US group hopes to convince Pope to support immigration reform

By Balitang America Staff, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

March 18, 2014

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – A Los Angeles-based coalition of immigrant advocates is headed to the Vatican, hoping that Pope Francis will help convince the US government to pass immigration reform.

More than a dozen members of the Full Rights for Immigrants Coalition and at least two children whose parents are undocumented immigrants are vying for an audience with the Pope on March 26, a day before he meets with President Barack Obama.

They hope to speak with the Pope about the importance of reforming the US immigration system.

The group plans to present Pope Francis with more than a thousand letters from families who are in danger of deportation.

President Obama is scheduled to visit the Pope at the Vatican on March 27 during a trip to Europe.

House Speaker John Boehner expressed interest in inviting the Pope to speak before the US congress.

8 Comments on this post.

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  • ID
    18 March 2014 at 10:58 pm - Reply

    Shame of you immigrant advocates trying to use the Pope Francis to help convince the US government to pass immigrants reform ! Stop crying and wait to see what America wants to do with the immigrants reform ? Look at the real Americans that live here, they don’t cry like little kids ! Please stop it, shame when you have to use the Pope ?

    • Rogelio
      19 March 2014 at 8:59 am - Reply

      eh ikaw tong IYAKIN

  • ID
    18 March 2014 at 11:02 pm - Reply

    Oh one more thing, I forgot to say I don’t think the Pope want to help people that broke the law to stay in America !

  • filam
    19 March 2014 at 12:18 am - Reply

    Many liberal Christians and politicians, and a few conservatives, would have us love-that is, accept-every immigrant that enters our borders, whether legally or illegally. But that was not the case in the Old Testament. Sojourners were accepted and given certain legal rights because their intention was to become full-fledged members of the nation, learning the ways and language of Israel, and respecting its laws, taboos, and customs.

    Beyond that, Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 25 and the repeated command in the New Testament to love our neighbor (Luke 10:27; Galatians 5:14) is directed to individuals, not governmental authorities whose responsibility is to make, administer, and adjudicate laws.

    This doesn’t mean that immigration policy should be draconian, denying the dignity of the immigrant. But it does means that what is required of individual American Christians as a matter of obedience is not necessarily required of the American nation as a matter of law.

    The state, biblically speaking, is commissioned to provide social order (Judges 17:6), preserve human dignity (Genesis 4:9–15), protect peace (Jeremiah 9:27; 1 Timothy 2:2), promote justice (Psalm 82:2–4; Daniel 4:27), and punish evil and praise goodness (Romans 13:3–7; 1 Peter 2:13–14)-both for the immigrant and the citizen.

    Any conversation about the Bible and immigration reform must separate the responsibilities of the individual from that of the nation, taking into account a comprehensive view of biblical truth, not just a few selected verses quoted out of context and sloppily applied by political talking heads.

  • filam
    19 March 2014 at 12:19 am - Reply

    Released today here in Nashville at the National Religious Broadcasters giant annual convention, the poll found that most evangelicals are deeply concerned about unemployed and struggling low-paid American workers, particularly Black and Hispanic Americans who have the highest jobless and poverty rates. And most evangelicals want an immigration system that protects their ability to work and support themselves.

    When it comes to illegal immigration, the poll found that three of every four evangelical voters believe that biblical teaching about treatment of foreigners is more of a command to apply the law humanely to illegal immigrants than to give them work permits as is being advocated by both Pres. Obama and House Speaker Boehner.

    The Pulse Opinion Research survey of 1,000 evangelical likely voters found that, when considering the country’s unemployed, the overwhelming majority of evangelicals favored fully enforcing immigration laws and reducing legal immigration by at least half. (The 19-question survey’s margin of error was 3%.)

    Only 12% of evangelical voters agreed with the view that the Old Testament verses in which “God commands the ancient Israelites to love the stranger as themselves” mean that “the U.S. government should offer work permits and legal status to illegal immigrants.”
    Instead, 78% chose the interpretation that God’s command “means the U.S. government should offer humane treatment while fairly applying the law.”
    The survey asked evangelicals if restrictive immigration laws violate or follow biblical teachings? By a 5-1 margin, evangelicals said the laws “follow biblical teaching by protecting the most vulnerable within the national community,” as opposed to the view that the laws “violate biblical teaching by keeping out poor foreigners seeking a better life.”

    By a 4-1 margin, evangelicals were more likely to say the government has “a lot” of moral responsibility to protect struggling Americans from having to “compete with foreign workers for jobs” than to say the responsibility is to protect the ability of “settled illegal immigrants to hold a job and support their families without fear of deportation.”

    Only 18% of evangelical voters were persuaded by arguments that the presence of so many illegal immigrants as active members of their churches improves the case for granting work permits and legal status. It should make no difference, said 71%.

    The poll found even less support for increasing legal immigration:

    only 8% of evangelicals supported doubling legal immigration and 14% favored keeping it at the current 1 million a year,
    64% said immigration should be cut at least to 500,000 a year, with half of all evangelicals supporting a limit of no more than 100,000 a year,
    29% said legal immigration should be reduced to zero.
    Evangelicals showed particular concerns for Black and Hispanic Americans, younger less-educated Americans of all ethnicities and the disabled, all of whom have very high jobless rates and whom many employers say they find it difficult to recruit. Most evangelicals (73%) said that, instead of bringing in more immigrant workers, employers should be “required to try harder to recruit and train” Americans from those high-unemployment groups.

  • Rogelio
    19 March 2014 at 8:58 am - Reply

    ano problema nyo ngayon? relax lang kayo, di nyo kailangan “UMIYAK”

  • Kikay Pang0
    19 March 2014 at 12:06 pm - Reply

    Desperate illegals do desperate act..

    • PAWS
      19 March 2014 at 12:44 pm - Reply

      but i need to claim my lottery winnings…..time is running out for me.

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