I am glad that U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford, R-S.C., decided to meet with his constituents concerned about immigration reform. I hope that more South Carolina legislators will make it a priority and work with lawmakers across the aisle to craft a common-sense, bipartisan solution for our broken immigration system.
As immigration policy continues to be in the news, I want to make sure that your readers are aware of the growing support for immigration reform among the Evangelical churches of South Carolina. Evangelicals and other people of faith are increasingly finding that their Bibles provide guidance on the hot-button issue of immigration.
The Hebrew word for “immigrant” is mentioned 92 times just in the Old Testament. In Leviticus 19:34 God commands the Israelites to welcome foreigners and treat them “as native-born,” and throughout the New Testament we are clearly taught that as we welcome the “stranger” in our midst, we welcome Jesus himself (Mat. 25:31-46).
I am working across the state in support of the Evangelical Immigration Table, a broad national coalition of Evangelical groups who have joined to advocate for immigration reform consistent with biblical principles. I am hearing from pastors across York and Rock Hill who are joining this growing movement because they are discovering God’s heart for the immigrant in Scripture and are being confronted with the tragic human cost of our broken immigration system in their very congregations.
I join with these national and local Evangelical leaders as we implore Congress to move forward on immigration reform now.
Matthew Blanton is a resident of Boiling Springs.