Blessing Not Burden | July 26, 2018
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We are awaiting breaking news of a new executive order that will fundamentally change our immigration system — that targets family-based immigration, and limits legal pathways to immigrate, but does not rely on Congress to pass a bill.

We want you to be prepared you to take action so we can act quickly once it’s announced. The “public charge” test is the way the federal government assesses a potential immigrant’s likelihood of becoming dependent on government support, and thus denying their application. The anticipated change would broadly expand the list of what makes someone dependent on the government — including an immigrant’s U.S. citizen child’s use of the health and food benefits that they’re legally eligible for, as a determining factor. It will greatly harm vulnerable immigrant families, make for huge cuts to legal immigration, and separate parents from their U.S. citizen children.

The CRCNA has stated that justice for immigrants would mean more pathways to legal immigration, not fewer. This policy would aim to ensure that only those with wealth, education, strong health, and English proficiency may immigrate to the U.S.

We are in a time of preparation. Join us!

Sign up to start mobilizing your community now to take action and be among the first to know when when the rule is announced.

Here’s the hopeful news: the proposed rule cannot be implemented within the U.S., without going through a public rulemaking process in which federal officials will have to receive and reply to public comments. Therefore, the faith community has an opportunity to share why this policy runs counter to our Christian call and harms our communities. Since comments will only be accepted for 30-60 days, it’s critical that we prepare now ensure the administration is flooded with comments opposing the policy. Sign up to learn how to submit a public comment and to mobilize your community to stand against this policy. You’ll be contacted by Kelsey from the OSJ to get started.

CRC Church Welcomes Congolese Family

A Congolese refugee family arrived to the U.S. a couple of weeks ago through Bethany Christian Services! Members of First Christian Reformed Church were at the Grand Rapids airport ready to greet them and welcome them to their new home.

"The father quoted much of Matthew 25 (via an interpreter) and said that First CRC certainly was living out the gospel in the way they welcomed his family. He also mentioned that the family came from a very little... and couldn’t believe the beautiful home the church had prepared for them... The family was so thankful... The way this church quickly rallied the troops (we didn’t have much notice of their arrival), provided the donated items in such a short time, and completely enfolded this family with their love and care…all is evidence of God working through His people at First!"

—Bethany Christian Services staff member

Hey, Christians: Here’s Something You Should Know about Immigrants

"Christians believe that each person is made in the image of God with inherent dignity. This means the lives of Muslim refugees are worth protecting. Jesus’ overarching command was to love our neighbors, and he made clear when he cast a theologically errant Samaritan as his model of neighborly love in a well-known parable that we cannot define “neighbor” narrowly to exclude those who do not share our faith. Given an impressive history of careful vetting — since 1980, more than 3 million refugees have entered the U.S., but not one has ever taken an American life in a terrorist attack — I’m confident that our nation can be both compassionate and secure." Read more »

— By Matthew Soerens from World Relief

Image credit: Hussein Malla

Introducing New Regional Organizers

We are excited to be partnering with the Reformed Church of America to expand our regional organizer program! We now have organizers in five areas around the U.S. to explore with you how you can help your congregation deepen its understanding of immigration. No matter where you are, fill out this form to get started in partnering with us! 

Meet your organizers! Top left- Jason Lief (NW Iowa), top right- Rose Admiraal (Pella), bottom left- Marissa Aguilera Saints (Denver), bottom middle- Vanessa Martinez (southern California), bottom right- Peter Zigterman (Chicago).  

Tell Congress: Do Not Expand Immigrant Detention

Congress will not resolve the crisis at our border with bills like the Keep Families Together and Enforce the Law Act (H.R. 6190, S. 3093). Instead of resolving the issue of family separation, these bills exchange that practice with a different but also heartbreaking one: family incarceration. Ask Congress to reject proposals to expand family detention and speak out against “zero tolerance” policy!
Raise your voice here. 

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