New Evangelical Left Film for Amnesty

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A new film and website produced under the aegis of the relief arm of the National Association of Evangelicals touts the pro-amnesty cause to young evangelicals.  Called, Undocumented.tv, the film and website explain that their advocacy for the “undocumented,” i.e. illegal immigrants, is premised on “Caucasian evangelicals” being “especially obligated to speak for those who cannot speak.”  It also explains that illegal immigration ostensibly facilitates evangelism in the U.S.  and it notes that since white evangelicals “mostly sat out” the 1960’s era Civil Rights Movement, “we don’t want to make the same mistake” on what could be “the great justice issue of our time.”

But “justice” for whom?  Undocumented.tv seems largely aimed at upper middle class, educated, white evangelicals who are slightly guilty about their privileges and are atoning through amnesty advocacy.  All immigrants, whether legal or illegal, and no matter where they are from or why they came to the U.S., are characteristically lumped together, with their political and economic interests portrayed as interchangeable.  Do legal immigrants as a whole favor mass legalization for all illegal immigrants?  Does a legal immigrant Indian engineer have the same opinions as a Sudanese political refugee or an illegal laborer from Mexico?  Or are these questions irrelevant in terms of what may be the ultimate goal:  easy good feelings for aspiring social activists in search of a “justice” cause.

Like most Evangelical Left amnesty advocacy, Undocumented.tv largely avoids specifics, especially statistics.  The U.S. accepts about 1 million legal immigrants every year.  Almost 40 million Americans currently are immigrants who gained legal status.  Most legal immigrants every year involve family reunification, for which there is virtually no ceiling, at least for immediate family.  Only a small minority of legal immigrants annually fit professional job quotas, are refugees, or are seeking asylum.  Current U.S. immigration policy, which accepts more immigrants every decade than the total population of most states, is extraordinarily generous.  It is not particularly focused on attracting highly educated, easily employable immigrants who quickly benefit the U.S. economy.  Instead, it prioritizes family reunification, and to a much lesser degree, refugees and asylum seekers.

Few of any of these details interest the conscience salving political advocacy of liberal evangelicals.  Their amnesty advocacy would primarily privilege Latin American illegal immigrants, especially Mexico and Central America, over virtually all other immigrants.  Mexico and Central America are not as wealthy as the U.S. but neither are they among the world’s poorest nations.  Immigrants from those countries currently are typically not fleeing political or religious persecution.  The vast majority of illegal immigrants from that region want jobs with better income, plus the social services and overall standard of living that accompany residency in the U.S., even for the “undocumented.”  Their desires are humanly understandable.  But a purely humanitarian immigration policy would prioritize immigration from much poorer nations, especially those dealing with famine or extreme political or religious persecution.  An immigration policy purely focused on U.S. national interests might prioritize highly educated immigrants expert in highly desirable professional fields.

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  • davarino

    Why dont all the "religious" organizations pool together to help these ailing nations come out of third world status by reforming their governments and economies. No, they dont want to do that hard work, they want someone else, like me, to just give them a handout and let them in the country without doing the right thing.

    Thanks for your caring at my expense.

  • Maya

    Religious fanatics like these people are destroying this country. Many Americans and legal immigrants suffer because of their evil work. The quote in the article that “Caucasian evangelicals” are “especially obligated to speak for those who cannot speak.” is laughable! The main stream media can't stop putting out sob stories for ILLEGALS. Our government taxes pay to support racists groups like ACORN and La Raza. These mixed up evangelists are destroying our beautiful nation by assisting in the invasion from south of the border! Despicable people all!

    • Stephen_Brady

      You may consider these people to be "religious fanatics", and you are entitled to your opinion. But you need to understand that there are more than one kind of evangelical.

      The article speaks primarily about the Left evangelicals, who would be very happy in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) …. a church which ordains homosexuals, or the American Baptist Association (ABA), to which Bill Moyers belongs. These "evangelicals" are spreading the gospel, this is true, but it is a gospel of fellow-travellers and Marists.

      I am an evangelical, and I am ABSOLUTELY opposed to amnesty. Don't allow your religious biases to paint all evangelicals as "fanatics".

  • Questions

    I have found that evangelicals, with few exceptions, have a fatal sentimentality that renders them incapable of looking at power struggles, domestic or global, through a prism of realism. Even the ones on the Right, with their instaiable desire to foster conversions among backward Third World heathen, simply cannot imagine a world where biological, cultural and linguistic strangers come to the U.S. with the intent of doing us harm.

    The whole idea of the nation-state is predicated on the idea that humans, unencumbered, can and will do fatal harm to each other — and that enforceable borders ("good fences") can minimize that risk. Christian radicals on the Right and Left alike are worse than useless on the immigration debate; they are anti-American, even as they proclaim the best of intentions to fulfill America's promise.

  • JohnRalph

    I also don't agree with amnesty.

    Signers of the Declaration of Independence were Anglicans (Episcopalians) over half, Congregationalist, Presbyterian, Quaker, Unitarian, Lutheran and Catholic. None of which adhered to "adult" baptism. Also, the reason the issue of separation of church and state even exits is because of Jefferson's letter to the "Baptist" at Danbury, Conn. Assuring them that what many churches believed was their heretical form would be protected.

    To all Fundamentalist or Pentecostal so called Evangelicals, Jesus was about six feet tall half black American and half white American with straggly blonde hair and weighed over 400 pounds, just like most of them. The Four Gospels are not Mathew, Mark, Luke and John but rather football, pro wrestling, NASCAR racing, country and rap music.

    • Jon Alan

      JohnRalph, I feel vey sorry for you as you must lead a miserable existance. I am a fundamentalIst evangelical Christ follower of many decades and I can assure you I dop not fit into your descriptipn of "all fundamentalists". Not only have you missed the target you are firing off your miserablness in entirelty the opposite direction.

  • cynthia curran

    Well a good member of rigth wingers like RIchard Land singed with Jim Wallis on legalizing of illegal immigrants. Personality, right wing politicians have also with their brethren on the left help the caused of legalizing illegal immigrants, both the left and right are at fault. Wall Street journal as bad as Sojourers.