The following is a statement of values and principles in support of immigration reform developed by the CBF Advocacy Action Team for Immigrants and Refugees. Click here to learn more about the Advocacy Team and see a list of its members. For additional background on the statement, read this July 3 column by Stephen Reeves, CBF’s associate coordinator of partnerships and advocacy.
CBF Advocacy is committed to seeking justice for the immigrant and refugee among us. These efforts complement our Global Missions commitment to ministry in the context of global migration. Across the globe and here at home, our field personnel, pastors and church members are ministering alongside those forced to make the hard decision to leave their homeland. Most migrants are escaping violent conflict, environmental degradation or extreme poverty.
The United States has long been a refuge for those fleeing desperate circumstances and seeking safety and a better life for their families. In numerous ways, our current immigration system is broken and no longer addresses the needs of immigrants and refugees nor the economic and workforce realities in our own country.
We believe and hope that our Christian values of welcoming the stranger and loving our
neighbor should inform our policies and that the best of our American tradition has been
compatible with these values. We are concerned that the cultural and political climate has strayed from these values and, instead, seems rooted in fear, mistrust and hostility toward others.
The Advocacy Action Team for Immigrants and Refugees is calling for increased advocacy at this critical moment when the attention of the country is on the brokenness of our current immigration policy. Our goal is to equip and encourage impactful advocacy for a complete reform of our immigration system. In so doing, we ask supporters to advocate for and urge our elected leaders to support legislation that respects the following values and contains these core principles:
- The God-given dignity, worth and human rights of all people who desire to come to the United States to contribute to our country and way of life.
- The safety of our citizens and protection of our country’s sovereignty, through a
nondiscriminatory, humane and modern border security and enforcement system.
- The protection, care and right of due process for the vulnerable refugee and asylee without prejudice of creed, race, political party, etc.
- Policies that honor and respect the importance of the family. Our laws should continue our tradition of promoting family unity by allowing U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents to petition for legal permanent residency on behalf of their close family members, and for U.S. citizens to petition for citizenship on behalf of family members who are legal permanent residents.
- The equal rights of all US citizens regardless of whether they are citizens by birth or naturalization.
- A path towards legal status and/or citizenship for:
- DREAMers, according to DACA requirements
- Recipients of Temporary Protected Status
- Parents of American citizen children.
- To meet the workforce needs across many sectors of our economy, reforms should
include safe and reasonable legal channels for immigrant workers and their immediate family members to enter the country with a shortened path to citizenship for work visa holders.
- The faithful good will of immigrants to integrate into and contribute to our country’s culture, education, values and economy.
Christians United for Immigration Reform
Across denominational lines, differing theological convictions and ideological divides there is remarkable consistency from Christians about the need for just and humane immigration reform. This rare level of agreement is due in large part to the consistent teaching of scripture and the witness of Jesus Christ in the Gospels. CBF has worked alongside many of the organizations below and has participated in several broad coalitions calling for immigration reform. Each of these statements has informed our values and principles. When people of faith can work together toward the same goal despite other deep differences, it is an opportunity for
impactful advocacy and a witness for unity in Christ.
Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission – Evangelical Leader Statement of Principles on Dreamers
Southern Baptist Convention – 2018 Resolution on Immigration
Evangelical Immigration Table – Evangelical Statement of Principles for Immigration Reform
United Methodist Church – Rights of Immigrants
Evangelical Lutheran Church in American – A Social Message on Immigration
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) – Presbyterian Policy on Immigration
The Episcopal Church – Coalition Letter to House: Immigration Principles to Support
Alliance of Baptists – A Statement on Just and Humane Immigration Reform
National Association of Evangelicals – Open Letter on Immigration Reform
Hispanic Baptist Convention of Texas – In Support of DACA
Bread for the World – Statement of Faith Voices for Immigration
World Relief – Statement in Support of Comprehensive Immigration Reform
National Immigration Forum – Bibles, Badges, and Business Principles
Christian Churches Together – Statement on Immigration Reform
American Immigration Council – Focusing on the Solutions: Key Principles of Comprehensive Immigration Reform
CBF Global Missions – Serving Migrants across the Globe
There are three core commitments that drive the work of CBF Global Missions: bearing witness to Jesus Christ, cultivating beloved community and seeking transformational development. Our field personnel do this work in three contexts: global poverty, the global Church and global migration. The field personnel below work directly with migrants, immigrants and/or refugees.
Many other field personnel are working to improve conditions in other countries thereby preventing the need for migration.
Europe, Africa and Middle East
Matt and Michelle Norman, Spain
Janee Angel, Belgium
Eddie and Macarena Aldape, Spain
Chaouki and Maha Boulos, Lebanon
Missy Ward Angala, Uganda
Karen Alford, Uganda
Jade and Shelah Acker, Uganda
Middle East/North Africa Personnel (3)
Butch and Nell Green, TX
Kim and Marc Wyatt, NC
Sasha Zivanov, MO
Karen Morrow, TX
Lita and Rick Sample, CA
Steve Clark and Annette Ellard, KY
Greg and Sue Smith, VA
Diann Berry, TX