June 19, 2018

Ryan Immigration Bill Does Not Prevent the Separation of Families

Right now, the biggest threat to people struggling with hunger and poverty continues to be the threat of large budget cuts. Photo: Bread for the World

Washington, D.C. – Bread for the World today announces its opposition to House Speaker Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) “compromise” immigration bill and urges House members to vote against the legislation. The bill does not prevent the administration from separating parents and children at the border and would not provide most Dreamers with a reasonable path to citizenship. Giving more Dreamers legal status and putting them on a reasonable path to citizenship would help reduce hunger in the United States and boost our economy.

“Attorney General Jeff Sessions quoted a Bible passage out of context to justify child separation,” said Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World. “The Bible is clear that we must not treat immigrants harshly – we must love our neighbors as ourselves. Separating parents and children, and detaining people fleeing hunger and violence, should not be justified with a misrepresentation of God’s commandments.”  

Speaker Ryan’s bill allows the U.S. government to hold children and their families for months or even years in detention facilities and makes it easier to deport them.

The legislation also provides a 20-year pathway to citizenship for a limited number of Dreamers – tied to construction of the border wall. According to the Cato Institute, the bill would exclude roughly 80 percent of all Dreamers from being able to pursue a pathway to citizenship.

“Many Dreamers are from households struggling with hunger and poverty, and are the key financial supporters for their families,” Beckmann said.

Bread for the World is calling for increased efforts to address the push factors that force these families to come to the U.S., which will help them choose to either stay in their home countries or migrate lawfully. This includes passage of the Global Food Security Reauthorization Act, which would continue the U.S.’s work on global hunger and poverty – including efforts in Guatemala and Honduras.

“The $23 billion Speaker Ryan’s bill designates for the border wall would be better spent reducing hunger and violence in Central America,” Beckmann said. “Congress should pass a bipartisan immigration bill that would reduce hunger and poverty in the United States and address the reasons people flee their countries.”

The House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on the bill, as well as an immigration bill introduced by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), this week. Bread also opposes the Goodlatte bill.

from our Resource Library

For Education

  • Election Resources

    One of the best times to raise the issues of hunger and poverty is during election campaigns. Engage candidates in your state/district on hunger and poverty using our elections resources.
  • U.S. Hunger and Poverty State Fact Sheets

    These fact sheets provide a snapshot of hunger and poverty in the United States and in each state plus Washington, D.C. 

  • Conflict and Fragility Are Hunger Issues

    Conflict is a main driver of the recent increase in hunger around the world and of forced migration. Hunger also contributes to conflict.

For Faith

  • The Bible on Health as a Hunger Issue

    “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him and established in faith.” These words from Colossians 2:6 remind us of the faith that is active in love for our neighbors.

    The Bible on...

  • Unity Declaration on Racism and Poverty

    A diverse body of Christian leaders calls on the churches and Congress to focus on the integral connection.

    Dear Members of Congress,

    As the president and Congress are preparing their plans for this year, almost 100 church leaders—from all the families of U.S. Christianity—are...

  • In Times Like These … A Pan-African Christian Devotional for Public Policy Engagement

    This devotional guide invites deepened relationship with and among Pan-Af­rican people and elected leaders in the mission to end hunger and poverty.

For Advocacy


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