Opposition to the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Resolution Act
WHEREAS, the Holy Scriptures call us as the community of God to give shelter, protection and help to sojourners living amongst us, reminding us that we, too, were foreigners in other times; and
WHEREAS, the Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church through its document To Love the Sojourner has given the various boards, commissions, and agencies of The United Methodist Church direction as we relate to undocumented persons that live in our communities; and
WHEREAS, undocumented persons possess certain inalienable rights named and lifted in the International Declaration on Human Rights, the United Nations charter, as well as the documents concerning immigration of the Geneva Convention, and the Constitution of the United States Bill of Rights; and
WHEREAS, one of the most critical issues facing the Hispanic community today is the need for amnesty for the undocumented immigrants living within the United States; and
WHEREAS, being an undocumented person is NOT a crime;
Therefore, be it resolved, that we, The United Methodist Church, declare that the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Resolution Act is evil and unjust, and that the enforcement thereof results in immediate and insufferable human rights violations, discrimination, and oppression.
We call the United States government to accountability and insist upon:
1) changes in, and possible abolition of, the 1996 immigration law;
2) the continued existence of a unified Immigration and Naturalization Service, rather than a division into administrative and enforcement prosecutorial branches, and
3) the development of an amnesty program for undocumented persons to be implemented immediately.
Be it further resolved, that the General Conference move to create a task force to be responsible for agencies working on behalf of The United Methodist Church that is composed of staff from the following church boards and agencies: General Board of Global Ministries, General Commission on Religion and Race, General Board of Church and Society, with a minimum of two bishops, legal advisers, and Methodists Associated to Represent the Cause of Hispanic Americans (MARCHA) representation.
See Social Principles, ¶ 162.From The Book of Resolutions of The United Methodist Church — 2004. Copyright © 2004 by The United Methodist Publishing House. Used by permission.