Immigration Reform: It’s Time!
Note: Wednesday, April 17: Evangelical Day of Prayer and Action for Immigration Reform I’ve written in the past about how God used Willow Creek’s Spanish-speaking congregation to nudge us into the immigration reform debate. In the March/April 2013 issue of RELEVANT magazine I wrote this:
In 2005, the U.S. population was 296 million. The Pew Research Center projects that by 2050, that number will be 438 million—and that fully 82 percent of that growth will be due to immigrants and their descendants.
Some of these immigrants may be like the hundreds who attend Willow Creek’s Spanish-language church, Casa de Luz: hard-working parents who came to America escaping poverty and seeking a better life for their kids. In desperation, they crossed a border illegally; now they live each day with guilt for breaking the law and fear they’ll be found out and deported. My husband and I believe God has entrusted these families to us and to our ministry, and we have felt compelled—despite criticism—to advocate for comprehensive immigration reform. We hope younger evangelicals will look closely at the pain and potential in the immigrant community and pray, “God, what is mine to do?” Bill and I are grateful that over the past two years, evangelical groups have played an increasingly prominent role in advocating for compassionate and just immigration policies. Last summer 150 leading pastors, denominational heads, and thought leaders signed the Evangelical Statement of Principles for Immigration Reform. People of faith later penned open letters to the President and congressional leadership calling for timely action on immigration reform. Thousands of people in churches throughout the country responded to the “I Was A Stranger” challenge, reading 40 Bible verses related to immigrants and immigration over 40 days. Increasing numbers of American Christians have become convinced that the Bible speaks powerfully to the current immigration debate.