Immigration Events: New Possibilities in Congress? and Personal Speaking
Feb 11, 2013 by M. Daniel Carroll R. | 0 Comments
On Monday, January 28th, eight Senators—four Republicans (Graham, South Carolina; Rubio, Florida; McCain and Flake, Arizona) and four Democrats (Durbin, Illinois; Schumer, New York; Menendez, New Jersey; Bennett, Colorado)—presented a bipartisan proposal for reforming this country’s immigration laws. The goal is to get something substantive passed before the end of the summer. The proposal can be found on these Senators’ websites and on many news sites.
The proposal has four fundamental goals. In summary fashion, they are:
- Create a reasonable path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. This will be tied to securing the border.
- Develop a system that will make economic sense and stimulate the economy.
- Develop a fair, comprehensive employment verification system.
- Facilitate hiring of the appropriate number of low-skill workers for agriculture and other industries.
Of course, there are many details within these broad points, and negotiations on these details could be heated and complicated. But, at least something has been put on the table, and some of both parties are willing to work together for the welfare of the immigrants and for the long-term good of the country. The next few months in Congress bear watching.
On a personal note this last week has been busy:
- Interviews by reporters for the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Reuters News Service. What all were trying to figure out was why evangelicals, whom these reporters had stereotyped as conservative Republicans, would be supporting immigration reform. It was a joy to be able to tell them how attitudes have been changing among evangelicals, because of the impact of the Bible, relationships between Anglo and Hispanic believers, and the hard work of people involved with World Relief, the Evangelical Immigration Table, and others. The Reuters piece appears at http://news.yahoo.com/among-u-evangelicals-surprising-support-immigration-reform-062511481.html.
- On Thursday morning, January 31st, I spoke on the Bible and immigration at a meeting organized by an ecumenical clergy group in Denver. They called it Immigration 101, and it was designed to introduce pastors to what the Scripture has to say about immigration, demonstrate several activities one can use with congregations, and point them to some local initiatives that they could get involved in. For lunch that day, I had lunch with a group of Baptist pastors, and Michelle Warren (with the Evangelical Immigration Table, EIT) and I spoke – I briefly about the Bible and she about the EIT “I was a stranger” campaign.
- Last week I traveled to San Diego, California. I was the plenary speaker one night at the annual Evangelical Covenant Church’s MidWinter Conference. My topic was the Bible and immigration. I was also met with a group of their Hispanic pastors (among whom was a couple who had been students of mine in Guatemala!) and had breakfast with some Denver Seminary alumni.
So, a busy time at many levels. Things are percolating. Bit by bit we may be witnessing some encouraging winds in the direction of a new future for immigrants. Praise be to God!