After being urged by Bishop Curry to become more informed about Immigration Reform legislation and write our Senators, I have done so and urge you all to do the same. You can watch Bishop Curry's message here. After doing so, you can then write Senator Hagan and Senator Burr. I will also share the letter that I sent to them both, which briefly outlines why I believe that this legislation is good for our nation, good for Christians who seek justice and compassion, and good for the furthering of God's Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. If any or all of my letter would be helpful to you in writing our Senators, please feel free to copy it.
I write to you, as a constituent of North Carolina and a person of faith who very much believes in the idea of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all. I ask you to vote in favor of the Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill, commonly known as the “Gang of 8 Bill,” that will be coming before the Senate in the coming weeks.
Our current immigration policies are not good or just, and they are outdated. It is clear that some sort of reform needs to happen.
What motivates me to write you is the fact that roughly 83% of undocumented immigrants are Christians; they are my brothers and sisters in Christ, and so this is a family matter to those of us in the Church. I am reminded of the plethora of witnesses from the Bible that suggest mercy and justice be shown towards the immigrant.
We would do well to remember that we are all immigrants who have come here from somewhere else (Exodus 22:21- You shall not wrong or oppress a resident alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt.). And both Hebrews 13:2 (Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it) and Matthew 35:40 (Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me) remind us that as we treat our neighbors, so we treat God. And because the Lord is our God, we are to act so that “when an alien resides with you in your land, you shall not oppress the alien. The alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt” (Leviticus 19:35-35).
A pathway to citizenship is a pathway to hope. We are all citizens of God’s Kingdom, and we pray, and are called, to work to make God’s Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven. This legislation at least moves us in that direction. No one bill will solve the problem forever or be perfect. But this bill is a start. Please, don’t let perfection be the enemy of the good.
As the prophet Micah wrote, our task is to “do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.”This is about justice that will roll down like waters (Amos 5:24), not Republican, Democrat, or Independent agendas. I hope that when the time comes for a vote, you vote with the people whom you were elected to represent in mind; and more importantly, I hope your vote is a vote for justice and compassion towards the “least of these.”
Thank you for your service as a representative of the people.
The Rev. Robert Black