Is immigration a religious issue?

Reply Mon 2 Mar, 2009 07:20 am
Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) made in Albuquerque (NM) his third stop on a 17-city “Family Unity” tour to encourage immigration reform.

Press release about the "Family Unity" tour


Monday, March 02, 2009

Christians Team Up for Immigration Reform

By Sean Olson
Journal Staff Writer
Maribel Najar's brother was arrested in Albuquerque after he failed to pay his traffic tickets.
The misdemeanor offense, Najar told a crowd of hundreds at the Casa del Rey Church near Coors and Interstate 40 on Sunday, led to her brother being taken away by federal immigration officials.
"As a sister, a daughter, an aunt, I don't understand these (immigration) laws," said Najar, who was speaking in Spanish. "I now have a 5-year-old nephew that doesn't have a father."
Najar's story, along with thousands of other untold ones, brought together area Christians of varied denominations to call on President Barack Obama to make immigration reform one of his priorities by the end of the year.
U.S. Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez, D-Ill., who organized the event with fellow Rep. Joe Baca, D-Calif., told the crowd that the tour would help convince the president that the will of the religious community was to keep families together. He said immigration laws should be revised to reflect those wishes.
"We're going from church to church to church, from city to city, until President Barack Obama has no choice but to listen," Gutierrez told the crowd.
The Rev. Ruben Guajardo Jr. led the bilingual proceedings, promising that the "strength" and "power" of the evangelical and Catholic communities would be the answer to the stalled dialogue on immigration.
"We believe all over this nation that families can make a difference," Guajardo said. "... President Obama, we need reform."
The event was part of a 17-city tour Gutierrez and Baca are undertaking in the coming weeks. Gutierrez said petitions that the congressmen collect over the tour will be presented to Obama in a coming meeting.
Najar said reform should come quickly, to alleviate the pain families like hers were going through.
"The last time my mother spoke to (my brother), he couldn't stop crying," she said.

Source: Albuquerque Journal online

I think that religious groups and communities could and should encourage the participation of immigrants in the political, civic, and associational life ... and give them a haven for their traditional culture.

And since Christianity is indeed "multi cultural", since churches are part of every day life - immigration is of course an religious issue as well.
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ebrown p
Reply Mon 2 Mar, 2009 08:46 am
@Walter Hinteler,
This is an interesting part of the immigration issue. It seems to break down along racial lines.

It seems to me that Evangelical churches that are predominantly white are opposed to compassionate immigration reform, whereas churches that have a significant number of Hispanic, or African-American members are far more sympathetic to issues like family unification.
Walter Hinteler
Reply Mon 2 Mar, 2009 09:04 am
@ebrown p,
According to the homepage, quite some evangelical church leaders ahve joined this campaign.
And the service in Albuquerque was - like the others before and afterwards [I think] - ecumenical.
ebrown p
Reply Mon 2 Mar, 2009 09:26 am
@Walter Hinteler,
Could you point me to the homepage?
Walter Hinteler
Reply Mon 2 Mar, 2009 09:29 am
@ebrown p,
The "press release" above gives some infos.
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