Nearly all Christian denominations now have national leadership calling for more foreign workers in the U.S. -- even though U.S. workers (including those in church pews) are unemployed by the millions.
In this blog, I will list the types of Americans who are suffering the most under the immigration advocacy of these denominational leaders.
At the bottom, I will list the denominations whose leaders are favoring more foreign workers (and illegal aliens) over unemployed Americans and over the legal immigrants already here.
I urge YOU to forward this blog to your own pastor and/or any other pastors you know.
My assumption is that most pastors are similar to their parishioners and overwhelmingly reject the war on unemployed Americans waged by their denominational leaders. But they may not have thought this issue through.
DENOMINATIONAL LEADERS TALK OF LABOR SHORTAGES AMIDST 'U-6' UNEMPLOYMENT RATE OF 17%
I believe the last significant-sized churches not on the amnesty bandwagon are the Southern Baptists, Mormons and Church of Christ (not the United Church of Christ). Otherwise, all the country's substantial Mainline Protestant, Catholic and Evangelical denominations are endorsing huge new increases in permanent work permits for foreign workers. (Read my blog on the National Association of Evangelicals' latest dive into the pro-amnesty coalition.)
I believe the federal "U-6 Unemployment Rate" shows the injustice the church leaders are promoting -- the injustice of a society that continues to crush the spirits of our society's most vulnerable under the boot of federal immigration policies that favor unscrupulous business interests.
Accepted by progressives and conservatives alike as the best measure of suffering, the U-6 Unemployment Rate for everybody in the U.S. had risen to nearly 17% by mid-summer! It counts not only those actively looking for a job but discouraged workers who have recently given up looking as well as people involuntarily forced into part-time work.
(All percentages in this blog are from the June 2009 Current Population Survey by the federal government. It appears that most rates have worsened since then.)
DENOMINATIONAL LEADERS PREFER ILLEGAL ALIENS OVER IMMIGRANTS ALREADY HERE
Even though the church leaders constantly talk about being kinder to the immigrants already living among us, their constant push for more and more new foreign workers to compete is harming the existing community which has a U-6 Unemployment Rate of 20%.
Legal immigrants already here are likely the group that would benefit most from opening up the jobs currently held by illegal aliens. In the world of denominational leaders, nobody has higher priority than the illegal aliens, not even legal immigrants.
And as much as the church leaders want more legal foreign workers this year, they will work next year for another wave of foreign workers that will make it exceedingly difficult for this year's crop to economically improve.
CHURCH LEADERS PREFER FOREIGN WORKERS OVER U.S. HIGH SCHOOL GRADS (all ages)
The U-6 Unemployment rate for U.S.-born high school graduates without college is 19%.
These are the Americans who predominate in the construction, service and manufacturing jobs that are most sought by immigrant workers. Our current level of immigration is keeping millions of people out of jobs.
But denominational leaders are lobbying Congress for immigration policies that will throw even more out of work -- -- and prolong how long they will stay jobless even when the recession is over.
The people in this high school graduate category who are hurt most by church leaders' lobbying are (with unemployment rate in parentheses):
- U.S.-born Hispanics (23%)
- Black Americans (26%)
CHURCH LEADERS PREFER FOREIGN WORKERS OVER YOUNG LESS-EDUCATED AMERICANS
The effect of church leaders' high-immigration advocacy is even worse for young adults trying to enter the labor market. These are the people most likely to be starting families. Hurting them means especially being just plain mean to young struggling families.
The U-6 Unemployment Rate for U.S.-born high school graduates who are between 18 and 29 is an incredible 30%.
Almost one of every three young adults with a high school degree who wants to work CAN"T FIND A FULL-TIME JOB! But the church bishops and presidents and executive directors want millions more permanent work permits for citizens of other countries -- including illegal aliens.
The inability to get a job, to hold a job or to earn a decent wage and benefits contributes heavily to low marriage rates, high rates of children without fathers in the home, to the joining of gangs and to other criminal and dependency pathologies during these formative years.
But our national church leaders ignore the mounting hardship of our young, non-college adults, lobbying for more foreign workers to compete in their occupations. The people in this high school graduate category who are hurt most by church leaders' lobbying are:
CHURCH LEADERS PREFER FOREIGN WORKERS OVER AMERICAN HIGH SCHOOL DROPOUTS
College-educated Americans in general tend to take rather judgmental view of our fellow citizens who did not finish high school. But it is sad to see our national church leaders so willingly dismiss the needs of high-school dropouts. If we had not been importing low-skilled foreign workers the last 30 years, there would be plenty of jobs for hard-working high school drop-outs to live lives of modest dignity.
The denominational immigration stances do not take into account in any way their effect on by far the most vulnerable in our national community.
The U-6 Unemployment rate for U.S.-born high school drop-outs (over age 18) is 33%.
The people in this high school dropout category who are hurt most by church leaders' lobbying are:
CHURCH LEADERS PREFER FOREIGN WORKERS OVER AMERICAN TEENAGERS SEEKING A JOB
Another prejudice of a lot of college-educated Americans is that American teenagers are lazy and unwilling to work like earlier generations.
