By Chris Liu-Beers, Raleigh News & Observer
The young women who went on a hunger strike in downtown Raleigh should be commended for their courage. They only want the chance to go to college and earn legal status in this country in order to contribute fully to society.
We shouldn’t punish young people for our broken immigration system. Those who would qualify under the DREAM Act arrived here as children, having no control over the conditions that forced their parents to leave their home countries. It makes no sense to deny hardworking, academically qualified people the chance to get an education and earn a legal immigration status.
The N.C. Council of Churches has long called for humane comprehensive immigration reform and for access to education for qualified students regardless of immigration status.
In a 2002 statement, council leaders said:
According to Jesus, welcoming the stranger will determine how we are judged on the last day. In the United States today, immigrants are the preeminent outsiders, and Latinos are chief among them. They bear the image of God that Jesus invites us to welcome.