Immigration reform gets personal for evangelicals

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ricardo mcclim

For Bishop Ricardo McClin, it was time to speak up when Church of God congregants suddenly stopped showing up to worship in Jacksonville, Fla., because of fears of detention. Photo courtesy Bishop Ricardo McClin

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(RNS) As Congress appears close to hammering out a new immigration policy, religious leaders -- and especially evangelicals -- say personal encounters with immigrants have prompted them to advocate for reform.

  • guest

    It sounds like more politicians to me. “What’s in it for me; no matter who else it hurts”. If every immigrant suddenly disappeared from all of their congregations, see how fast they would change their tune. Or if they suddenly started taking all of the jobs of their faithful tithe payers and they started losing them what would they say.

  • guest

    In addition, this is about more than the people they know personally or the ones in their congregations. It is about the ones demanding free citizenship; the ones burning the American flag; the ones taking the jobs of the poor because companies can get them for “under the table” wages. There are over 11,000,000,000 illegal immigrants. Look at that number. Think about what it will mean for every part of this economy that seems to be a sinking ship. Ten years from now you can add several more million as Americans are having 1 child to every 5 or 6 children that an immigrant has. As taxpayers, we are paying the bill for these. California is the poster child for immigration. People are fleeing there for other states, because it is so bad.

  • GWF222

    Why can’t these Pastors realize that if we continue granting amnesty to illegals and allowing unlimited legal immigration that we will destroy the Goose that lays the Golden Egg.The United States cannot continue to support every person that desires to live in our Country.Nobody wants to say it but folks WE ARE BROKE!! We allow 20 million more uneducated low skill workers in to our Country and it will be the straw that breaks the Camel’s back. I would say in 5 years we will be just as bad as the Third World Countries they are coming here to escape.

  • Leslie Post

    What about the millions of native born Americans who cannot find a job because of the illegal immigrants ? Do they not matter because they are not part of these pastors churches ?
    Illegal immigrants are here by stealth and work or obtain benefits by fraud and forged documents because their illegal presence is necessary to work or get benefits.
    Do these pastors support fraud ? What kind of Christians willingly accept
    helping people obtain benefits because of their illegal acts ?
    Is theft now acceptable “Christian moral behavior”?
    I do not understand. Please explain this to me ?
    Help the illegals go home and then help them through churches in their home countries I do understand..

  • Ronald Ball

    It is precisely the attitude of these pastors that has caused the membership in churches nationwide to drop precipitously. To be sure, they are advocating breaking American laws by supporting amnesty. This is but one of the reasons why I and obviously many other Americans do not participate in any organized religion. These pastors need to promote legal immigration. It is not the American workers’ fault that so many Mexicans chose to break our laws. So why punish Americans so they can “feel good” about themselves?

  • fred

    People need to understand that there is no difference in a [racial slur deleted] being an illegal immigrant than a bank robber being an unauthorized withdrawer of bank funds. Both are criminals, law breakers, outlaws and should be jailed and deported. Only mexicans, hispanics and corrupt vote buying politicians have a problem with our immigration laws–some want a free ride via welfare and others via voter fraud.

  • fred

    well said Sir.

  • LouAnn

    Maybe some of these Christian people should take the illegal aliens into sanctuary in their church, to provide for their every means. Then maybe they’ll get the idea of what Americans are facing with their own families. Many of them can’t find jobs, help has run out for them and they have to turn to family members to give a helping hand.

  • Wanda

    We need to consider that the bible expects us to obey the law of the land. These illegal aliens are breaking our laws. There are 11 million illegal workers and counting. 70% or more of these illegal aliens count on social services such as food stamps, welfare, and subsidized housing. Even if they don’t count on social services, they’re here taking a job away from an American citizen. Their children go to school here free. They have bankrupted California’s health care system. They work under the table without paying taxes and even when they do pay taxes, most don’t pay enough to offset the social services they collect! Tell me Mr. Baptist minister, Where’s the blessed compassion for the 11 million law abiding American workers, citizens who are displaced by these 11 million illegal aliens and forced into unemployment? These illegals are draining our economy, not helping it. We don’t need more foreign workers!

  • Don England

    What about the exploitation of citizens by illegal aliens that come here of their own free will? Evangelicals are quick to point out the harm done to the illegal aliens, but just like their crooked politician partners in crime, not a word about harm done to citizens and legal immigrants. Citizens are killed daily by illegal aliens in the U.S., death separates them from their family permanently on this earth. Citizens and children are raped, molested, assaulted, stolen from and abused daily by those that broke laws to come here. Evangelicals like politicians like to cherry pick scripture and polls to shore up their amnesty positions. Judas betrayed Jesus for money. Evangelicals are selling out their members, citizens and legal immigrants, they must not have enough compassion left to reach out to them. Politics is always about power and money, Evangelicals are in bed with betraying politicians on this issue. 1 Timothy 5:8 reads “Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” – Evangelicals don’t seem to mind the harms done to the citizens families, they have lock jaw on that.