But government statistics show large numbers of 16-17 year old teens who very much want to work, at least part-time.
In communities with high immigration, adult foreign workers typically take most of the jobs in fast-food, lawn care and other service jobs where teenagers traditionally have first learned a work ethic.
The percentage of teenagers working at all has never been lower.
The U-6 Unemployment rate for U.S.-born teens (age 16-17) is 41%.
The people in this teen category who are hurt most by church leaders' lobbying are:
CHURCH LEADERS HAVE ABANDONED BLACK UNDERCLASS
I wrote all of the above before heading over to my congregation's evening service. I came back feeling just a little guilty for rhetorically roughing up most of the national Christian leaders in the U.S.
I realize that nearly all of them believe they are doing the right thing -- that they are on a moral crusade. But I find myself just so doggone angry with them for their recklessness in fact-gathering.
And my anger is greatest over their apparent abandonment of the Black underclass whose cause the national leaders have championed for decades.
Have the church leaders come to agree with the racists of America who believe that the Bottom Third of Black Americans don't have what it takes to get a job and hold a job? Have they decided that we need foreign workers because the huge Black Underclass can never be educated, trained and motivated to be a part of our economic mainstream?
How can anybody say there is hope for these communities in any area of life as long as their adults don't have jobs?
A common thread in the arguments of all the denominational leaderships is that illegal immigration is caused because the feds are issuing TOO FEW work permits to foreign workers. Illegal immigration will basically end, they say, if we give millions more work permits to foreigner workers to meet the CURRENT LABOR SHORTAGE IN THE U.S. (I'm not making this up.)
Do they have the slightest idea what they are talking about?
Do they know that the latest government data indicate that while the economy eliminates hundreds of thousands of jobs a month, the feds are issuing around 160,000 new permanent and temporary work permits each month?
NumbersUSA since last November has advocated cutting the 160,000 as close to zero as possible. THAT would create a little more opportunity for a just society as repeatedly advocated in the Bible.
LIST OF DENOMINATIONS WITH TOP LEADERS ADVOCATING AMNESTY & INCREASE IN FOREIGN LABOR
All of these have leaders asking Congress to reward 12-20 million illegal aliens with U.S. citizenship and to increase the number of foreign workers given permanent work permits each year.
You may want to call some of them to make sure they understand how many people are unemployed in this country.
NOTE: Several of the denominations listed below have recanted their stance on amnesty since the publication of this blog. For an update, see Roy's blog from Oct. 21.
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops -- Phone: 202-541-3000-- Email: email@example.com
LARGE MAINLINE PROTESTANT
Evangelical Lutheran Church of America -- Phone: 773-380-2700 -- Toll Free: 1-800-638-3522 -- Fax: 773-380-1465 -- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Presbyterian Church (USA) -- Phone: 502-569-5000 -- Toll Free: 1-888-728-7228 -- Fax: 502-569-8005 -- Email Director, Department of Constitutional Services Reverend Marc Tammen from this page: http://www.pcusa.org/form2mail/form2mail.jsp?f2name=Mark+Tammen&subject=Contact+Us
United Church of Christ -- Phone: 216-736-2100 -- Email: email@example.com
United Methodist -- Phone: 615-742-5400 -- Fax: 615-742-5423 -- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Christian Reformed Church in North America -- Phone: 616-241-1691-- Toll Free: 1-877-279-9994 -- Fax: 616-224-0803 -- E-mail: email@example.com
Church of God -- Phone: 423-472-3361-- Fax: 423-478.7066 -- Email from this page: http://churchofgod.org/contact
- Church of the Nazarene -- Phone: 913-577-0500 -- Fax: 913-577-0848 -- E-mail from this page: http://nazarene.org/contactus.aspx
- Free Methodist Church of North America -- Phone: 317-244-3660 -- Toll Free: 1-800-342-5531 -- Fax: 317-244-1247 -- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- General Association of General Baptists -- Phone: 573-785-7746 -- Fax: 573-785-0564 -- E-mail from this page: http://www.generalbaptist.com/contactus.htm
- The Brethren Church -- Phone: 419.289.1708
We have surveyed our 920,000 members and found that they are divided roughly the same as Americans in general among all those denominations, among other faiths and as no affiliation at all.
Most of you are affiliated with one of those denominations listed above. If you don't try to educate your religious leaders, they will be aggressively trying to educate everybody in the pews about the moral imperative for amnesty and increased flows of foreign workers. And they will continue their bold lobbying of Congress for these things in your name and with the contributions that you give.
The unemployed households of America -- and all those who live in fear of losing their jobs -- may depend on you to protect them from your national church leaders.
ROY BECK is Founder & CEO of NumbersUSA. He was honored with dozens of religion journalism awards during the 1980s for national and international reporting on the intersection of Protestant churches and social issues. He is an active member of a Mainline Protestant congregation and 20-year leader of youth mission teams providing better housing for poor Americans.
Updated: Thu, Oct 29th 2009 @ 11:38am EDT