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Letter from the Evangelical Immigration Table

Dear friends,

Shortly after the Department of Homeland Security announced a new policy last week that would significantly harm international students whose colleges, universities or seminaries make the decision (in light of COVID-19) to offer classes only online, various evangelical ministries and organizations prepared a response. Led by ministries such as InterVarsity Christian Fellowship that minister directly to international students, several Evangelical Immigration Table leadership organizations added their voices as well, releasing a letter late last week urging the government to reconsider this policy, which they noted was inconsistent with biblical injunction to “not mistreat the foreigner.”

The letter got very broad media attention – and, along with lots of other advocacy efforts from Americans of all backgrounds, it worked! Today, the Department of Homeland Security indicated it will abandon this short-sighted policy.

We’re grateful for this decision, and for the leadership of Christians in challenging an unjust policy. With other troubling policy changes on the horizon, we’re hoping this victory for international students will remind you of the importance of raising your voice on behalf of those who are vulnerable. Specifically, we wanted to flag two timely opportunities for you to advocate:

1)      Tomorrow, July 15 (before 11:59 PM Eastern Time) is the last opportunity for the public to submit formal comments on a series of dramatic proposed changes to the U.S. asylum process. You can submit your comments at bit.ly/AsylumPublicComments. As noted in a new report from Open Doors USA and World Relief, among the many persecuted people whom these regulations could harm are individuals persecuted for their Christian faith in other countries who seek safety and protection in the U.S. If it’d help you to have a template to prepare your comments, you can utilize this tool from our friends at the National Immigration Forum.

2)      Various news reports have indicated that the Trump administration may begin the process of terminating Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) for a second time in the coming days, which a June Supreme Court ruling allowed the administration to do if they comply with particular procedures. The ongoing uncertainty for Dreamers underscores the need for Congress to act, as only Congress can pass legislation and allow immigrants brought to the U.S. as children the opportunity apply for U.S. citizenship. If you’ve not already done so, we invite you to add your name to this letter to Congress, urging them to finally pass legislation to provide Dreamers an opportunity to pursue U.S. citizenship.

Proverbs 3:27 tells us: “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act.” We invite you to take action to stand with those who are persecuted and with young people brought to the U.S. as children.

In Christ,

Matthew Soerens
National Coordinator, Evangelical Immigration Table

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