Catholic Church." more >>
A New Jersey mayor recently canceled a naturalization event in his town after federal authorities said he could not hold a prayer at the ceremony.
Mayor Daniel Reiman of Carteret, N.J., told local media outlets that officials from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services would not allow him to hold a non-denominational prayer at the beginning of Saturday's ceremony that would celebrate the naturalization of U.S. citizens at Cateret's Burough Hall. For this reason, Reiman canceled the naturalization event and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services moved their ceremony to their Newark office.
"I wasn't going to budge," Reiman told The Star-Ledger, adding that nondenominational prayers have long been a part of official town functions. "It's certainly part of the fabric of our community." more >>
WASHINGTON — Over 250 Evangelical pastors traveled Tuesday from 25 different states to Washington, D.C., to urge members of Congress to pass immigration reform based upon a set of six principles this year.
Dr. John Perkins, a leader in Evangelicalism's racial reconciliation movement and co-founder of the Christian Community Development Association, recalled that Evangelicals were largely absent from the Civil Rights Movement but he felt honored to be among Evangelicals engaged on the immigration issue.
"Fifty years ago the African-American community longed to be heard, and unfortunately much of the evangelical community was not standing with us. However, I'm absolutely honored to be standing today with my brothers and sisters looking forward, recognizing that the urgency of the now is upon us. It is time for us to make a decision for immigration reform," he said. more >>
WASHINGTON — A protest led by immigration-reform activists ended in 12 arrests Monday as undocumented immigrants gathered in front of the White House to protest the nearly two million people who have been deported under President Barack Obama's administration.
Over 1,000 supporters held signs that said "Keep Families Together" and "Stop Deportations" as they chanted hymns and watched the dozen get arrested in an act of civil disobedience for family unity.
"[President Obama] has deported more people than any president in U.S. history and he has the power to move some kind of deferred action for millions of undocumented immigrants in this country … That is why we have 1,100 people here to signify the 1,100 who are deported every single day …," George Goehl, executive director of the National People's Action, told The Christian Post. more >>