Leaders from various evangelical organizations have sent letters to the president and members of Congress demanding action for the millions of illegal immigrants who have taken up residence in the U.S.
The letter maps out moral principles for reform and explains why evangelicals have called for reform in the first 92 days of President Obama’s second term.
“We are driven by a moral obligation rooted deeply in our faith to address the needs of immigrants in our country,” the letter reads. “Compassionate and just treatment of immigrants is a frequent topic in scripture. The Hebrew word for immigrant, ‘ger,’ occurs 92 times throughout the Bible.”
Dr. Richard Land, president of The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), says it seems evident that immigration reform is “the right thing to do.”
“There are lots of different opinions about this,” he acknowledges. “I believe it’s the right thing to do. It’s the moral thing to do.”
He asserts the letter calls for balanced immigration reform that respects the God-given dignity of every person, guarantees secure national borders, protects the unity of the immediate family, ensures fairness to taxpayers, and respects the rule of law. But it also establishes a path toward legal status and/or citizenship for those who qualify and wish to become permanent residents.
“If you want there to be a conservative majority in the country, it’s going to have to include large chunks of Hispanics,” Dr. Land points out. “You turn Hispanics away when you deny in-state tuition for the children of undocumented workers and . . . tell undocumented workers—some of whom have been here ten or 15 years—‘We’ve changed our mind. We haven’t been enforcing the law, but now we’re going to, and you have to go home.’ ”