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GOP Senator: Immigration Bill's Fate Hangs in the Balance [SBC, Catholic Church support the bill)
The Christian Post ^ | Jun. 18 2007 | Ethan Cole

Posted on 06/21/2007 9:20:35 AM PDT by Alex Murphy

WASHINGTON – The controversial immigration bill proposing to legalize millions of illegal immigrants has revived but its fate on the senate floor is unpredictable, said the top Republican senator Sunday.

“It’s a mixed picture,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on CBS’ Face the Nation. “There are good things in the bill, and not-so-good things in the bill.”

McConnell said the vote is too close to call, according to The Associated Press.

Last week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and McConnell pledged to revive the bill days after President Bush made a personal lobbying visit to a Republican luncheon on Capitol Hill – his first since 2001. Bush had made an emotional appeal to Republicans on the importance of the issue and his commitment to secure the border – a top concern for Republicans.

The bill has not only sparked emotionally-charged debates in the Capitol, but also in churches. Last month, churches in five big U.S. cities – Los Angeles, San Diego, Seattle, Chicago, and New York – launched the immigrant sanctuary movement to use church buildings to protect illegal immigrants from deportation.

“We want to put a human face to very complex immigration laws and awaken the consciousness of human spirit,” said Fr. Richard Estrada of Our Lady Queen of Angels Catholic Church in Los Angeles at the launch event in May, according to AP.

In addition, the Washington representative of the Southern Baptist Convention – the nation’s largest protestant denomination with over 16 million members – has also voiced his support of a comprehensive immigration reform bill.

“One of the great tragedies of our immigration crisis is that these people have come here illegally. But the difference is that they have come here illegally to work,” said Dr. Richard Land, president of the SBC’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, in March.

“These people have come here to work and to become part of the American dream and they are far too often exploited by unscrupulous individual employers and that is not going to end until we have comprehensive immigration reform,” Land emphasized.

The Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference calls for a bill that would respect the rule of law yet provide a “moral” and “biblical” response to the immigration crisis.

Other prominent evangelical leaders who support comprehensive immigration reforms include Joel Osteen and Jack Hayford, according to Rodriguez.

Yet other Christians are particularly opposed to the current Senate bill including the Christian legal group Liberty Counsel, which criticizes the bill as offering amnesty to lawbreakers.

“The proposed immigration bill is fatally flawed,” read a Liberty Counsel alert on Friday. “It is being pushed as the best solution by most of the Democrats in Congress, a few of the Republicans and President Bush, who is diligently trying to persuade America to hop aboard the amnesty train. “Amnesty has been tried and has not worked,” the group stated.

The immigration reform bill composed by a bipartisan group of senators and the White House would provide a path for some 12 million illegal immigrants in the country to become citizens, increase border security, and impose stricter surveillance and laws against employers hiring illegal immigrants.

Lawmakers expect to vote on the contentious bill before they begin their Fourth of July Vacation.

TOPICS: Catholic; Evangelical Christian; Religion & Culture; Religion & Politics
KEYWORDS: aliens; congress; immigrantlist; noamnestyforillegals; richardland; sbc

1 posted on 06/21/2007 9:20:38 AM PDT by Alex Murphy
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To: Alex Murphy

Along with with holding federal funds from cities/counties that give sanctuary maybe we ought to consider yanking 501C3 status from churches which violate the law.

2 posted on 06/21/2007 9:42:25 AM PDT by GailA (I'm a quilt-a-holic and proud of it. Run Fred Run!)
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Comment #3 Removed by Moderator

To: 1_Inch_Group; 2sheep; 2Trievers; 3AngelaD; 3pools; 3rdcanyon; 4Freedom; 4ourprogeny; 7.62 x 51mm; ..


4 posted on 06/21/2007 10:07:42 AM PDT by gubamyster
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Comment #5 Removed by Moderator

To: Alex Murphy

Immigration Reform and Southern Baptists

By Richard Land - Apr 3, 2007 - 20

News reports in both the national print and electronic media have unfortunately sown some confusion over where Southern Baptists, and I, stand on the question of immigration reform.

Like most Americans, Southern Baptists and other Evangelicals continue to search for a morally responsible way to address the growing immigration crisis while honoring the rule of law.

To date, legislation offering truly comprehensive immigration reform—legislation that will garner the support of a critical mass of Southern Baptists and other Evangelicals—has yet to be written and introduced in Congress.

Immigration reform that is “truly” comprehensive and will earn my support will square with the points covered in a resolution overwhelmingly adopted by Southern Baptists’ elected messengers meeting at their annual convention in June 2006.

