One of my youth group members, let’s call him “John”, began to take a downward spiral last year. Skipping classes, hanging out all the time, and growing irreversibly apathetic to most everything that only a year before were important to him. When I began to ask questions, he was always cordial, receptive even. But as a youth pastor, I didn’t know exactly how to help him or use Scripture to encourage him to grab the steering wheel of his life before things spun dangerously out of control.
His family had lost sponsorship. The company that had sponsored their immigration went under and had not alerted the family, perhaps out of guilt. By the time the issue came up, it was too late — their papers were no good.
“John” who was in the middle of high school was doing fairly well, but as the family scrambled to make ends meet, a dark cloud of hopelessness settled over them. John might do well enough in school to get admission to a college, but they would be hard pressed to afford it and even if John graduated, he wouldn’t be able to get a job, at least, not one that wasn’t “under the table”. His family hadn’t been to Korea in over a decade and their prospects would not be good there either. What good is school? What good is church at this point?
There are literally thousands of families like “John”s. And while this issue becomes politicized and debated, I long for a biblical response that would comfort families like this. John Lamb pointed this verse and the following story to me today. Please get involved.
But the Jews were jealous; so they rounded up some bad characters from the marketplace, formed a mob and started a riot in the city. They rushed to Jason’s house in search of Paul and Silas in order to bring them out to the crowd.[c] 6But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some other brothers before the city officials, shouting: “These men who have caused trouble all over the world have now come here, 7and Jason has welcomed them into his house. They are all defying Caesar’s decrees, saying that there is another king, one called Jesus.” 8When they heard this, the crowd and the city officials were thrown into turmoil.
Eastern Group Publications, News Report, Selene Rivera, Posted: Apr 09, 2007
“For a safe America, adopt an immigrant,” says a coalition that recently initiated a program where American citizens can symbolically adopt an undocumented immigrant in the United States. More than 12 thousand undocumented children and adults in the United States have already been “adopted.” What’s more, some activists opposed to illegal immigration say they support the program.
The objective of the program, initiated at the national level last November, is to promote immigration reform that offers legal status and safety to undocumented immigrants, stated Osvaldo Cabrera, director of the Latinoamerica International Coalition, which initiated the movement.
Cabrera and other organizations began the program in hopes of collecting at least 200 thousand adoption signatures to present in the nation’s capitol between May and June of this year as proof of what they say is the desire of people to legalize the status of undocumented people in the United States.
“Although the adoption is symbolic, we want to find a solution to the psychological trauma that surrounds four million American children, whose parents don’t have legal immigration status and have been deported,” said Cabrera.
The activist told EGP, “We want to help the immigrants that strengthen this nation with their labor, culture, taxes and good moral conduct,” noting that only undocumented adults who can prove they pay taxes and have a clean criminal record can be adopted.
To the surprise of supporters of the “adoption campaign,” some anti-immigrant activists say they support their efforts.
“I love and care about the well-being of my ‘colleagues’ of Mesoamerica and I only wish the best for them,” declared Ted Hayes, who heads the “The Crispus Attucks Brigade (CAB).”
He points out that he understands and believes that “the program is a good idea and lends itself to greater improvement as far as the situation on the border goes,” adding that the individuals adopting should be legitimately American and only adopt an undocumented person in the country who is trying to become legal.
A member of the Minuteman Project who wished to remain anonymous added, “the program is good as long as those who are symbolically adopted are people who really wish to work legally in the country and don’t have a criminal record.”
According to the coalition, in order to demonstrate the legitimacy of the intent of the symbolic adoption form, the persons involved must have their signatures notarized.
“This demonstrates that we aren’t messing around; that there are people who set out to adopt undocumented and such a document could serve to be presented before a courtroom in case the adoptee is ever detained and found to be undocumented. It shows that there is someone who wishes to be held accountable for this person,” says Cabrera.
Different organizations such as Hermandad Mexicana and Federacion Mexico Unidos have joined the coalition along with the consulates of Honduras, Peru, Guatemala and Nicaragua to promote the program.
“In December of 2006, some two thousand children had been adopted and along with 10 thousand adults. We don’t want to cause divisions but vehicles of help,” said Cabrera.
For more information on how to participate, call (213) 627-1433 or (213) 627-1497.