The Border Perspective

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Community member, Maryada Vallet, is posting regular dispatches from the border on Sojourners blog. Maryada grew up in Phoenix in the evangelical tradition.

God's Politics

Evangelicals on the Border: Steps Forward and Back for Immigrants

by Maryada Vallet 04-21-2010

From the borderlands perspective, it has been a week of momentous steps both forward and back for immigrants. We applaud the evangelical leadership that recently vocalized the importance of immigration reform this year, with backing from the National Association of Evangelicals, World Relief, and the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, among others.

In Arizona, we are shocked and devastated by the recent state and federal policies. The legislation SB1070 creates an aggressive Arizona immigration enforcement system. This is not the answer to the slow and desperately needed federal reform. As Christians, we know from the deepest roots of our faith that we must care for our neighbors, not turn our backs on them — nor turn them in.

Compounding the shock came one of the biggest enforcement raids in Arizona history. As the news reported, eight hundred agents descended upon Nogales, Phoenix, and cities in between, to allegedly bust a smuggling ring, but this was not entirely true on the ground.

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