Immigration reform remains a hotly contested issue that stirs up a great deal of passion from a wide range of perspectives. In fact, when it comes to the subject of how to manage the millions of individuals who have illegally entered the borders of the United States and assimilated into our culture, almost everyone has an opinion.
But mere opinions don't solve problems, especially a conundrum as complex and layered as what to do with upwards of 12 million individuals living in the shadows of our society. Regrettably, people with the authority to try and remedy the growing problem have been reluctant to embrace realistic measures of reform. The reasons are many -- from political to economic to personal -- but none of the reasons are good enough reasons to do nothing.
The time has come for Christians to lead on the issue, which is why I have decided to be part of a diverse coalition of evangelicals committed to finding a bipartisan solution to the current immigration stalemate. After seeking counsel from my colleagues and our Board of Directors and discerning God’s wisdom on the issue, I decided to sign a proposal that I pray will help the country move closer towards true immigration reform.
Here’s why I have signed the proposal:
The topic of immigration reform has become a major issue to families, even naturalized ones who have been here for generations. Their status profoundly affects their stability, structure and quality of life and there’s no denying that the system, as it currently stands, is broken.
As a Christian, I feel a profound responsibility to do what I can to bring relief to those who are hurting. At the same time, our government must respect and balance both the rule of law and the God-given humanity of all people in working toward an immigration solution that puts principles ahead of politics. When it comes to finding this delicate balance, I find myself resonating with Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan. "Having an open heart," she once wrote, "doesn't mean having an open border."
The American people would never accept evening news pictures of sobbing immigrants being torn from their homes and put on a bus. We wouldn't accept it because we have hearts, and as much as we try to see history in the abstract, we know history comes down to the particular, to the sobbing child in the bus. We don't round up and remove. Nor should we, tomorrow, on one of our whims, grant full legal status and a Cadillac car. We take it a day at a time. We wait and see what's happening. We do the small discreet things a nation can do to make the overall situation better.
It is our prayer, our plan and our hope that this bipartisan proposal (click here to read) of reform will serve as a small contribution in helping to improve the current situation. It’s a stiff challenge, but our nation was built on and has been sustained by meeting stiff challenges. So we call on Republicans and Democrats alike to set aside their party agendas and work together for the public agenda and the common good.
I welcome your feedback.
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About Jim Daly
Jim Daly is president of Focus on the Family and host of its National Radio Hall of Fame-honored daily broadcast, heard by more than 2.9 million listeners a week on more than 1,000 radio stations across the U.S. He is husband to Jean and father to Trent and Troy.
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