Why Comprehensive Immigration Reform Is So Important and What To Do About It!
We stand at a historic moral crossroads in America right now. Politicians opposed to comprehensive immigration reform are breaking God's moral law. God's moral law supersedes all human politics and human agendas. Right now, Washington, D.C. is opposing God.
As a follower of Jesus, I am deeply angered and grieved by this moral travesty, and I am writing this blog post to help raise awareness and stir spiritual and practical action on the part of whoever may read these words.
What is Comprehensive Immigration Reform, and why is it so important?
Comprehensive immigration reform involves fixing our broken immigration system in a just and holistic fashion. Our immigration system is broken because 11.5 million undocumented immigrants contribute more than $2 trillion per year to the U.S. Gross Domestic Product, but the U.S. does not officially recognize these vast economic contributions through the issuance of a concomitant number of immigrant visas or a pathway to citizenship. Guess how many unskilled worker visas the U.S. government issued in 2010: only 4,762! This number of unskilled worker visas, moreover, is currently capped at 10,000.
That’s crazy right? So, in other words, the U.S. benefits $2 trillion per year from the economic contributions of 11.5 million undocumented immigrants, but it is only willing to officially recognize that it needs the labor of 10,000 new unskilled immigrant workers every year! It’s simple mathematics of injustice.
Comprehensive immigration reform says: Let’s recognize the profound economic contributions made by undocumented immigrants by giving them visas and a pathway to citizenship. That’s how we do it in the U.S. If you contribute as economic citizens, then you deserve the rewards of political citizenship.
If we fail to pass comprehensive immigration reward ,then we will be treating undocumented immigrants as SLAVES. Slavery is evil because it exploits human beings, made in God’s image, for their cheap labor, while denying their full civil rights and humanity. Unknown to many, the United Nations classifies many undocumented immigrants in the U.S. as slaves.
God warns humanity many, many times in the Bible against such exploitation. In fact, the Bible teaches that when we mistreat immigrants, we are actually mistreating Jesus Himself. Here are several poignant biblical warnings:
“The Lord watches over the strangers [immigrants]; He relieves the fatherless and widow.” Psalm 146: 9.
“Cursed is the one who perverts the justice due the stranger [immigrant], the fatherless, and widow.” Deut 27: 19.
“Then he [Jesus] will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger [immigrant] and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ 44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ 45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ Matthew 25: 41-45.
I hope that I’ve convinced you that Comprehensive Immigration Reform is important.
Now what can you and I do as a practical response?
Pray and Get Involved with The Evangelical Immigration Table. As followers of Jesus, we believe that all authority in heaven and on earth belongs to Him. Jesus is Lord and King of all, and all human authorities and legislators must bow to Him and His will.
In Jesus’ authority, let’s pray for the passage of comprehensive immigration reform.
If you’d like, you can join a larger movement called the Evangelical Immigration Table:
Contact President Obama and ask him to exercise his Executive powers to pass some type of meaningful immigration reform as a stop-gap measure. This is within his power. For more on this option see this outstanding op-ed by our UCLA colleague, Victor Narro: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/victor-narro/the-president-can-fix-the_b_4134011.html
In solidarity with Jesus and His justice for immigrants,
Robert Chao Romero