National Council of Churches Welcomes New Rules on Immigration

Washington, DC: The National Council of Churches (NCC) welcomes President Obama’s announcement of new steps on immigration stated in his speech on the night of Thursday, November 20, 2011. The President's proposals will make life better for millions of immigrants who are exploited and live in fear of deportation. Still, less than half of the undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. will benefit from the changes announced by the President.

The NCC has long stood for the rights of immigrants.  In 1952 the NCC stated its concern for displaced peoples in the aftermath of World War II, from Soviet rule, and in Korea. Ten years later the NCC formulated the understanding that has stood ever since:

“...all persons, including migrants, immigrants and refugees, are endowed with God-given dignity and worth, and that all in need must be viewed through the eyes of Christ. Christians have a unique motivation to participate, both corporately and individually, in the struggle for justice, human rights, and the-alleviation of suffering. As people redeemed by the Cross and Resurrection of Jesus Christ and incorporated into Christ's Body, the Church, Christians are freed and called to serve their neighbors in the worldwide human family.”

“While we welcome President Obama’s announcement, we wish to see more,” said Jim WInkler, NCC General Secretary. “Comprehensive immigration reform has been debated since the presidency of George W. Bush and Congress has repeatedly failed to move it forward. It’s simply not something we can wait on any longer.”

NCC President Roy Medley stated, “The creation of a more just system is within the reach of our government, and the failure to move reform through Congress seems to have required the President to act on his own.  What we really need is this broken system to be fixed.  That’s why we call upon Congress to move bipartisan reform forward now.”

Previous NCC statements on immigration:

2010: A Call to Action on Comprehensive Immigration Reform

2008: Resolution on Immigration and a Call for Action

1981: Immigrants, Refugees, and Migrants

1962: The Churches and Immigration

1952: United States Immigration and Naturalization Policy


Since its founding in 1950, the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA has been the leading force for shared ecumenical witness among Christians in the United States. The NCC's 37 member communions -- from a wide spectrum of Protestant, Anglican, Orthodox, Evangelical, historic African American and Living Peace churches -- include 45 million persons in more than 100,000 local congregations in communities across the nation.

NCC News contact: Steven D. Martin: [email protected]