US Church Leaders Renew Emphasis on Immigration

By Wendy McFadden

Christian leaders representing the breadth of Christian churches and denominations in the US have renewed their emphasis on the issue of immigration. Immigration was the main topic at the annual meeting of Christian Churches Together earlier this year, and the CCT steering committee has announced that the urgency of the matter–particularly in light of congressional delays on immigration reform–will keep it in front of the organization’s annual meeting through 2015.

The CCT steering committee repeated an urgent call for fundamental immigration reform that includes the following principles:

— An earned path to citizenship for the 11 million people in the United States without authorization.

— The priority of family reunification in any immigration reform.

— Protecting the integrity of the country’s borders and protecting due process for immigrants and their families.

— Improving refugee protection laws and asylum laws.

— Reviewing international economic policies to address the root causes of unauthorized immigration.

— Enforcement measures that are just and include due process protections for immigrants.

CCT, which regularly addresses major issues of common concern among its members, focused on immigration in 2013 and will examine the issue of mass incarceration at its annual meeting in early 2014. Other topics of study and action have been racism, poverty, and evangelism, with ongoing attention to the way the issues interrelate.

Because there is still a sense of urgency on immigration, the steering committee chose to dig deeper into the issue with a 2015 annual meeting theme of immigrant churches and the future of the American church. That meeting will focus on the impact of immigrants on the fabric and future of the church in the US.

Christian Churches Together is the broadest fellowship of Christians in the US, with members from Catholic, Evangelical/Pentecostal, Historic Black, Historic Protestant, and Orthodox traditions, or “families,” as well as several national organizations devoted to humanitarian aid, social justice, and other expressions of Christian service.

— Wendy McFadden is publisher of Brethren Press. She is serving on the steering committee of Christian Churches Together and is president of CCT’s Historic Protestant “family” of churches.

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