I find it disturbing that churches are commiting crimes and telling their followers to do the same. I have never read in any Bible where Christ told people to break the laws. He did quite the opposite and told his fellow Jews to obey the laws. It is law not just in the United States, but also Mexico and Canada and every other nation on earth to legally enter a country and to do so illegally is a crime.
Written by Susan Orr
The Presbytery of Genesee Valley represents 69 Presbyterian (USA) churches in Rochester and the surrounding five-county area. Our congregations are a diverse composite of urban, rural and suburban men, women and children of faith. There is a calling that unifies us and drives us to push for justice in an important human rights issue of our day. This calling is comprehensive immigration reform. Congress needs to make comprehensive immigration reform a priority and take into consideration the needs of immigrant laborers and our agricultural economy.
The Genesee Valley, a rich agricultural land base, is ripe with family farms. An adequate, legal and reliable supply of workers is one of the most pressing issues facing farmers in our valley today. Our environment is unique because the work is both seasonal on fruit and vegetable farms, and year-long on dairy farms.
Reform of our employment-based immigration system is absolutely necessary to readily address the need for workers and to strengthen our troubled agricultural economy. As Christians, we are called to continually show love for the stranger. The hospitality Jesus taught is not a decorative add-on to our beliefs, but a central tenet. This means keeping children and parents together, and establishing pathways by which our immigrant brethren may seek a better life for themselves and their families. We also believe that showing compassion does not require abandoning fairness and safety. We understand the need for our country to control its borders, and we see the need for real enforcement at the workplace, to protect against unscrupulous employers who lower the bar for all workers.
We also understand that the situation of the 12 million undocumented immigrants living in this country must be honestly addressed. Finally, we understand that valuing families means we must not tear spouses apart or parents away from their children.
Comprehensive immigration reform is both practical and just, and reflects the direction and goals we should desire for our nation. Most importantly, it will begin to liberate us from the divisions we currently face so we can turn our attention to the real challenge: How to build an economy and society that integrates and rewards anyone who wants to make a positive contribution to our nation’s welfare.
It is our responsibility to hold our nation’s leaders to a higher calling. We pray that President Barack Obama and Congress will do all in their power to bring about comprehensive immigration reform.
Orr is presbyter for mission and education for The Presbytery of Genesee Valley. http://www.democratandchronicle.com/article/20110529/OPINION02/105290315/Immigration-reform-must-address-farmers-needs