On election day, the Republicans will keep the House, the Democrats may lose the Senate, and 1,000 more immigrants will be deported.
The Catholics and the Southern Baptists have joined others in calling for a compassionate response to the unaccompanied minors from Central America. Russell Moore of the SBC has even signed a letter (pdf) explicitly opposing changes to the 2008 law that currently prevents such children from being summarily deported. Most Americans agree, including majorities of both Republicans and white evangelicals. Yet Congress went on recess without doing anything about this.
Instead of seeking the ability to deport Central American children faster, Obama should treat this situation as the refugee crisis it is.
"I went to college," the man said. "I got one more year, then I go over there and start working."
Taking in refugees, giving asylum—these are things that generous people from a better place do for helpless people from a worse place. But we aren’t actually better.
Last week, evangelical congregations across America began screening a documentary called The Stranger: Immigration, Scripture and the American Dream, produced by a group called the Evangelical Immigration Table. Among EIT's advocates are a host of uncommon bedfellows: Mathew Staver of the Liberty University School of Law and Jim Wallis of Sojourners, Leith Anderson of the National Association of Evangelicals and Russell Moore of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, and popular pastors Max Lucado and Wilfredo de Jesús. Immigration reform has attracted such a spectrum of advocates that it shows how it is a fortuitous issue for American Protestants.
In our political climate, security enjoys a peculiar status: it’s an absolute priority, subject to little scrutiny or cost-benefit analysis.
If you happened upon the front page of the Wall Street Journal [today] you saw the headline, “Evangelicals Push Immigration Path.” It’s one of several recent articles focused on white evangelicals’ changing tune when it comes to legal paths to citizenship. Megachurch pastors are willing to lose members over the issue. The National Association of Evangelicals is organizing a campaign to educate and prod congregations to political action.
If the current bipartisan push leads to serious immigration reform, we'll all be the better for it. But what constitutes serious reform?