On April 29, I joined 27 other evangelical pastors from South Carolina and Georgia and flew to Washington, D.C., to urge our congressmen to move forward with immigration reform this year. The event, Pastors for Reform, brought over 250 evangelical pastors from 25 states together for a worship gathering and over 100 visits with congressional offices.
Among those speaking were Dr. Bryant Wright, pastor of Johnson Ferry Baptist Church in Marietta, Ga. and former president of the Southern Baptist Convention; Dr. Paige Patterson of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary; and pastor and author Eugene Cho.
This was another step in a growing movement of Evangelical leaders and organizations across the country who are advocating for immigration reform that would respect the God-given dignity of every person; protect the unity of the immediate family; respect the rule of law; guarantee secure national borders; ensure fairness to taxpayers; and establish a path toward legal status and/or citizenship for those who qualify and who wish to become permanent residents.
As we meet people and hear their stories in our ministry with the immigrant communities of the CSRA, the problems with our system become readily apparent. Families live in constant fear of deportation and the resulting alienation makes them very easy to victimize. When people are deported, families are ripped apart and children are left traumatized and without one or both parents. These people are not looking for amnesty. They recognize their error and would do anything to rectify their situation and get right with the law, but under our current system there is no possible way to do this.
It is the job of our representatives to take leadership and act. I join Evangelicals across the country in praying for action on immigration reform this year.