Georgia Baptists take a hard line on illegal immigration

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Atlanta protestors demonstrated this month against Georgia Board of Regents policies that bar immigrants without legal status from attending five of the state’s top schools and paying in-state tuition rates at its others. Bob Andres, bandres@ajc.com

One week after the American electorate endorsed the presidency of Donald Trump and a much tougher approach to illegal immigration, Georgia Baptists gathered in Savannah to add an “amen.”

We’re a tad late in reporting this news, but on Nov. 15, the state’s largest Christian denomination called for “the federal and state government to enforce all existing immigration laws.”logo-all

The resolution, passed at the denomination’s annual state convention, also noted that it is “a violation of federal law to bring in, harbor, shield from detection, transport, employ or encourage an unauthorized immigrant to remain in these United States or to engage in any conspiracy to commit any of the preceding acts.”

From the Christian Index:

The document walked the fine line between acknowledging “the federal government’s failure to fulfill its responsibility in the area of illegal immigration during both the Democratic and Republican administrations” and the biblical mandates to “not mistreat the alien living among you … act compassionately toward those who are in need … love our neighbors as ourselves … [and] do unto others as we would have them do unto us.”

During his campaign, Trump promised to deport the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants residing in the United States. The Georgia Baptist resolution doesn’t specifically address deportation, but rather called for the federal government to address national security by “efficiently and humanely enforcing our immigration and employment laws.”

‘”We urge the United States Congress to address seriously and swiftly the question of how to deal realistically and compassionately with the illegal immigration crisis in a way that will restore trust among the citizenry,” the resolution states. Read the entire thing here.

The Georgia Baptist resolution omits any mention of a path to legal status for illegal immigrants, which was a feature of a 2011 resolution passed by the Southern Baptist Convention — the denomination’s national organization.

Much of this language, contained in the national 2011 statement, was missing as well:

RESOLVED, That we declare that any form of nativism, mistreatment, or exploitation is inconsistent with the gospel of Jesus Christ; and be it further

 

RESOLVED, That we deplore any bigotry or harassment against any persons, regardless of their country of origin or legal status; and be it further

 

RESOLVED, That we ask our governing authorities to prioritize efforts to secure the borders and to hold businesses accountable for hiring practices as they relate to immigration status; and be it further

 

RESOLVED, That we ask our governing authorities to implement, with the borders secured, a just and compassionate path to legal status, with appropriate restitutionary measures, for those undocumented immigrants already living in our country; and be it further

 

RESOLVED, That this resolution is not to be construed as support for amnesty for any undocumented immigrant…

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MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” reports today that Donald Trump is furious at former campaign manager Kellyanne Conway’s Sunday comments aimed at the presidential-elect’s consideration of Mitt Romney for secretary of state:

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You know that on Sunday, President-elect Donald Trump alleged, without evidence and via Twitter that, 3 million illegal immigrants had cast ballots for Democrat Hillary Clinton. Presumably, to explain her 2 million-ballot lead in the popular vote.

You also have the Clinton campaign joining a Green Party recount push in three states the Democratic presidential nominee lost on Nov. 8. The Washington Post explains why both developments are important:

The charges and countercharges could present a highly toxic issue for the Justice Department, including Sen. Jeff Sessions ­(R-Ala.), Trump’s nominee to be attorney general, whose tenure, if confirmed, comes amid a long-running battle over renewal of the Voting Rights Act. The two parties are already locked in fights over ballot access, with Republicans advocating ID requirements and other limitations that Democrats say are aimed at suppressing the votes of minorities and others more likely to vote Democratic.

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The newest member of Georgia’s congressional delegation was chosen to represent freshmen in the House committee that hammers out Republican policy priorities.

Soon-to-be congressman Drew Ferguson, R-West Point, was picked by fellow House GOP freshmen for the Republican Policy Committee post.

The advisory panel meets weekly when Congress is in session to hash out policy proposals before pitching them to the full House GOP. Several other Georgia lawmakers served on the committee over the last two years.

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Staying on Capitol Hill for a moment, members of the House will vote Wednesday on a medical innovation bill that’s become something of a a legislative Christmas tree for pet health policy initiatives as Congress looks to wrap up its work for the year.

The $6.3 billion proposal, quietly unveiled on Black Friday, includes in its almost 1,000 pages of text several new directives for the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as the National Institutes of Health and Food and Drug Administration.

Our Cox colleague Jamie Dupree has more here on the massive proposal, which congressional leaders are hoping to speed through by the end of the week.


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