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 >>
With just a few clicks on an ancestry website, I recently traced my own U.S. immigration story to 1650 - just 30 years after the Mayflower's landing - when my nine-times great grandfather, John Whitlow, stepped off a boat into what would later become Virginia. Undoubtedly, he did not have permission or a visa from the Rappahannock Indians, so truth be told, he was an "undocumented" arrival.
Considering the complexity of my own family tree, alongside my experiences growing up in central Texas, I have to ask myself: How should I respond as an evangelical pastor to the current immigration issues in the United States? Going to Scripture, I quickly find that the Bible instructs Christians to obey the laws of the land in Romans 13, while also repeatedly calling followers to welcome the stranger like in Matthew 25.
So I must ask myself; so we must all ask ourselves: How can we honor and respect the rule of law taught in Romans 13 and follow God's many instructions to love our immigrant neighbors like in Matthew 25? more >>
The Congressional Budget Office just reported that Obamacare will shrink the U.S. workforce by 2.5 million full-time jobs. That's stunning confirmation of how President Barack Obama's favorite legislative legacy is (as even Democrats have admitted) a "train wreck."
The job loss is caused by businesses reducing their employees' hours in order to avoid paying the employer mandate to buy insurance. Even more striking is the callous way Obama's friends are trying to put a happy face on this bad news by claiming that Americans who are reduced to part-time jobs by Obamacare will be better off because they are liberated to exercise choice about how to spend their unemployed hours. As The New York Times wrote, it will be "more possible" to leave jobs (or reduce hours for less pay) because "new government subsidies will help pay premiums."
Fifty million Americans of working age (18 to 65) are not employed, and this number has held constant throughout Obama's presidential years. That's an awesome 31 percent, a devastating blow to families' livelihoods, self-respect and belief in America as the land of opportunity. more >>