Leaders to Call for Congressional Action in 2014
ZEELAND, Mich. — As U.S. House leaders continue to debate the urgency of immigration reform this year, top Michigan faith, business and education leaders met today to discuss immigration and add their voices to the nationwide call for congressional action.
At the event, hosted by the Bibles, Badges and Business for Immigration Reform network (BBB), the Evangelical Immigration Table and the Christian Reformed Church in North America, notable Michigan faith, business and education leaders discussed the economic and moral imperatives for passing immigration reform this Congress.
The following are quotes from local Michigan leaders at today’s event:
Timothy Brown, President, Western Theological Seminary:
“I’m compelled to join with other Evangelical leaders in urging Congress to bring forward immigration reform that works. I believe our leaders know how to get this done. In the name of Jesus — the one who said ‘I was a stranger, and you welcomed me’ — we must do this!”
Micki Buist, Owner, Micandy Gardens, Hudsonville:
“If agriculture and agri-business are to remain vital to the economic stability and growth of our state, then it is absolutely imperative that we as a country embrace immigration reform
now. The immigrant population is the workforce behind these many businesses, and they need a pathway that gives honor and dignity for the hard work they are performing. Owners of these many businesses need to be assured they can continue to plant and to harvest, to market and to sell. For this country to do anything less is irresponsible, unethical and immoral.”
Principal Deb Feenstra, Holland High School:
“As an educator in Holland Public Schools I have seen firsthand the negative impact that our current immigration system has on our students and families. I watch students who are brought to the U.S. as small children, attend our schools, get to their senior year and realize they cannot receive college scholarships or obtain a license in many career fields, so they give up and drop out. They had such promising futures but become discouraged members of our society vs. productive contributing members of our economy.”
Bing Goei, Owner, Eastern Floral; Director, Michigan Office for New Americans:
“I believe one of the most important investments we can make in our economic future is fixing our immigration system. We need an immigration policy that allows us to hire the STEM talent needed to allow our economy to grow, create new businesses and increase opportunities for high-paying jobs.”
Rev. Dr. David Schuringa, President, Crossroads Bible Institute:
“Like today, undocumented immigrants in Bible times were devoid of human rights, abused at will, relentlessly harassed. But that was not to be so among God’s people. ‘Aliens’ were to be protected and provided for along with the poor, orphans, and widows, and they were even to be afforded the same treatment as citizens (Deut. 10:18–19). Let us uphold this call to welcome the stranger, and implement just policies that reflect this command.”
Dr. David Stubbs, Professor of Theology and Ethics, Western Theological Seminary:
“As a teacher of scripture and a leader in the church, I have an interest in immigration policy reform for several reasons. In the Old Testament, an important part of the nation of Israel’s ‘justice scorecard’ was how they treated those with little power in their society including the ‘resident alien’ — people who lived in Israel but were not, at least not yet, full members of their community. This tells me that God cares deeply about people in such situations. We could do much better as a country in treating them with the dignity and respect they deserve. In addition, having had the privilege of knowing several undocumented immigrants who were truly pillars of our local community, I think our country would greatly benefit from finding better ways to help such people toward citizenship.”
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