Nancy Pelosi and Betsy DeVos Address Christian Educators on Policy and Faith

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi addresses the Presidents Conference of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities on Jan. 30, 2019, at Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington. RNS photo by Adelle M. Banks

Hours before post-shutdown conversations began on immigration and border security on Capitol Hill, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told a group of Christian educators gathering in the nation’s capital this week that she intends to uphold her responsibility to “act upon our beliefs in the dignity and worth of every person.”

Those people include refugees seeking to cross our borders, Pelosi told the Presidents Conference of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities on Wednesday (Jan. 30).

“We’re hoping that we can find common ground as soon as possible so that we can not only meet the responsibility to protect our border and treat people coming here with dignity and respect but also to keep government open,” she said.

The opening session of the three-day CCCU conference, held at the Dirksen Senate Office Building, also featured a talk with Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. Both spoke of their faith as an integral part of their work as government leaders.

Pelosi said she hopes decision-makers on both sides of the debate over the wall at the Southern border can agree on funding for key needs in Latin America as well as the U.S.: food and medical care for people crossing the border, assistance for the countries from which they are fleeing and additional federal judges to adjudicate their cases.

Galen Carey, right, vice president of government relations of the National Association of Evangelicals, prays for Nancy Pelosi, center, after she made remarks, with Shirley V. Hoogstra, left, president of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, on Jan. 30, 2019, at Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington. RNS photo by Adelle M. Banks

“One of the things that we have to convey to the administration is that these people do have a right under international law and any sense of decency to seek refuge in our country,” she said of those wanting to enter the U.S. “This administration is really a departure from the bipartisanship that has always existed, the recognition of who we are — by and large, a nation of immigrants, unless we are blessed to have been born into a Native American family.”

She added that while the U.S. should investigate refugees’ claims of persecution, “it isn’t against the law for them to come into America to have that test made.”

Pelosi noted that she had long worked with evangelicals on comprehensive immigration reform.

“The evangelical community has been in the lead on this for a long, long time,” she said.

She cited National Association of Evangelicals Vice President Galen Carey’s speaking before House members  in 2017 and calling the country’s refugee resettlement program “the crown jewel of American humanitarianism.”

Pelosi opened and closed her remarks with words about faith, referring first to Paul’s teaching on faith, hope and charity in his First Letter to the Corinthians, and concluding with a mention of her belief in Jesus.

“Christ is our savior,” said Pelosi, a Roman Catholic. “And his example is such a blessing to the world.”

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Source: Religion News Service