[lg policy] Staver, Engle, Land, and Others Seek a "Just Assimilation Immigration Policy"

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at GMAIL.COM
Wed May 12 14:47:35 UTC 2010

Staver, Engle, Land, and Others Seek a "Just Assimilation Immigration Policy"

Submitted by Kyle on May 11, 2010 - 2:52pm

Tomorrow, the National Evangelical Association will seek to rally
support for comprehensive immigration reform by placing a full-page ad
Roll Call that calls for reform that "establishes a path toward legal
status and/or citizenship for those who qualify and who wish to become
permanent residents." Among those reportedly slated to sign on to this
effort are Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel and Richard Land of the
Southern Baptist Convention.

But before the ad has run, Liberty Counsel issued its own lengthy
statement calling on "Evangelical Leaders [to] Unite on Just
Assimilation Immigration Policy" that is calls on anti-immigration
activists to stop labeling any effort to grant a pathway to
citizenship immigrants already in the country as "amnesty" and "to
stop politicizing this debate needlessly and to honestly acknowledge
the difference" - it is signed by the likes of Staver, Land, Rev.
Samuel Rodriguez, Ken Blackwell, and Lou Engle:

Our national security and domestic tranquility depends on secure
borders. We must first secure our borders before we can implement a
broader just assimilation immigration policy. Secure borders are not
closed borders. Violent criminals and drug traffickers take advantage
of open borders. Such criminals are a threat to everyone in every
community, including Latinos who are disproportionately victimized by

After securing our borders, we should allow the millions of
undocumented and otherwise law-abiding persons living in our midst to
come out of the shadows. The pathway for earned legal citizenship or
temporary residency should involve a program of legalization for
undocumented persons in the United States, subject to appropriate
penalties, waiting periods, background checks, evidence of moral
character, a commitment to full participation in American society
through an understanding of the English language, the rights and
duties of citizens and the structure of America’s government, and the
embrace of American values.

We must return to a rational immigration policy that acknowledges that
we are both a nation of immigrants and a nation of laws. It is our
obligation to provide a just solution to those people who are
currently undocumented under the present policy. That solution is
neither amnesty nor mass deportation. A just, rational policy would
put otherwise law-abiding undocumented persons on one of three paths:
one path leads to pursuing earned legal citizenship or legal
residency, one leads to acquiring legal guest-worker status, and one
leads back across the border including a swift process for the
deportation of undocumented felons.

America has an obligation to preserve within her borders the culture
that has made her successful. Assimilation is both key to protecting
that culture and to the immigrant’s chances of success. History has
proven that Latinos are quite capable of rapid assimilation. As a
group, they have strong moral convictions, a strong sense of family,
and a strong work ethic.

A just assimilation immigration policy respects the traditions held by
people of many backgrounds that make up America while recognizing the
importance of a shared language, history and cultural values. Those
who choose legal citizenship should have the opportunity to fully
participate in the American dream by removing any barrier to achieving
those dreams. America is not a nation divided. There should be no
Black America, White America, Latino America, or Asian America. There
is one America made up of many races and ethnicities with a common
history, culture, and values. Although Americans may speak many
different languages, they share English as their common language. The
immigration process should provide a just assimilation by teaching
English, the history and founding documents of America, and the common
values of liberty and justice which are embodied in the Declaration of
Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. Naturalized
citizens renounce all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince,
potentate, state or sovereignty, and declare allegiance to the United
States. They pledge to defend America against all enemies, foreign and
domestic, and they pledge to support the Constitution and the laws of
the United States.

Let us be clear – an earned pathway to citizenship is not amnesty. We
reject amnesty. And we ask those who label an earned pathway to
citizenship as amnesty to stop politicizing this debate needlessly and
to honestly acknowledge the difference.


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