Evangelicals Demand Protection of Dreamers

Letter with over 100 signatures declares for immigration protection

About a hundred evangelical leaders have given their signature to a letter addressed to US President Donald J. Trump and Congressional members. The document urges them to protect refugees, immigrants, and Dreamers. The open letter was published in The Washington Post newspaper. The effort was supported by World Relief. The latter is a humanitarian arm of National Association of Evangelicals.

The list of contributors is an interesting one as the document has the sign of not only the vocal advocates fiercely opposing Trump policy but also of many who are known to be more discreet when it comes expressing their views concerning American politics. The list names include Max Lucado, the devotional author and pastor, Beth Moore, the Bible teacher, and Matt Chandler, a pastor tending to a village church. The list also has contributors like Bill Hybels and Lynne Hybels of Willow Creek, Jen Hatmaker, and Ann Voskamp. Another prominent signor is Harold Smith, the president of Christianity Today magazine.

The letter opens with the reader being reminded what being a Christian really means. It says that the signatories, as Christian leaders, have the commitment to care for those who are truly vulnerable. The church must also support those who are compassionate and just. It also welcomes policies which are good for refugees and any other category of immigrants. The letter continues on, requesting the Trump administration to offer legal protection to Dreamers who had entered the United States as children. The signatories also wanted more intake of persecuted Christians and refugees. Immigrants who want to reunite with families should immediately be allowed to do the same.

Scott Arbeiter, the president of World Relief, reminded the media during a Capitol Hill press conference of “Christian calling”. The latter urges those who consider themselves Christians to care for those who are most susceptible. A good Christian, he said, always welcomes a stranger. He said that two factors: compassion for the refugee and immigrant, and national well being may not be mutually exclusive. He said that prayers should be uttered so that the leaders would find both compassion and wisdom together. The two, he hoped, will lead the US to formulate a compassionate, wise, and just legislative result.

The letter noticeably avoided expressing any support for particular legislation or specific proposals. In-lieu it lists the four groups which need special attention: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA program, persecuted Christians, and refugees. The last one is Americans who are presently waiting to reunite with the family members who now live in another country.

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