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On Wednesday I was on a phone call with Iowa Senator Grassley. On the line with me were people from around the state of Iowa—many of them students. DREAMers is the term that’s been attached to them. Young people who came here as children, left with no status. This is the only country they know. I listened as they courageously told their stories; I listened as the Senator gave his response. Hope and ideology; lived personal experience and political reality—that sums up the exchange.
I’m not being critical of Senator Grassley, he has a job to do, he has to weigh multiple interests and perspectives, and he has to navigate the politics of an issue that has been weaponized (literally) over the past decade. Everyone knows what needs to be done, everyone knows what the right thing to do really is, but we’re stuck in a polarized politics. A Latino pastor told me the Latinx community feels used—both sides treat them like a political football, wanting to hold on to the issue for the next election cycle.
Yesterday? Some wonderful news—the Dream and Promise Act passed the House, along with the Farm Workforce Modernization Act. Now they head to the Senate—hope meets political gridlock. What if… the Christian community—evangelical Christians especially—saw this as an opportunity to step outside of political affiliation, outside of the rancor and rhetoric of the past decade, and took a stand for our immigrant neighbors? On many of these issues, it’s the Christian vote that holds the key. Law enforcement is generally supportive of immigration reform, so is the agricultural sector. What I hear from people working on these issues is the importance of the evangelical Christian community for this issue.
One of the statements I hear over and over as a professor? “We need you to be more practical.” Well, here you go. It doesn’t more practical than this. Call your Senate office. Respectfully ask your Senator to support the Dream Act and the Farm Workforce Modernization Act. Write emails, tell your church members to call and write emails. Easy, practical, and it might just make all the difference.