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An Open Letter to MN Congresspersons: A Christian Call for Immigration Reform

(PDF Version)

We join our voices together as Christian leaders in Minnesota to urge our state’s congressional representatives to work together to pass just and compassionate immigration reform that provides a roadmap to citizenship for undocumented people of good moral character, creates a temporary worker program, promotes family reunification, ensures due process of law for all people, secures our borders, and strengthens our society.

The Bible speaks clearly and repeatedly of God’s concern for those who, for many reasons, have had to leave their homeland and settle elsewhere.  Our Lord Jesus Christ himself was one such migrant, fleeing Palestine for the safety of Egypt. The scriptures guide the Christ-follower toward principles that should inform both the interpersonal ways that we interact with our immigrant neighbors and the public policies that we support.

Therefore, because of our commitment to following what God has revealed to us in Scripture, we are driven to address the needs of immigrants in our country. As leaders we commit to treating immigrants with love, respect, and mercy in our churches and organizations, while also urging our elected representatives to work towards a bipartisan solution on immigration that:

  1. Upholds the human dignity of all persons and work against any injustice that compromises the dignity of immigrants;
  2. Promotes the importance of family unity and gives priority to the reunification of families;
  3. Provides more functional legal mechanisms for temporary workers that protects both the immigrant workers and US Citizen workers;
  4. Establishes an equitable process towards earned legalization for foreign nationals of good moral character;
  5. Follows due process in the enforcement of immigration laws and does so with respect for human dignity and the rule of law.

To be sure, we recognize the sovereign right of nations to secure their borders and make decisions about the identity and number of immigrants allowed into their country. We also believe that our government has a duty to consider immigration’s impact on our domestic economy and national security.

As priests, pastors, and other religious leaders we have, however, experienced first-hand that our nation’s current immigration system fails to reflect our nation’s commitment to the values of human dignity, family unity, and respect for the rule of law that define us as Americans.  A broken system needs to be fixed for reasons of justice for all.

Today there exists both the urgency and opportunity to pass comprehensive reform.  This historic moment is even more compelling because of the way in which it can be a symbol of people coming together to achieve real solutions to difficult social problems.  In this way, it can be model for future action that transcends partisanship and brings diverse communities together.

Jason Adkins
Executive Director, Minnesota Catholic Conference 

Sergio Amezcua
Pastor, Brooklyn Park Free Evangelical Church

Rev. Herman Colon, Jr.
Senior Pastor, Iglesia Maranatha Minneapolis

Rev. Yolandita Colon
Executive Justice Pastor, Iglesia Maranatha Minneapolis

Dr. John Crosby
Senior Pastor, Christ Presbyterian of Edina

Rev. Dr. Leo A. Endel
Executive Director, Minn.-Wisconsin Baptist Convention

Richard J. Ensrud
Senior Pastor, Brooklyn Park Church

Rev. Chad Erlenborn
Lead Pastor, Maple Grove Covenant Church

Rev. Joel Goff
Senior Pastor, Ridgewood Church–Minnetonka

Dr. Steve Goold
Senior Pastor, New Hope Church

Jeff Groen
Pastor, Evergreen Church–Bloomington

Rev. Dr. William Hamel
President, Evangelical Free Church of America

Most Reverend Michael J. Hoeppner
Bishop of Catholic Diocese of Crookston

Most Reverend John F. Kinney
Bishop of Catholic Diocese of St. Cloud

Most Reverend John M. LeVoir
Bishop of Catholic Diocese of New Ulm

Superintendent Tom Mouw
North Central District, Evangelical Free Church of America

Carl Nelson
President, Transform Minnesota: the evangelical network

Most Reverend John C. Nienstedt
Archbishop of Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis

Rev. James Olson
Senior Pastor, Bethel Christian Fellowship

Most Reverend Lee A. Piché
Auxiliary Bishop of Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis

Most Reverend John M. Quinn
Bishop of Catholic Diocese of Winona

Mark R. Radeke
Pastor, River of Life Church–Cambridge

Most Reverend Paul D. Sirba
Bishop of Catholic Diocese of Duluth

Rev. David J. Smith
Senior Pastor, Rose Hill Alliance Church

Rev. Mark Smith
Senior Pastor, Redeeming Love Church

Tim Tran
Pastor, Vietnamese Grace Church

Rev. Anne E. Vining
Senior Pastor, First Covenant Church of Saint Paul

 

Additional Signatories

Thomas M. Aitken
Bishop, Northeastern Minnesota Synod–ELCA

Jon Anderson
Bishop, Southwestern Minnesota Synod–ELCA

Rev. Peg Chemberlin
Executive Director, Minnesota Council of Churches

Rev. Dr. Paul Erickson
Assistant to the Bishop, Saint Paul Area Synod–ELCA

Rev. John Guttermann
Interfaith Coalition on Immigration

Rev. Kevin Kenney
Vicar of Latino Ministry, Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis

