Saturday, June 19, 2010

All Wesleyans are Urged to Support the DREAM Act

This is an urgent call to all Wesleyans to take a public stand for hundreds of children in our local churches. They are among millions of children that were brought to our country without documents. Many have been here for years but still are marginalized and suffer injustices daily. Our courage to speak out now in support of The DREAM Act can change their lives.

Let me anticipate five of your questions about this urgent call and answer them in the following paragraphs:

1. Why is this an urgent matter?
2. What is the DREAM Act?
3. Isn’t it wrong for Christians to support someone who is breaking the law by being in our country illegally?
4. But are Christians supposed to get involved in politics?
5. So how can you join me in making a difference on this issue?

1. Why is this an urgent matter?

Because every day thousands of children and young adults are deprived of opportunities…
• To live without fear of being deported,
• To have security of adequate food, housing, clothing, medical care, and
• To go to college and pursue their dreams.

Here's a link to a recent ABC report about a Harvard student, Eric Balderas, who also is an illegal immigrant. This is a typical example, although many others do not even manage to get into college because of their status as illegal immigrants.

2. So, What is the DREAM Act?

Basically, its purpose is to provide undocumented minors a pathway to conditional permanent residency and later citizenship under some basic conditions including the following:

• Have come to the USA as children (under the age of 16)
• Are long-term U.S. residents (5 years or more)
• Have good moral character
• Attend an institution of higher learning or enlist in the military for at least two years

In addition, the legislation would allow states to grant in-state tuition rates to alien students.

The goal is to urge its passage before the end of this year and hopefully begin to break the deadlock surrounding this polarizing issue. We have many children in our Hispanic churches in Indiana and across the nation that would benefit by this Act. More information is available at the DREAM Act.

3. Isn’t it wrong for Christians to support someone who is breaking the law by being in our country illegally?

No, it isn’t wrong. On the contrary, in this situation it is both right and just. While it is true that these minors are “breaking the law” by being here illegally, simply saying that they all need to just “go back home” is neither just nor biblical. Instead, this kind of response ignores the complexity of the problem and the fact that many other people are also responsible for their situation. For that reason, The Wesleyan Church has published the Wesleyan Immigration Position Statement to set forth a biblical perspective on this situation.

I am proud that Wesleyans have been in the forefront among Christian organizations on this matter, including those represented by the National Association of Evangelicals (see NAE Supports Comprehensive Immigration Reform), many mainline denominations, and The Catholic church (see Catholic Church Supports Immigration Reform). In addition, World Relief is a strong advocate for this just cause (see World Relief for Immigration Reform). There are also links to web sites for other organizations in the side bar at the upper right hand side of this blog page.

4. But are Christians supposed to get involved in politics?

Again, the answer is yes. In fact, we are commanded to be on the side of the poor, the hungry, children, widows, strangers, and immigrants. The idea that Christians are not supposed to speak out against these kinds of injustices is a lie of Satan. Sometimes taking a stand will require us to choose between the laws of our country and our higher duties as citizens of the Kingdom of God.

5. So how can you join me in making a difference on this issue?

• First, pray that God will intervene and guide us as His people in this matter
• Second, get acquainted with people in our immigrant Wesleyan churches and encourage them with your friendship, prayers, and support
• Third, read the proposed legislation at the Text of the DREAM Act
• Fourth, ask your government officials and representatives to support this legislation
• Fifth, join me in inviting others to join us in supporting this cause, including
o Your family, friends, and neighbors
o Our local churches
o Our districts
o Our colleges and universities

I look forward to your comments and thank you for joining me in this effort.


Dallas Jenkins said...

Really? A family that's come here and is stealing taxpayer money while not contributing to the pool is "disadvantaged?"

You obviously haven't spent much time in Los Angeles, where emergency rooms are literally shutting down because they can't afford to stay open. Why? They can't document or find illegals to get payment for the treatment they've received. How is that just or biblical?

Norman Wilson said...

Thanks, Dallas, for your comment. You are right that I haven't spent a lot of time in Los Angeles nor in Arizona.

Many are unaware that a vast majority of immigrants do have "Tax Identification Numbers" and faithfully pay taxes. Their goal is to become citizens and they are doing all they can to comply with the law.

The problem of undocumented immigrants goes back over 24 years and is very complex. Please note that the focus of this post is about the innocent children. The Scriptures set forth a lot of principles (For more information, go to the link to the Immigation Statement of The Wesleyan Church).



::athada:: said...


Senator Reid has apparently said he wants to pass the DREAM act in the upcoming lame duck session ( I don't usually do this, but I'm using your great post here to send to family members and friends, urging them to contact their senators. Thanks again.

::athada:: said...

Reid has said that he wants to pass the DREAM act during the lame duck session ( This might be risky, but I'm passing along your well-written post to friends and families to urge them to write senators. Thanks again.

::athada:: said...
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