Even though the government is shutdown and political leaders appear to be unable to work together, evangelical leaders say that immigration reform is moving forward.
While the recent government shutdown has slowed the actions of the federal government, highlighted Congress' polarization, and dominated the domestic agenda, Jenny Yang, the Vice President of Advocacy and Policy and World Relief, said that now was still an important time for the church to act.
"Just because the government is shutdown doesn't mean that the work of the church has stopped. In fact, every day that immigration reform doesn't happen, the consequences of inaction are felt throughout all of our communities," said Yang in a press conference on Oct. 9. more >>
A new poll revealed that a religious transformation is underway among Hispanics in the United States, with fewer who are maintaining their Catholic faith while more are becoming religiously unaffiliated and evangelical.
The poll released last month by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) gauged the political and religious opinions of more than 1,500 Latinos and the findings indicated that the growing amount of Hispanics who are not connected with any religion rivals the rise in numbers of Latino evangelicals.
Out of those surveyed, 53 percent of Hispanics identify themselves as Catholics, compared with 69 percent who say they were raised Catholic as children but left their faith. In addition, 12 percent of those surveyed said they are not affiliated with a religion compared to 13 percent who said they were raised and continue to be evangelical. more >>
Fixing our immigration system will strengthen the U.S. economy, create jobs for American workers and cut the deficit according to an August White House report describing the economic benefits of immigration reform that includes an earned path to citizenship. As the push for immigration reform charges into the fall, a diverse coalition of religious leaders is also calling attention to the moral aspects of this debate. Their efforts remind us that the immigration system is designed to do more than strengthen our economy and national security: it also serves to protect those who aspire to live, work and thrive in this great nation.
Catholics leaders and organizations are among those playing a leading role in making this case.
In a recent piece featured in New York Daily News, Cardinal Dolan, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, wrote, "We cannot let this opportunity pass. Immigration reform would help families, it would help our economy and it would improve our security. Most importantly, it's the right thing to do." Cardinal Dolan announced that dioceses across the country will hold events to stress the need for commonsense immigration reform. From California to Florida, at Masses and at marches, Catholics have stressed the urgency of the issue as well as the broad support for a path to earned citizenship. Bishops, diocesan officials and parish representatives are meeting with their Members of Congress to show a strong, unified stance in favor of immigration reform. Kevin Appleby, the director of immigration policy for the organization, explained why Catholics are multiplying their efforts in September: "It's a critical time. We need to get the Senate bill through the House. It needs a push. We're doing everything right now to keep the pressure up." more >>
With members of Congress home for the August recess, they are hearing from constituents across the political spectrum - including evangelical Christians - that we need immigration reform after they return to Washington.
I don't know a single person who thinks our immigration system works, and we must come together to reach a solution. Each day we fail to replace our broken system is a day of missed opportunity, a day without the kind of broad reform that we so clearly need.
Republicans and Democrats must continue to put their partisan differences aside and work for broad immigration reform, including an opportunity for aspiring Americans to earn citizenship. more >>
The Roman Catholic Church in the U.S. is increasing pressure on lawmakers to adopt immigration reform and is taking that message to the pews, planning for a major coordinated event for Sunday Masses on Sept. 8.
"We want to try to pull out all the stops," said Kevin Appleby, the director of migration policy at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, according to The New York Times. "They have to hear the message that we want this done, and if you're not successful during the summer, you're not going to win by the end of the year."
Lawmakers have yet to decide on substantial changes to the path to citizenship for unauthorized immigrants, but a number of evangelical churches and groups, along with Catholics, have made it a prime focus in their mission this past year. more >>
I always experience a little burp of bile whenever I see or hear the Bible quoted by political talking heads. Without fail verses are quoted selectively, out of context, and to score political points. Like socks thrown into a washing machine or dryer, biblical truth comes out discolored, shrunken, or mysteriously missing.
The problem isn't the truthfulness of the Bible on controversial issues; it's the truthfulness of those who misquote the Bible on controversial issues. And lately, few political issues have been more controversial and resulted in more Bible verses being tossed around than the issue of immigration reform.
Jim Wallis, president of the liberal Christian organization Sojourners, in an op-ed for the Los Angeles Times called for "a moral and religious conversation about immigration reform-not just a political one." more >>