Migration of Workers: Discussion

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To discuss the 2010 report on the Migration of Workers, post your comments here. This report is also available in Korean and Spanish

For further reading, see this article from The Banner: CRC Urged to Seek Better Treatment for Undocumented Immigrants

Excerpt from the introduction to the report:

Background

The matter regarding the migration of workers came onto the agenda of the denomination through the work of a study committee commissioned by Classis Zeeland in 2006 to address a pastoral concern arising from one of its congregations. This local church had engaged in ministry to mainly Latino migrant workers for several years, offering classes in English as a second language, Bible studies, and other kinds of practical help to families in need, including, on some occasions, legal assistance regarding immigration and work status. The congregation wanted to receive into membership some of these families who professed faith in Christ, but given the strong Reformed tradition of “fencing the table” from those who are known to persist in sinful behavior, they asked for advice from classis to determine if living without status in a country was inconsistent with the demands for life lived according to God’s will. Unhappily, due to the presentation in the overture, the broader issue of ministering to immigrant neighbors and addressing their needs was eclipsed by a discussion that focused on church discipline. Synod 2007 rejected Overture 6, apologizing for the hurt caused by the tone and thrust of the overture, its lack of inclusive language, and its narrow focus. However, Synod 2007 did recognize the need to address the conditions under which undocumented migrants in both Canada and the United States live, and thus it formed a committee to report and recommend how the Christian Reformed Church in North America might better address the needs of those who are marginalized by their lack of legal status.

Introduction

The mandate given to the committee was “to study the issue of the migration of workers as it relates to the church’s ministries of inclusion, compassion, and hospitality, and to propose ways for the church to advocate on behalf of those who are marginalized” (Acts of Synod 2007, p. 596).

During its term from October 2007 to May 2009, the committee was intentional about keeping the process transparent and inclusive. The committee consulted many stakeholders and others with specialized knowledge on the issues involved. Interviews were conducted with immigrants — both with and without legal status — a focus group with diverse community leaders was convened, and consultations with agencies of the CRC were held in an effort to hear and understand different perspectives. This report is the result of the thoughtful deliberations of the committee in addressing a very sensitive and multifaceted issue.

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The Office of Social Justice has provided some very helpful resources here: http://www.crcna.org/pages/osj_synod2010.cfm, including FAQs and statistics. Thanks OSJHA!!

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The link for the Banner article mentioned in Tim's post is broken. The article is now found here "CRC Urged to Seek Better Treatment for Undocumented Immigrants."