  • Robin Hvidston

    I believe the polls utilized by those pushing amnesty are biased. I am a Christian and the church members I now want our border secured and our immigration laws enforced. We are NEVER polled – why? Christians are law abiding and therefore are not for this illegal activity being normalized. I think the media and churches are basically propaganda machines – whereas the American people’s voice is being totally left out in polls and in articles. Everyone I knows seeks for our immigration laws to be enforced.

  • guest

    What about the people who have lost jobs because of the illegal immigrants, where are their rights? A lot of evangelicals voted for Obama and his policies. Illegals are just that, illegals no matter how long they have been here.

  • rgosse

    This is ridiculous. If your illegal you do not belong here. Granting some sort of amnesty simply rewards those that break the law. Get with the program folks. Stand for the rule of law and stop catering to the illegal cry babies out there that desire to called undocumented, though illegal is what they are. Sorry if the truth hurts folks, but nobody said to cross into another country without authorization … and then you expect to be welcomed with open arms. Religious leaders, you need to read the Bible again, which tells you to obey the law of the land. I guess when it is convenient to be ignorant its ok. Politicians are simply seeking the votes.

  • The fact that illegal foreign workers happen to go to church doesn’t erase the fact that their presence has created problems in the labor market that the immigration laws they broke were designed to prevent. Allowing them to stay — regardless of any fine paid — allows them to continue to create those problems. These pro-amnesty pastors need to consider their compassion for the 10 million less-educated Americans with no more than a high school degree who want a full-time job but can’t find one.
    “Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” – 1 Timothy 5:8

    In the civic realm, our fellow citizens are the equivalent of relatives within the household. To apply the principle faithfully, we owe them our first responsibility.

  • GJ Flournoy

    The fact that illegal foreign workers happen to go to church doesn’t erase the fact that their presence has created problems in the labor market that the immigration laws they broke were designed to prevent. Allowing them to stay — regardless of any fine paid — allows them to continue to create those problems. These pro-amnesty pastors need to consider their compassion for the 10 million less-educated Americans with no more than a high school degree who want a full-time job but can’t find one.
    Why would you put ILLEGALS before our own citizens needing work, educational assistance, medical etc!! I am Christian, but am totally against any of these so called ministers.These people broke our laws and will continue to do so. More will come. When is enough enough???

  • tom

    as a Christian and unemployed construction worker i see no reason to reward criminals behavior. first off any church that is helping illegal aliens is going against the rule of law,these folks need to read the bible and find out what it says.for some reason i don’t think they do.

    illegal aliens hurt all working class American citizens, in no way do they help the country or its citizens. it is a shame when so called church leaders care nothing about their members who are citizens as to throw them under the bus and build up those who break laws. kind of like stabbing your fellow citizens in the back.

  • GJ Flournoy

    I agree with you!! In Texas there are construction jobs, heavy equipment jobs being given to illegals over citizens so the contractors getting our tax dollar can stick more in their pockets while our own out of work citizens are passed by. This is wrong!@!!

  • Sharon Jeanguenat

    These men are wrong, & by the way, Baptists are NOT evangelicals. Evangelicals believe in the Baptism of the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in tongues. And, the last time I checked, the Baptist church (Southern) believes that’s of the devil. Also, since I am Church of God, I take issue with Bishop whatever his name is. Sin is sin, no matter what, or who, commits it. And, if you’re in this country illegally, you’ve broken the law, which is a sin. These illegals KNOW they are breaking the law before they ever get here, which makes it a presumptious sin, & anyone that supports them breaking the law, is as guilty of sin as the illegal is.

  • GJ Flournoy

    Couldnt have said it better myself. There should be something we can do to show these idiots and those in the Senate and House we are the majority and do not want any form of amnesty

  • Tim

    Really don’t understand why so many leaders in our country are so willing to sell our children’s futures and the future of our country so easily. Of course, maybe for political party or money or votes is the real truth. America is primarily made of immigrants, however, legal immigration with benefits versus illegal immigration with benefits are two different situations. So many people getting handouts and so little putting in….illegal immigrants do not pay taxes or contribute to the programs that are draining our country. It is time for the politicians to stop the madness and do what is right. Time to secure out boarders and protect our way of life. We are eroding as a society of give me what’s mine and a free ride. Time to stop

  • Dora

    They are saying it is a CHRISTIAN thing to do but do not forget the Bible says it is worse than a heathen and infidel that cares NOT for ITS OWN. We owe too much money and we are BANKRUPT in this nation and 22 MILLION are unemployed and 46 MILLION are on food stamps. It is TRAITORS TO AMERICA that even think of an amnesty at this time and I hope every one of them get voted OUT COME ELECTION TIME!!!!

  • HDS26234

    We entered the USA 57 years ago as Christians, but did it completely within the laws of immigrant, and still feel that it is the only Christian way to enter any country anywhere! So people steal their way in and we consider them strangers that need to be taken care? So, I go stealing and as long as I am not found out, than I am ok? Yes, these strangers are taught to brake laws! These illegals know were well that they have broken the law, in as much they do not enter openly and I as a Christian have to helped them but keep it a secret that the individual has broken the laws! What kind of Christianity is that, may I ask?

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