The reform would:

If I were a U.S. Congressman or Senator, I would not support any immigration bill that has yet been introduced. Each of the bills falls short in some critical areas.

Senate measures have been too lenient and have not adequately addressed border security. The House bill, which gained passage in the last session, was inadequate in that it focused almost exclusively on border security and failed to position the government to deal “realistically with the immigration crisis in a way that would restore trust among the citizenry,” as the SBC resolution urges.

The legislation that will generate majority support among Southern Baptists and other Evangelicals is still out there waiting to be written and introduced in the Congress.

It is imperative that Congress—consistent with national sovereignty and with our national security—expeditiously find a way to resolve this moral problem in a moral way in line with the ideals of our nation.

I am in favor of a measure that includes controlling the borders and enforcing immigration laws inside the country, while offering no amnesty for lawbreakers. This is my position and the position that emerges from any fair and objective reading of the SBC resolution.

The term “comprehensive legislation” is not code for amnesty, no matter what my critics contend. Webster defines amnesty as the “act of an authority (as a government) by which pardon is granted to a large group of individuals.” Amnesty is wiping a transgressor’s record clean—it is a free ride.

Proper reform should consist of a “guest-worker” program that requires an illegal immigrant to undergo a criminal background check, pay a fine, agree to pay back taxes, learn English, and get in line behind those who have legally migrated into this country in order to apply for permanent residence after a probationary period of years. Amnesty? Hardly.

To call any proposed requirement—that individuals must learn to read and write and speak English and go through a rigorous process in order to earn their way out of a lengthy period of “probation” in order to apply for legal status—“amnesty” is to do violence to the English language.

One must not only learn how to read, write, and speak English properly; one must use the language as it was intended. Words have agreed upon meanings. One cannot change the meanings of words arbitrarily. Penalties, probation, and requirements do not equal “amnesty.”

My position and the position of most Southern Baptists with whom I have spoken on this issue embraces the thought that if these immigrants choose to travel on a “path of legal status and/or citizenship,” it must include certain financial, time, and other requirements. Amnesty? Hardly.

As reflected in the resolution on immigration that was overwhelmingly adopted at the Southern Baptist Convention meeting last June in Greensboro, N.C., and as I said in a press conference March 29, 2007, in Washington, D.C., on the topic of immigration, Southern Baptists will not embrace reform that is not committed to securing the borders.

As U.S. citizens, we have a right to expect the federal government to enforce the laws regarding who crosses our borders. Border security is a question of national sovereignty, national security, and the government fulfilling its divinely mandated responsibility to enforce the law (Romans 13:1-7).

While the government focuses on enforcing the law, Christians are mandated to forgive and to act redemptively within their communities toward all people, including illegal immigrants. As citizens of the Lord’s heavenly Kingdom, we have a divine mandate to respond compassionately toward those who are in need.

At the March 29 press conference, I not only cited extensively the SBC resolution on the immigration crisis, I also handed out copies of a first-person commentary on the issue that was published in Baptist Press (04/27/06), well prior to the Convention’s adoption of the resolution in June of that year.

I was asked by a USA Today reporter following that press conference if my position on this issue was not somewhat ahead of where “some” of the people in the pew were. I agreed that I might be “a little bit ahead” of where some Southern Baptists are vis-à-vis this issue, but I noted voting messengers at the Southern Baptist Convention adopted the resolution on the immigration crisis with near unanimity and with no debate.

For the record, I did not say, and did not acknowledge, that I was “a little bit ahead” of where the Convention was. In fact, I was at the press conference representing what the Convention had said on the issue.

Once again I am reminded that it is usually far better to speak for yourself than to leave it to others to write about what you supposedly said.

If I were in Congress I would look to the SBC resolution on immigration reform as a blueprint and plumb line for writing truly comprehensive immigration reform. None of the legislation currently being proposed or considered in the Congress comes anywhere close to rising to the standard set by our Convention’s messengers last June.

I remain determined to do my best to ensure that Southern Baptists and I are not misunderstood on this critical issue, in spite of how we are sometimes portrayed in the mainstream media. To understand better Southern Baptists’ views on this issue, I urge you to look to our Web site,, and Baptist Press, and not rely solely on national press reports.

Please take the time to look over our entire overview of immigration reform.

6 posted on 06/21/2007 10:18:12 AM PDT by Between the Lines (I am very cognizant of my fallibility, sinfulness, and other limitations.)
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To: DoctorJim; Alex Murphy
[SBC, Catholic Church support the bill)

Perhaps that should be "members of" since that's what the story indicates.

