A nationwide outrage over an immigration policy that allowed the separation of children from parents detained at the southern border did not appear to diffuse much despite President Donald Trump’s executive order signed Wednesday to stop the practice.
While leaders in the Hispanic evangelical community in the U.S., such as Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, and Wilfredo De Jesús, influential speaker and pastor, praised the President for his action, they also expressed disappointment.
“I join with millions of Americans of all political persuasions in expressing my relief that our country’s collective crescendo of horror at seeing families separated at our southern border has led this administration to urgently advance an executive order to keep families intact during processing,” Rodriguez, who is also the pastor of New Season Church in Sacramento and Los Angeles, stated. “That being said, I think once again leaning only on presidential executive orders to fix our failing immigration system would be an egregious mistake that will only create additional crises in the future. Let us not settle for so little when it comes to reform.”
De Jesús, Senior Pastor of New Life Covenant Church in Chicago and author of “Move Into More,” said in a statement also released yesterday: “While I am pleased that President Trump today signed an executive order to allow immigrant children to stay with their parents caught crossing the border illegally, I am disappointed that this action took so long.
“Since President Trump entered the Oval Office, he has claimed to be an ally to people of faith. Evangelicals closest to President Trump must be less concerned with their relationship to the president and more concerned with speaking boldly to stand up for the oppressed.”
He added that God does not close his eyes on how we care for individuals.
“The Bible clearly states in Matthew 25 how we are to respond to strangers in our land. If we treat people with value and love, He will bless our nation,” he said.
“We are a country built on values, yet we are experiencing moral decay. Over the last 40 years, we have lost ground in the value system on which this nation was founded.
“For too long, we have put a Band-Aid on our immigration system. Republicans and Democrats must quit using family, an institution God created, as pawns for their benefit, and instead put aside their differences and fix this broken system before it is too late.”
De Jesús concluded, “Now is the time for the Church – the greatest institution on the planet – to rise up and fight for these people who are being marginalized and ostracized.”