Peter Rogness
Bishop, Saint Paul Area Synod–ELCA

Rev. Paul Slack
President of ISAIAH and Pastor of New Creation Church

Ann Svennungsen
Bishop, Minneapolis Area Synod–ELCA

Harold Usgaard
Bishop, Southeastern Minnesota Synod–ELCA

Lawrence Wohlrabe
Bishop, Northwestern Minnesota Synod–ELCA

Anne Attea
Pastoral Associate, Catholic Church of the Ascension

Dennis Beach, OSB
Monk, St. John’s Abbey

Agnes V. Bishop
President, Austin Area Council of Catholic Women

Rev. Mr. Dave Blake
Deacon, Catholic Diocese of Winona

Albert Botchway
Pastor, Bethany Baptist Church

Matt Brown
Think Eternity

Jim Comfort
Lead Pastor, Osseo Church of the Nazarene

Tom Correll
Retired Missions Pastor

Rev. James Devorak
Parochial Vicar, St. John Catholic Church

Brian Doten
Pastor, Northwood Church, Maple Grove

Rev. Mr. Preston Doyle
Deacon, St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church

Rev. Dennis R. Edwards
Senior Pastor, Sanctuary Covenant Church

Rev. Kevin Finnegan
Pastor, Divine Mercy Catholic Church

Oswaldo Ramon Roche Gerdel
Igelsia Catolica, Saint Cloud

Jose M. Gonzalez, Jr.
Pastor, Faith Temple

Andy Gray
Pastor, The Urban Refuge

Rev. Brian P. Harris
Director of Adult Ministries, Trinity EFC Lakeville

Jeff Heidkamp
Lead Pastor, Mercy Vineyard Church

Dr. Mark J. Hinton
Director of Community Programs, World Relief Minnesota

Rev. Jeff Horejsi
Pastor, St. Andrew, Sacred Heart Catholic Church

Rev. Dr. Erik Hyatt
New City of Nations Church

Rev. Thomas Joseph
Pastor, St. Nicholas Catholic Church

Hollis Kim
Pastor, Good Shepherd Covenant Church, Blaine

Jin S. Kim
Senior Pastor, Church of All Nations

Rev. Anthony Kroll
Retired priest, Catholic Diocese of St. Cloud

Rev. David Landt
Lead Pastor, Mills Church

Br. David Paul Lange
College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University

Rev. Msgr. Eugene Lozinski
Pastor, St. Mary Catholic Church

Estela Villagrán Manancero
Latino Ministry, Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis

Kateri Mancini
Coordinator of Mission Education, Diocese of St. Cloud

Jon Marsden
Lead Pastor, River Heights Vineyard Church

Craig McClun
Mission Network Director, EFCA ReachGlobal

Rev. Kevin M. McDonough
Pastor, Sagrado Corazon/Incarnation Catholic Church

Rev. Dr. Peter A. Meier
MN South District, Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod

Rev. Thomas Merrill
Priest, Catholic Church of St. Mary

Rev. Eugene Michel, O.F.M.
Pastor, Sacred Heart Catholic Church

Rev. Gregory Miller, OSB
Sacramental Minister, Catholic Church of the Ascension

Rev. Bill Murtaugh
Pastor, Pax Christi Catholic Church, Eden Prairie

Elizabeth Neville
Director of Mission Office, Catholic Diocese of St. Cloud

Jeff O’Rourke
Pastor, Mosaic Christian Community Church of the Nazarene

Robert Oehrig
Executive Director, World Relief Minnesota

Douglas Lee Patterson
Pastor, Evergreen Church, New Hope

Rev. Donald Piché
Priest, St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church

Samuel P. Raia
Board Member, Transform Minnesota: the evangelical network

Reverend Daniel Rakotojoelinandrasana
Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ

Rev. Terry Rassmussen
Pastor, St. Joseph Catholic Church

Sr. Anna Marie Reha, SSND
Diocesan Director of Hispanic Ministry, Diocese of New Ulm

Rev. Timothy T. Reker
Pastor, St. Theodore Catholic Church

Rev. Terrance Rollerson
The Compass Covenant Church

Rev. Erich Rutten
Ecumenical Officer, Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis

Rev. Msgr. Donald P. Schmitz
Parochial Vicar, Pax Christi Catholic Church, Rochester

Phonh Sinbondit
Pastor, New Life Christian Reformed Church

Roxanne Smith
Social Justice Director, St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church

Sam Snyder
Pastor, Bethel Christian Fellowship, Minneapolis

Mauro Souza
Pastor, Dayton Ave Presbyterian Church

Rev. James Spahn, O.P.
Pastor, Holy Rosary–Santo Rosario Catholic Church

Rev. Joseph A. Steinbeisser
Pastor, Catholic Church of St. Philip of Litchfield

Joseph Cornelius Sutton
Pastor, Spirit of the Lord

Rev. Donald Tauscher
Monk, St. John’s Abbey

Rev. Craig Timmerman
Pastor, St. Peter Catholic Church

Rev. Frank S. Tomasiewicz
Retired priest, Catholic Diocese of St. Cloud

Elaine Tymchak
Global Outreach Manager, Berean Baptist Church

Rev. Archie VanderHart
Pastor, Faith Christian Reformed Church

Rev. Anthony VanderLoop
Pastor, Catholic Church of Saint Henry

Rev. Alberto Vargas
Baptist Churches of Renovation

Rev. Steven J. Verhelst
Pastor, Catholic Area Community of Jesus Our Living Water

Rev. Mr. Christopher Walchuk
Deacon, St. Teresa Catholic Church

Dan Woodbury
Minnetonka Community Church

Rev. Mr. Robert Yerhot
Deacon, Crucifixion Catholic Church