FIRST-PERSON: EVANGELICALS BELIEVE DREAMERS DESERVE DIGNITY AND CONCERN
By Brent Leatherwood, Dan Darling – January 13, 2023
President Biden’s visit to the border this week highlights our nation’s broken and outdated immigration system. As the New York Times reported, in the 12 months leading up to October 2022, the Border Patrol encountered 1.7 million migrants trying to cross illegally, the highest number since 1960. Its reform should be a priority on both sides of the aisle. We need authentic leadership, the kind that seeks solutions over soundbites, which has been vanishingly rare in our nation’s capital these days.
Together, we recently visited the border in El Paso, Texas, where a delegation of our nation’s senators arrived on Monday (Jan. 9). On our visit, we learned of the numerous churches and ministries at work serving migrants on both sides of the border. As Southern Baptists, we are grateful for the consistent, biblical perspective offered by our 50,000 churches and congregations on this issue over the years. For decades, the Southern Baptist Convention, the nation’s largest protestant denomination, has spoken clearly about the need to both care for our immigrant neighbors and strengthen our national borders. The SBC has backed up words with action, spearheading compassion ministry by our churches, state conventions and national entities. Around the country, our Baptist brothers and sisters are opening their churches and their homes to people from around the world as they assimilate into our communities.