More than 260 prominent evangelicals representing national ministries, denominations, universities and churches are seeking an immigration reform plan that would provide undocumented immigrants living in the United States a path to legal permanent residency—after making restitution.
The “Evangelical Call for Restitution-Based Immigration Reform”, announced Nov. 6, was drafted by the Evangelical Immigration Table and, according to its leaders, is urging that legal status be provided without resorting to mass deportation or amnesty, the two most polarizing issues of the ongoing debate.
The statement urges lawmakers to enact policies that would allow immigrants in the country illegally to earn Lawful Permanent Resident status if they acknowledge their violation of U.S. immigration laws and pay a significant fine as restitution. The restitution element is key, they maintain, because it upholds respect for the rule of law.
“As evangelical Christians, our approach to immigration policy is driven by biblical principles,” the statement read. Those principles include “respecting human dignity, respecting family unity, honoring the law and celebrating opportunities for redemption.”
The statement also acknowledges the need for secure borders, adding that the government has a “God-ordained responsibility to protect its citizens.”
“Deporting all immigrants here in the country illegally is neither feasible nor morally just,” the statement said. “Many immigrant families have been here for decades, and many are members of local churches. We must develop a solution that fits the problem we have, solves it by upholding the rule of law, creates a process of restitution, and gives the possibility of integration so immigrants can fully participate in American life.”
While the religious leaders are committed to restitution, they are recommending such action be waived for Dreamers, the name for undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children, a timely topic since the U.S. Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments today on the Trump administration’s ability to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA.
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Source: Christian Headlines