Immigration task force members holding handsWhat do The Social Principles say?

The 2009-2012 Discipline addresses in paragraph H) Rights for Immigrants: “We recognize, embrace, and affirm all persons regardless of country of origin, as members of the family of God. We affirm the right of all persons to equal opportunities for employment, access to housing, health care, education, and freedom from social discrimination. We urge the Church and society to recognize the gifts, contributions, and the struggles of those who are immigrants and to advocate for justice for all.” (Approved at General Conference 2008)

What is the Isaiah 58 Call to Prayer and Fasting?

Isaiah 58 is an initiative from the Interagency Task Force on Immigration and the Council of Bishops inviting all United Methodists for an intense time of Vigil and Fasting for a designated period of time, in response to the implementation of Arizona law SB 1070. The Council of Bishops asserted: “this law will potentially result in racial profiling against Latinos and immigrants of color. Though we are called to love and serve all immigrants, regardless of their legal status, this law could possibly criminalize those who minister among immigrant communities. This legislation will force police officers to abandon their responsibilities to protect and serve communities and force them to become federal immigration enforcement agents. This legislation has created a climate of fear and terror and has done nothing to repair the broken immigration system. It is clear that the Arizona law, SB 1070, falls short of the principles called for by the 2008 General Conference and therefore this legislation, and all other bills like it should be opposed by United Methodists.”

What do we mean when we say Comprehensive Immigration Reform? Does that mean Amnesty?

The United Methodist Church advocates for comprehensive immigration reform that consists of:

  • An opportunity for legal status for all undocumented migrants. Any pathway created for undocumented migrants should have minimal obstacles and those requirements should not be designed to preclude migrants from eligibility for legalization,
  • Clearing the backlogs and reunifying families separated by migration or detainment,
  • An increase in the number of visas for short-term workers to come into the United States to work in a safe, legal, and orderly way. Opportunities for legalization should be available for those who wish to remain permanently,
  • The protection of all workers who come to stay for a certain period of time as well as for those who stay permanently. The right to bargain for higher wages, to protest against poor working conditions, and to preserve their human rights should be maintained by all workers, documented and undocumented alike.