The Dream Act: `Right thing to do'

As Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid plans to push for the Dream Act against a tide of nativism, the bill is receiving support from many religious voices. Coadjutor Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles, who heads the U.S. bishops' Committee on Migration, wrote this week to Congress saying that passage of the measure is the right thing to do.In an editorial urging the two senators from Texas to support the bill, the Dallas Morning News noted that some evangelical Christian leaders also favor the Dream Act. It cited James Denison, theologian in residence at the Texas Baptist Convention, who wrote:

"There may be legal or political reasons for rejecting the Dream Act. But it's hard to imagine that Jesus would refuse children an opportunity to achieve their highest potential. He blessed them and taught us that "the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these" (Matthew 19:14).

Jesus modeled service to all when he washed the feet of men who would soon betray and deny him (John 13:1-11). He then taught us to do for others what he did for us (vs. 12-17). He judges us not by our titles but by our towels.

In a roundup of opinion, the Dallas Morning News blog on faith presents the flip side of the argument from Deal Hudson, who condemned the Dream Act in the course of giving thanks on Thanksgiving Day for the rise of the Tea Party. In the full article at InsideCatholic.com, he concludes: "Whether or not the bill is passed, the debate alone will extend the life and influence of the Tea Party -- for which I am thankful."

Paul Moses, a contributing writer at Commonweal, is the author of The Saint and the Sultan: The Crusades, Islam and Francis of Assisi's Mission of Peace (Doubleday, 2009) and An Unlikely Union: The Love-Hate Story of New York's Irish and Italians (NYU Press, 2015). Follow him on Twitter @PaulBMoses. 

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