President Obama gave a powerful speech today on the need for comprehensive immigration reform. The vast majority of Americans want immigration reform and U.S. churches - sometimes divided on difficult issues - are largely united behind the president's vision and want politicians to stop playing politics with this important issue. Reform would add $1.5 trillion to our economy over the next decade and help create nearly a million new jobs while increasing consumer spending by $5 billion a year. People on those right-wing talk shows keep repeating their mantra of "ship all the illegals" home. That would cost a quarter of a trillion dollars - to start with - and take another 2.5 billion of our of economy. It is time to turn off the radio and to get serious about the business of our nation.
I preached on this very issue just two weeks ago. Why is this so important to Christians? We want people to play by the rules and follow laws but also recognize that the system is broken. Those who follow Christ cannot just look at borders. We have to look at faces - the faces of men, women and children - and see within those faces the face of God. In keeping with that spirit, Christians across the U.S. have advocated for compassionate reform that creates a pathway to citizenship and protects families in keeping with the best traditions of this immigrant nation. President Obama's plan moves us in the right direction and I urge you to support his efforts.