Today the Rev. H. Julian Gordy, Bishop of the Southeastern Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, sent a letter to Mississippi Governor Bryant in response to immigration legislation introduced in the state legislature. Read more about the legislation here.
An excerpt of the letter is below:
Dear Governor Bryant:
As the bishop of the Southeastern Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, a synod which encompasses Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee, I feel compelled to call attention to the moral dimensions of public policy and recommend laws that uphold the God-given dignity and rights of every person, each of whom is made in the image and likeness of God. Every day I see the consequences of our country’s broken and outdated immigration system in the plight of families torn apart, exploited workers, and the debilitating fear of detection and arrest by law enforcement authorities.
Because the Church values family unity, justice, equity, compassion, and the humane treatment of all people, I am writing to you out of deep concern about House Bill 488, legislation modeled after the Alabama immigration law that is moving through the Mississippi state legislature. I am particularly troubled that you have endorsed the bill.
For fourteen years I served as pastor of Christus Victor Lutheran Church in Ocean Springs. I saw first-hand the enormous contributions of immigrants who helped clean up and rebuild our beloved Gulf Coast. Immigrants have made many other instrumental social and economic contributions to the state of Mississippi. According to the Census Bureau’s Survey of Business Owners, in 2007 the state’s 1,828 Latino-owned businesses had sales and receipts of $323.7 million and employed 2,759 individuals. Immigrants are infusing billions of dollars into Mississippi’s economy and strengthening Mississippi by providing jobs to thousands of people.