We recognize that our country is deeply divided on the issue of immigration as it is being framed in our current political landscape. We also recognize that the political rhetoric and government policies related to immigration directly affect the lives of millions of residents and could have dire consequences for many families. Inequities and inefficiencies in current immigration law, the misrepresentation of opposing sides in the public debate about immigration, and blatantly anti-immigrant rhetoric have created an atmosphere of fear that puts immigrant families in the position of making harsh and painful decisions regarding the futures of their families.
Denver Seminary is keenly aware of and deeply concerned about the fear and pain that many immigrant families experience on a daily basis. We are not indifferent. As a Christian institution, we uphold the following biblical principles that inform and shape our perspective on immigration and our educational praxis:
1. We are called to love and show compassion for the stranger among us (Deuteronomy 10:18-19, Leviticus 19:33-34, Matthew 25:31-46).
2. Immigrants are our neighbors, and we are to love our neighbors as ourselves and show mercy to neighbors in need (Leviticus 19:18, Mark 12:31, Luke 10:25-37).
3. All people are made in the “image of God” and deserve to be treated with dignity and respect (Genesis 1:26-27, 9:6).
4. We are called to respect the rule of law and at the same time to oppose laws and systems that harm and oppress people, particularly the most vulnerable (Isaiah 10:1-4, Jeremiah 7:1-7, Acts 5:29, Romans 13:1-7).
In accordance with these principles and in agreement with the Open Letter on Immigration Reform composed by the National Association of Evangelicals on November 13, 2012, we support and call for bipartisan legislation on immigration that:
1. Respects the God-given dignity of every person
2. Protects the unity of the immediate family
3. Respects the rule of law
4. Guarantees secure national borders
5. Ensures fairness to taxpayers
6. Establishes a path toward legal status and/or citizenship for those who qualify and who wish to become permanent residents