On Monday, June 30th, Julia Preston of the New York Times reported that Congress has announced that it does not plan to vote on any legislation concerning immigration reform this year. As a Christian and an American, I find the decision of Congress to yet again bypass immigration reform legislation to be a mammoth injustice and a fundamentally un-American course of action. The US was established to be a melting pot of people from every nation, language, religion, and culture from around the world, a place where anyone could come to find life, liberty, and to pursue happiness. However, in recent years, the way that government has postured itself against immigrants who are trying to enter America to pursue a better life makes me wonder if our country has completely forsaken its foundation.
As an Evangelical Christian, I believe that I have an obligation to follow Jesus’ example of standing up for the oppressed, marginalized, and immigrants. Over the last two years, I have actively been engaging in conversations surrounding immigration reform as a part of the Evangelical Immigration Table, a coalition founded by a number of national Evangelical leaders to help rally support for immigration reform. As I have heard the stories of hundreds of immigrants who have desperately tried to enter the United States but have been denied, causing families to be split, lives disrupted, and dreams destroyed, my heart has been broken. Not only because I am a Christian, but because these occurrences fly directly in the face of everything America is supposed to stand for.
As our nation celebrates our independence this weekend, it is my hope that we will all stop to remember and say a prayer for the thousands of men, women, and children who are desperately trying to partake in the sweet liberty that we so often take for granted, but are being prevented because our Congress has decided that liberty and justice for all are no longer American ideals.