Friday, November 13, 2009

National Immigration Call, November 18th

U.S. immigration policy often has an untoward affect on Haiti, so I would encourage you to participate in this event. It's an issue relevant to my work (I just finished writing a briefing paper for MCC's Washington advocacy office on the destabilizing affect that the deportation of Haitians living in the States has here, especially as Haiti attempts to recover from last year's hurricanes) and relevant to our belief that as Christians, we should be welcoming of strangers. If you're interested, click here to view MCC's Immigration Policy Principles and here for MCC's immigration reform guide (view the "detention and deportation" part which refers specifically to Haiti).

On Wednesday, November 18th, at 8 PM Eastern for English speakers (and 9 PM Eastern for Spanish speakers), the Reform Immigration FOR America Campaign will host a national call for thousands of community leaders across the nation to build the base and strength necessary to press forward in the struggle for just and humane immigration reform. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Immigration Task Force, and the Reform Immigration FOR America Campaign will share information about next steps for reform as we build toward the critical early months of 2010. Click here to register for the call.

Background: Reform Immigration For America works towards policy changes that acknowledge the wide scope of benefits that are to be derived from comprehensive immigration reform. This means a common sense approach to healing our broken immigration system, restoring equality under the Rule of Law, and providing dignity and respect for hardworking immigrants; this means moving all Americans forward, together. This reform works towards whole, united families, fairer and better wages, less exploitation in the workplace, greater economic and workplace stability, and safer borders.

Action: On Wednesday, November 18th, at 8 PM Eastern for English speakers and 9 PM Eastern for Spanish speakers, the Reform Immigration FOR America Campaign will host a national call for thousands of community leaders across the nation to build the base and strength necessary to press forward in the struggle for just and humane immigration reform. Click here to register for the call. Click here to register a house party in your community.

The following related excerpt from a Third Way Cafe article titled "Welcoming the Stranger" challenges and encourages me when I think about immigration policy:

"When Jesus was asked about the commandment to ‘love your neighbor as yourself’, he chose to illustrate his point with a parable about a Samaritan - a despised and feared foreigner. This story probably shocked Jesus’ listeners, but it evoked the scriptural call to welcome strangers and treat them with respect. The theme of hospitality and tolerance is central to the biblical vision of justice, and is reflected in God’s command for authorities to “treat [resident foreigners] as well as you treat citizens” (Leviticus 19:34).

As we consider how our country will deal with immigration issues, we must keep this biblical perspective in mind. Are we mistreating migrant workers when we label them as criminals and deny them the means to a legal livelihood? Is it just to separate families through deportations and bureaucratic barriers?

Using dehumanizing language, walling off border communities, and separating families will create division and fear, not security. Instead, we need creative policies that support family unity, create pathways for citizenship, address the root causes of immigration, strengthen local communities, and protect workers’ rights. We need solutions built upon hope and mutual respect."

2 comments:

HannahBG said...

Excellent entry. Wholly agreed.

Terry Lori said...

Hey Guys,
Our daughter and son-in-law will be in Haiti over Thanksgiving, will you be there?
Terry & Lori

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