State’s Leading Evangelical Group Urges Immigration Reform

 

Transform Minnesota Encouraged by Republican Moves to Adopt ‘Statement of Principles’ for Debate

 

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — Transform Minnesota, the state’s leading evangelical Christian organization, announced today that it is encouraged by U.S. House Speaker John Boehner’s announcement of principles for immigration reform. The group, which represents Minnesota evangelicals—who are one-third of the state’s Christians—supports legislation that creates a temporary worker program, promotes family reunification, ensures due process of law for all people, secures the borders, strengthens society and provides a pathway to earned legal status.

June 2013 press conference announcing Catholic & evangelical call for immigration reform.

June 2013 press conference announcing Catholic & evangelical call for immigration reform.

“As evangelical Christians, we support reform that protects family unity and respects the God-given dignity of every person,” said Carl Nelson, president and CEO of Transform Minnesota. “Creating an effective and functional immigration system will also help keep our country safe and secure. The Bible speaks clearly and repeatedly about God’s concern for immigrants and for the dispossessed. The expectation to treat them fairly and compassionately is deeply rooted in Scripture and in Jesus’ ministry.”

Evangelical Christians, who make up an important voting bloc for both political parties, have continually voiced their support for immigration reform. Recent polls have consistently demonstrated that a majority of them—as high as 75 percent in some polls—support reform that provides a path for legal status and eventual citizenship.

“For too long, leaders in Washington have talked about meaningful immigration reform without following through with appropriate action,” Nelson said. “While they continue to debate, millions of people are stuck in a system that’s broken, unable to move forward with their lives. We hope this new move by U.S. House leadership signals an opportunity for positive and worthwhile movement on this issue.”

In 2012, Transform Minnesota issued a “Resolution on Immigration Reform,” which outlines the provisions it believes are critical for meaningful reform. They include, in part, a functional system for entry of immigrant workers; reform that strengthens families by reconsidering the number of family reunification visas; an equitable process for earned legal status; fair labor and civil laws; and immigration enforcement that follows due process.

As evangelical Christians, we support reform that protects family unity and respects the God-given dignity of every person.
“Christ’s ministry was often to the dispossessed, the alien and those without permanent homes,” Nelson said. “That’s why we back immigration reform that puts people’s needs above political agendas, and we encourage the millions of Christians in Minnesota to call their representatives in Congress and urge them to support this critical reform.”

View Transform Minnesota’s 2012 “Resolution on Immigration Reform” (PDF).

View 2013 letter “A Christian Call for Immigration Reform” signed by more than 100 evangelical, Catholic and mainline leaders in Minnesota.

Transform Minnesota is a regional network of evangelicals united behind a common vision and desire to see the gospel and Christ’s Kingdom transform the state.

 

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