“Much in the News, also in Our Hearts”
Headlines and news bulletins have focused on decisions in Washington, D.C., regarding “Dreamers,” that is the program of “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” (DACA).
The program was established by a presidential executive order after legislation did not pass Congress to address various immigration issues, including the status of persons who were brought into the U.S. when they were children.
Enough loud voices have been raised – sometimes with insight, often without. People now, with calm reason, may petition their Congressional Representatives and Senators to find ways to show respect for those who have qualified for the program, who are engaged in schooling, college, graduate study, who are in the military, and who are working.
I saw an interview this morning on TV of someone who – with a nasty tone – claimed leaders of the churches have “no business” commenting on this matter.
Well, there is a basic problem in that argument. All members of the church bear – in a profound way – the “burden” of the teaching of Scripture, the teaching about welcoming “the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt” (Deut. 10:19). And then we also have the hospitality of Jesus toward the foreigner we now know as “the Good Samaritan” (Luke 10:29-37).
Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) is working intensely on this DACA matter and related issues. Through the work of LIRS, members of Congress and others are being reminded that Lutherans have a long history of compassion. We are not about to abandon our heritage now.
The Rev. Lowell G. Almen
Bishop of the Grand Canyon Synod
of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America