Fishers, IN — Top Indiana evangelical leaders will meet this Friday for a press conference to highlight the biblical call to welcome the stranger and urge Congress to move forward with a vote on immigration reform.
WHEN: Friday, April 25th 3:00 pm
WHERE: Wesleyan Church Headquarters 13300 Olio Road, Fishers, IN 46037
The press conference will include local pastors who will discuss the moral imperatives for immigration reform, their efforts during the April congressional recess and their April 29 #Pray4Reform trip to Washington, D.C., to meet with their members of Congress.
Here is the statement I will be delivering.
April 25, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
"Our national immigration laws have created a moral, economic and political crisis in America. Initiatives to remedy this crisis have led to polarization and name calling in which opponents have misrepresented each other’s positions as open borders and amnesty versus deportations of millions. This false choice has led to an unacceptable political stalemate at the federal level at a tragic human cost." (The Wesleyan Church Immigrant Connection)
Heartland Church is growing multiethnic church in Indianapolis. We care for and serve many immigrants who would rather live and work legally in the U.S. without worrying every day if they or their families will be deported. These are peaceful, productive members of our society who pay our taxes and contribute to our economy. Yet without legal status, they are forced to live in the shadows, powerless to defend themselves against opportunistic predators, manipulative employers, sexual assault, human trafficking and other abuses.
I am an immigrant, naturalized as a U.S. Citizen in 2002. I have personally experienced the long, arbitrary ultimately broken nature of our current pathway to citizenship. My wife and I have advocated for immigrant families, even becoming personal financial guarantors for some. But for many we seek to help, there is simply no option or pathway to earn legal status in our country, even for the ones who entered the country legally at one time.
For our country to realize the full value and contributions of hard-working immigrant workers and entrepreneurs, we need a process by which aspiring Americans can earn legal status and eventual citizenship. We are not calling for “amnesty” or any other blanket provision. However we seek a clear and fair path for aspiring Americans to come into the open, and follow a clear path to earn legal status, and eventual citizenship.
Heartland Church joins our voice with the Evangelical Immigration Table, a broad coalition of evangelical organizations and leaders advocating for immigration reform consistent with biblical values. Together, we call for a bipartisan solution on immigration reform that:
- Respects the God-given dignity of every person
- Protects the unity of the immediate family
- Guarantees secure national borders
- Ensures the rule of law and fairness to taxpayers
- Establishes a path toward legal status and/or citizenship for those who qualify and who wish to become permanent residents
We urge our nation’s leaders to work together with the American people to pass immigration reform that embodies these key principles and that will make our nation proud.
Rev. Darryn L. Scheske