7 posted on 06/21/2007 10:23:29 AM PDT by siunevada (If we learn nothing from history, what's the point of having one? - Peggy Hill)
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To: Alex Murphy

I am sick to death of these maggots - not the illegal invaders, who, after all, are only trying to better a miserable life living in a third world hell-hole like the “Republic” of Mexico, but with those maggots here in the U.S. who support, excuse, and advocate essentially open borders, like th eones quoted in this article.

Again, people who provide “sanctuary” or employment to illegal invaders should be criminally penalized, and those politicians who listen to shills like these should be voted out of office.

8 posted on 06/21/2007 10:25:17 AM PDT by ZULU (Non nobis, non nobis Domine, sed nomini tuo da gloriam. God, guts and guns made America great.)
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To: Alex Murphy

Just say NO to Illegal Alien Amnesty!! Keep calling!! It’s NOT OVER!!

U.S. Senate switchboard: (202) 224-3121

U.S. House switchboard: (202) 225-3121

White House comments: (202) 456-1111

Find your House Rep.:

Find your US Senators:

9 posted on 06/21/2007 10:33:20 AM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (Fred Thompson/John Bolton 2008)
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To: Between the Lines

The Mormon Church has been doing an outreach into the illegals that live in the southern part of my county and most likely helped defeat the GOP State Rep that is heading the outreach for the Mormon Church in 2006.

10 posted on 06/21/2007 10:56:30 AM PDT by PhiKapMom ( Inhofe for Senate 08 -- Broken Glass Republican -- vote out the RATs in 2008)
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To: DoctorJim
I am NOT for illegal immigration, and neither is the Catholic Church.

Our local bishop is though. He writes comumns every week about how illegals are only here to work and how horrible it is that politicians think they should leave - that that is an unchristian view. IF the Church leaders were to leave the politics of it alone and only express the same sentiments in your post, I'd be fine with it. But they don't....
11 posted on 06/21/2007 11:22:04 AM PDT by CottonBall
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To: Alex Murphy
The priest's name is Richard Estrada? I think this calls for one of these, Fr. "Ric" Estrada:

12 posted on 06/21/2007 11:29:21 AM PDT by dangus (Mr. President, "Choke on it b!+ch" is not a very good campaign slogan for your amnesty.)
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To: siunevada

>> Perhaps that should be “members of” since that’s what the story indicates. <<

The leadership does.

But the MAGISTERIUM of the Catholic Church says something much different, that to import laborers into a country to work at substandard wages (which is, after all, why “Americans won’t do” those jobs) is “a crime which cries out to the sky for vengence,” according to Rerum Novarum, the papal encyclical which several successive popes have endorsed as the most important encyclical of the modern era.

That’s right, “a crime which cries out to the sky for vengence.”

Not exactly your staid churchspeak, there.

13 posted on 06/21/2007 11:34:01 AM PDT by dangus (Mr. President, "Choke on it b!+ch" is not a very good campaign slogan for your amnesty.)
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To: Alex Murphy
“There are good things in the bill, and not-so-good things in the bill.”

How stupid can this man be? IF they know there are some "not-so-good things in the bill" then why in the heck can't they fix it, instead of passing bad laws? That destroys my confidence in our 'leaders.' They are unfit to make ANY laws!!!

14 posted on 06/21/2007 12:34:22 PM PDT by NRA2BFree ("The time is near at hand which must determine whether Americans are to be free men or slaves!")
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To: CottonBall
He writes comumns every week about how illegals are only here to work and how horrible it is that politicians think they should leave - that that is an unchristian view.

Aren't three of those six guys intending to attack Ft. Dix illegal? I guess they were just here to kill the American servicemen that Americans were unwilling to kill.

What are the bishop's thoughts on Z visas for terrorists? Never thought about that? Start thinking!

15 posted on 06/21/2007 12:37:00 PM PDT by siunevada (If we learn nothing from history, what's the point of having one? - Peggy Hill)
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To: DoctorJim

The John Paul II speech you mentioned:

“Illegal immigration should be prevented, but it is also essential to combat vigorously the criminal activities which exploit illegal immigrants. The most appropriate choice, which will yield consistent and long-lasting results is that of international cooperation which aims to foster political stability and to eliminate underdevelopment. The present economic and social imbalance, which to a large extent encourages the migratory flow, should not be seen as something inevitable, but as a challenge to the human race’s sense of responsibility.”

16 posted on 06/21/2007 1:21:14 PM PDT by Greg F (<><)
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