Republicans and Democrats aren’t the only ones divided over what to do about the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program for undocumented immigrants known as Dreamers.
Evangelical ministers and leaders are also divided, some saying we must protect our borders and citizens while others say Dreamers, who were brought to the United States as children, some even as infants, and grew up in the U.S. are victims of a broken system.
President Donald Trump recently decided to phase out DACA and asked Congress to act in the next six months to pass a law addressing the needs of immigrants like Dreamers.
Trump hopes to see Congress pass legislation to give Dreamers a path to citizenship.
There are Christian leaders, who are members of groups like the Evangelical Immigration Table, who have written letters to Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan, asking them to provide protection to Dreamers while Congress works to meet the president’s deadline.
More than 2,800 ministers and evangelical leaders have signed the letter.
Here are just a few quotes from that letter:
“The Bible has a definite protection for children who were under age 20 when their parents chose immigration to the Promised Land for them (Num. 14). Let’s follow the Bible’s precedent and protect those whose parents chose for them to immigrate to today’s Promised Land of America,” said Leith Anderson, President, National Association of Evangelicals:
“As followers of Jesus, we believe that advocating for this legislation is an important way to tangibly love our neighbors and to stand in solidarity with the many in the U.S. whose livelihoods depend upon this program,” Scott Arbeiter, president, World Relief, added to the document.
Council for Christian Colleges and Universities President Shirley V. Hoogstra wrote, “As educators who believe that every human is made in the image of God and thus is endowed with dignity from their Creator, we want to support ambitious, driven, intelligent students who have dreams of contributing to their communities and want to pursue an education. We do not believe they should be disqualified from doing so because of acts they did not commit. These are inequities that must be remedied.”
Meanwhile, Southern Baptist Minister Alan Cross, who advocates for Dreamers and fixing what he calls America’s “broken” immigration system, says this is one of the most important issues facing our nation today. He says it’s an even greater issue facing the church in America. Cross says Christians must lead the way on this issue.
“I have friends who are Dreamers, brought here at 2 years old; they are now 25, 27 years old. They don’t have a memory of their home country. So, when you look at the whole thing, and the whole picture, these really are the victims of the broken system,” Cross told CBN News.
“So from a human level, how do we, how as Christians, should we treat victims of a broken system in government? We should focus on them. We should care for them,” Cross also said.
Cross says Dreamers don’t have a pathway to citizenship that keeps them in the U.S. and most people don’t realize this. He travels the Southeast speaking with Christian leaders, churches and lawmakers about the situation facing Dreamers and advocating for them based on scriptures like Proverbs 31:8,9, which instructs Christians to speak on behalf of the vulnerable.
He says his main goal is to educate Christians and others on what he believes the Bible says about the “stranger in our land” and the facts about Dreamers.
Read more at Dreamers Can Place Their Hope in These Scriptures.