Comprehensive immigration reform has been a goal of both Democrats and Republicans for a while now, and while partisan polarization is still getting in the way of bill being passed in both houses of Congress, the support behind the measure on whole—and the resistance voiced against those opposed to it—is mounting. Recently, Rev. Michael Wilker, senior pastor of Church of the Reformation, claimed “the Gospel that welcomes the stranger,” and declared, “we will denounce those that block immigration reform,” on behalf of Evangelical Christians in a column for The Washington Post.
On Wednesday, July 24, over 300 Christian leaders gathered in Washington, D.C., for the “Evangelical Immigration Table Day of Prayer and Action for Immigration Reform,” an event intended to “discuss commonsense reform that reflects the Evangelical Immigration Table’s principles.”
In his Aug. 5th column, Wilker wrote:
“House leaders of both parties would have done well to come witness the breadth and depth of support for immigration reform: Pentecostals and Baptists; Mega-church leaders and small congregation ministers: Republicans and Democrats; natives of Arizona, North Carolina, Indiana, Ohio, Virginia, and other states; and African Americans, Whites, Cuban Americans and other Latinos born and raised in the United States.
“White people and African Americans at the gathering told how they’ve been converted by experiences with Christ present in immigrants and their families. Immigrants told how they are making compacts across religious, ethnic, and political lines to work for justice and end the cruelty perpetrated by the U.S. immigration system. “Cruelty” was the exact word used, and correctly, given the scale of U.S. deportations and detentions that are tearing apart families—mother from child, husband from wife, sister from brother.”
It’s for these reasons Evangelicals will denounce those opposed to immigration reform, Wilker, claiming the issue transcends political bickering based on its moral and religious implications.
“Evangelical leaders deeply understand the life of undocumented immigrants, the suffering of immigrant families, and the harm that a broken and cruel immigration system perpetrates on our nation,” Wilker wrote. “We also understand the political realities of Congress and the risks of courageous leadership. But God’s work through the immigrant community has convinced us that evangelical Christians, together with our allies of all faiths, must advocate and hold U.S. representatives accountable if they do not take this opportunity to make the immigration system just and humane.”