This Morning: Community Members to Discuss Positive Impact of Immigration

February 23, 2016

OKLAHOMA CITY — A week before the state’s primary, evangelical and other community leaders will meet this morning at the Western Oaks Church of the Nazarene Family Life Center for a panel discussion to address immigration and encourage a constructive debate.

The 11 a.m. panel will focus on immigration issues that are prevalent in Oklahoma’s churches, schools, workforce and law enforcement, as well as underscore the positive impact that immigrants have on their communities and the need for broad, bipartisan immigration reform.

“Immigration Reform is not a Democrat or Republican issue. It is not a Latino issue. Immigration Reform is not about amnesty. Immigration Reform is a Biblical issue,” said Dr. Arlita Harris, Oklahoma Church Mobilizer for the Evangelical Immigration Table. “Scriptures tell us how we should treat immigrants. Immigration affects human beings living in our communities. Our nation has acted on slavery, women’s rights, and other human rights. It’s time to deal with immigration reform.”

“When the media, some politicians or the general public label undocumented immigrants as criminals, they are victimizing children, their families and their whole community, and they are encouraging racial and ethnic hatred,” says Yolanda Rojas, ESL Coordinator for Putnam City Schools. “These children, like anyone else, have the right to life, liberty and their pursuit of happiness, and the sooner we support a comprehensive immigration reform, the sooner these children and their families can start pursuing their dreams.”

“It seems to me our new brand of conservatism doesn’t know what to conserve. Conservatism now seems to mean nativism, protectionism, us against them,” Tim Moore, South Central Regional Mobilizer for the Evangelical Immigration Table. “It has a hostile tone. It divides and I believe it does the nation no favors in building our collective future. America’s greatest strength is our heritage and ethic of pluralism.”