CWS rips Arizona immigration legislation

Ecumenical humanitarian agency says law is 'reactionary and hateful'

April 26, 2010


Church World Service (CWS), the ecumenical humanitarian agency that includes the Presbyterian Church (U. S. A.) has joined President Obama in condemning a new Arizona law that instructs police in that state to  seek out and arrest illegal immigrants.

The new legislation, adopted Friday (April 23), has sparked widespread protests in Arizona.

CWS Executive Director John. L. McCullough said in a statement that the enactment of the "Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act" "goes beyond anti-immigrant sentiments and supports racial profiling. This legislation feels reactionary and hateful."

The full text of McCullough’s statement:

"We are deeply concerned about the enactment of SB 1070 as it goes beyond anti-immigrant sentiments and supports racial profiling. This legislation feels reactionary and hateful. It is a clear representation of the politics of division and exclusion. Gov. Brewer has ignored the advice of the Arizona Association of Chiefs of Police and the Mesa Fraternal of Police to veto the bill. By this action, she has actively institutionalized racial profiling and will make Arizona less safe. 

"As a 64-year-old faith-based humanitarian organization working with 34 refugee resettlement affiliates across the United States, Church World Service understands first-hand the impact this legislation will have on communities. We do take heart that President Obama has strongly condemned this legislation, and urge his administration to do everything in its power to prevent its implementation and the consequences it will have for human rights.  

"This legislation is an urgent reminder of the necessity of enacting comprehensive immigration reform. Federal legislation fixing our broken immigration system is the way to heal our communities, reunite families, and create an effective and humane immigration system. We thus urge all members of Congress and President Obama to enact comprehensive immigration reform into law, and to rise above the politics of division and to embrace real solutions."

  1. Since when does our church support the breaking of federal and state immigration laws? We have a line between separation of Church and State, and I am worried that you have crossed the line. We are a church, not an arm of the ObamaDems. Your position has alienated me, because I feel that when a law is broken, there should be punishment. Illegal immigration is not about 'race' but about the 'law.' If you are afraid of the Arizona law, the Left has gotten to you. This isn't racial profiling. We have illegal aliens here from all over the world. It is racist to pretend like our laws target only Hispanics. If one believes in the rule of law, it is easy to see that all Federal and State laws should be enforced. If I break the law as an American, I am going to get punished. So, why should an illegal immigrant not receive equal punishment under the law? That would make us all equal. It makes me sad to write this note. Let the politicians handle the politics. I want the Church to stay in the Church. Support all views, not just yours.

    by Roberta H Neilan

    September 15, 2010

  2. This is absolutely ridiculous and very un Biblical. The Bible makes it clear that citizens are to obey the law of the land and obey the leaders of the land. Illegal means NOT legal. You are sanctioning citizens not obeying our national, state and local laws. As Christians we should be encouraging everyone to follow the law and to follow due process for everything in the country. In our country and other countries. We are to obey the laws of other lands when we visit them. How would each of you feel when anyone visited your personal homes and decided to stay and try to run it, raid your refrigerators and closets? Watch your tv's, listen to your radios and not have the sanction of being your family? It is exactly the same with our country, people are invited to visit our country and if they want to stay 'marry' into it and join our national family by due process of law. We can step away from the law that secures us and protects us because people have acted illegally. This is a very bad example of Christian living in the world. We are to be the light and salt in the world, you are promoting the poison of rebellion to the law!!

    by Linda B

    July 14, 2010