Editors Note: Every Friday, we will try to feature one of our G92 Fellows as guest contributors. G92 Fellows are a group of college students who are committed to mobilizing their campuses around the country for immigration reform.
Recently, my representative, Congressman Adam Kinzinger, participated in a bipartisan immigration reform panel discussion hosted by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and the Illinois Business Immigration Coalition. Congressman Kinzinger’s straightforward, sensible remarks at this event provided much-needed grounding and a change in tone to a conversation that is too often wrought with misinformation and partisan politics.
Arguments for and against immigration reform often draw on economic arguments and opinion polls. Indeed, study after study has shown that both documented and undocumented immigrants provide a net benefit to our economy, and that immigration reform will only serve to increase that benefit. Moreover, polls have shown that the majority of Americans are in favor of comprehensive immigration reform. But there is an even more important aspect to immigration reform than economics and opinion polls: God’s call to love our neighbors and to welcome the stranger.
I grew up a small town whose population is approximately 25% Hispanic; many of my friends and classmates growing up were first or second generation immigrants. The number of immigrants in my circle of friends and acquaintances has increased since I went to college, and now includes several undocumented immigrants. Their stories make immigration reform all the more personal and immediate. It has been truly heartbreaking to see my undocumented brothers and sisters in Christ—and their families—live in fear in the country they love, and to hear about the all the dreams of these bright, ambitious people that have been stalled due to our broken immigration system.
Even if your town is less diverse than mine, immigrants are a part of every community. Whether you know it or not, you have friends, neighbors, and church members who are personally impacted by immigration issues—either because they themselves are undocumented, have family members who are undocumented, or are separated from their family members because of our broken, outdated immigration system. We need comprehensive immigration reform that not only secures our borders, but also creates a way for our undocumented friends and neighbors to get right with the law and keeps families together by preventing undocumented parents from being torn apart from their American-born children.
I am proud of my congressman for taking a stand on desperately-needed immigration reform. But Congressman Kinzinger and others who have likewise taken a stand are receiving a lot of criticism from their fellow politicians and from their constituents. For this reason, there are many politicians who are afraid to voice their support. I therefore implore you to contact your representative about immigration reform today, urging him to support immigration reform. If your representative has come out in favor of immigration reform, call him and thank him. Either way, tell your representative that you are praying for him—our representatives need all the support they can get.
Immigrants are a vital part of the fabric of our communities—they are neighbors, business owners, soldiers, church members, and friends. Now more than ever, the church must stand up and remind our representatives of this.
Linda Fleener is a campus mobilizer for G92 and a senior at Wheaton College, where she is earning her bachelor’s degree in political science. She hopes to use her degree to go into social justice advocacy to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves.
Please note that the views expressed do not necessarily represent those of everyone associated with G92 or any institutions with which the blogger may be affiliated.
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