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Evangelical Leaders Issue Statement on ‘Dreamers’

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On Thursday a group of evangelical leaders issued a statement calling on Congress to provide a legislative solution for the so-called ‘Dreamers.’

The term Dreamers (sometimes DREAMers) refers to young undocumented immigrants who would qualify under the DREAM Act for permanent residency in the United States. The DREAM Act (an acronym for Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors) is proposed federal legislation that would provide permanent resident status on a conditional basis for certain long-term residents who entered the U.S. as children.

Even though the DREAM Act was never passed, the term Dreamers is often used to describe young undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as minors, are pursuing or have pursued education, and have never been convicted of felonies or multiple misdemeanors.

The coalition of signers was led by ERLC President Russell Moore. In the statement, Moore and others encouraged Congress to come up with a solution in a timely manner that would protect these young immigrants. The statement does not endorse any particular piece of legislation but rather asks Congress to take action and act justly.

The statement offers six overarching principles which signatories believe should characterize any legislative solution Congress proposes:

  • We believe it is unjust to punish children for offenses they did not commit.
  • We believe America’s borders must be secure.
  • We believe we should welcome Dreamers of good moral character and who are working hard to contribute to our country.
  • We believe Dreamers deserve to be recognized as our fellow Americans.
  • We believe our government should provide a pathway to permanent legal status and/or citizenship for eligible Dreamers.
  • We believe a just government works to maintain the integrity of families.

“It is long past time for Congress to work together to find a workable solution for our broken immigration system—especially for the hundreds of thousands of young, undocumented immigrants who were brought to our country by their parents,” said Moore. “Many of these Dreamers have stepped forward in good faith, and our government has a moral obligation to deliver on the promises made to these men and women and protect them from perpetual uncertainty.

“I’m honored to be joined on this statement by convictional leaders from across the evangelical spectrum. We stand together united by many things, in this case the conviction Congress should provide a fair, compassionate and speedy solution.”

recent poll found that seventy-six percent of Americans believe the government should allow Dreamers to remain, with 58 percent of that 76 percent saying they should be able to become citizens if they meet certain requirements, and 18 percent saying they should be allowed to become legal residents.

Those who agree with the principles can add their name to the statement here.

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