Saturday, January 16, 2010

Episcopal Church ‘out of tune' with members on immigration

From Religious Intelligence-

The official stance of the Episcopal Church on immigration is not representative of the belief of the people in its pews, a survey conducted on behalf of the non-partisan Washington think tank, the Center for Immigrations Studies (CIS) reports.

The survey of over 42,000 Roman Catholics, mainline Protestants, evangelical or born-again Protestants, and Jewish voters found a sharp disconnect between the official stance of their religious communities and the beliefs of individual members.

“Because religious communities often do not represent the public policy views of their members, if there is a full-blown immigration debate next year, it will be all more contentious,” Steven Camarota of the CIS said.

While religious leaders have pressed the government to relax the country’s immigration laws, permitting more immigration and providing opportunities for existing illegal immigrants to gain citizenship, an overwhelming majority of American religious voters believe the current level of immigration is too high and favour stricter enforcement of current laws.

One out of eight US residents, or 38 million people, are immigrants, while over the past decade 1.5 million legal and illegal immigrants have settled in the US each year.

A supporter of the Interfaith Statement in Support of Comprehensive Immigration Reform, the Episcopal Church has backed “comprehensive immigration reform,” which calls for a significant increase in the number of legal immigrants to the United States.

At its July 2009 General Convention, the Episcopal Church called for the removal of sanctions against illegal immigrants. Resolution B006 called for the “millions of undocumented immigrants who have established roots in the United States” to have “a pathway to legalization.”

The resolution argued that immigrants fill jobs that American workers will not do, and are often better workers than native-born Americans as “workers who are US citizens often quit after only a few days of work.”

More here-

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