VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 1/30/13)—Remaining true to its long history of ministry to immigrants and refugees, American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) continues advocacy efforts through its Office of Immigration and Refugee Services, while supporting recent steps toward comprehensive immigration reform in the United States.
Encouraged by President Obama’s recent remarks in Las Vegas, Nev., calling for a common-sense approach to swiftly address an “outdated, broken immigration system,” ABHMS applauds the recently proposed “Bipartisan Framework for Comprehensive Immigration Reform.”
The framework emphasizes a legislative pathway to citizenship for the more than 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States—including undocumented youth, or “DREAMers”—as well as reforms that support the reunification of separated families. A group of eight senators authored the reform proposal: Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.); John McCain (R-Ariz.); Dick Durbin (D-Ill.); Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.); Bob Menendez (D-N.J.); Marco Rubio (R-Fla.); Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.).
“This is good news,” says the Rev. Aundreia Alexander, Esq., ABHMS national coordinator for Immigration and Refugee Services, who advocates on the national level through such organizations as the Interfaith Immigration Coalition, for which she serves on the steering committee. “We have had many ebbs and flows on this issue of immigration reform. I look forward to working within our networks to monitor the legislative details that come out of this framework.”
ABHMS supports the Interfaith Immigration Coalition’s “Interfaith Statement on Immigration Reform.” In addition, ABHMS signed the coalition’s “2013 Principles for Immigration Reform” letter to Congress and recently participated in and promoted the coalition’s “National Faith Call-In Day for Humane Immigration Reform,” which urged citizens to let their voices be heard in support of reform by phoning members of Congress.
“Since our inception, ABHMS has been at the forefront of welcoming immigrants into our country and into our churches,” says ABHMS Executive Director Dr. Aidsand F. Wright-Riggins III. “God has used this faithful response to ‘strangers’ to profoundly shape American Baptist Churches USA so that no one racial or ethnic group holds majority membership. God has woven us into a coat of many colors, and we are a reflection of the American family. We are pleased with the legislative framework that is in line with our Biblical call to welcome the stranger among us.”
ABHMS offers a number of resources to assist individuals and congregations with immigration advocacy. For more information, visit www.abhms.org > Ministries & Programs > Justice Ministries > Immigration and Refugee Services.
ABHMS—the domestic mission arm of American Baptist Churches USA—ministers as the caring heart and serving hands of Jesus Christ across the United States and Puerto Rico through a multitude of initiatives that focus on discipleship, community and justice.
American Baptist Churches USA is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with over 5,200 local congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.