Our sacred texts are full of stories and urgings that illustrate the importance of supportive family relationships, such as the sustaining partnership between Ruth and Naomi, the life-saving strategies of Moses’ family by the river, the commandment to “Honor your father and mother,” Psalm 127’s proclamation that “Children are a heritage from the Lord,” the mutual love between husbands and wives urged in Ephesians, and so many more. Each one — and indeed the descriptions of God multiple times as “Our Father,” and as one who offers maternal care as “a mother comforts her child” (Isaiah 66) — undergird the importance of family love and unity to building life and society.
For decades, our immigration system has prioritized the importance of family unity. But in this time, immigrants are experiencing new and deep threats to remaining together, and to re-unifying after crisis.
Already, family-based visas are restricted to spouses, children, parents and siblings of U.S. citizens and spouses and children of Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs, or “green card holders”). Due to tight numerical restrictions, backlogs average seven years and can be as long as 23 years. Also, Congress established the Diversity Visa in 1990 to encourage and facilitate immigration to the United States from countries with historically low rates of immigration, allowing it to currently provide up to 50,000 visas annually for immigrants who do not have access to employment- or family-based visas.
Yet now, the administration is calling for significant cuts to family immigration, urging the elimination of the diversity visa program, and threatening to undercut family-based immigration in ways that jeopardize family reunification and prolong family separation.
In this context, it is
more important than ever for your Members of Congress to
hear how your faith values may lead you to support family unity, the family-based immigration system, and the
diversity visa program.
Please consider signing on to a letter to express your values!
to sign on
by COB on Friday, MARCH 22nd
to an important faith letter urging Congress to preserve and strengthen the family immigration and diversity visas - without undermining immigrant or border communities.
Thank you for taking action, and please share this alert with your networks!
Blessings to you!
Rev. Dr. Sharon Stanley-Rea,
Director, Disciples Refugee & Immigration Ministries (RIM)
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the U.S. & Canada