Immigration: Good intentions for a broken system

Screen Shot 2014-11-24 at 1.08.50 PMThese days, a modern family is more complex than the screen-written characters seen on TV. Many families now include a loved one who came to the United States from another homeland. The New York Times reported that evangelical Christians might be the secret weapon to immigration reform, particularly in light of their emphasis on keeping families together, so when President Obama announced a new immigration policy in a televised address Thursday, we went straight to Ruth Melkonian-Hoover, chair of Gordon’s Department of Political Science, for comment about the nature of Obama’s announcement and the impact it might have on the future.

Dr. Melkonian-Hoover’s research and political analyses opens a window on evangelical views on immigration reform. Her research includes interviewing evangelical leaders and surveying evangelical laity to find out what they think and are doing about one of the country’s most polarizing issues: undocumented immigrants.

News Headline: On Immigration, Obama Isn’t the Radical One
Media Source, The New Yorker by John Cassidy @JohnCassidy @NewYorker
Faculty Reflection on the News: Dr. Ruth Melkonian-Hoover

“The Obama administration has expanded prosecutorial discretion on undocumented immigrants before, and there is precedent for this practice (albeit on a smaller scale) in prior administrations, including Reagan and H. W. Bush. To be sure, it would be far preferable if elected officials would do their jobs and pass desperately needed immigration legislation that is comprehensive. What the administration has done is admirable in trying to improve options for non-criminal immigrants in the short term, but it does not offer a permanent solution and it could damage prospects, however slim, for bipartisan legislation.

“Ultimately, I’d contend we must consider the injustice of millions living in this country in the shadows. How much longer do we continue to let the rule of law decline by living by one set of rules and legislating another when it comes to immigration? Given the circumstances, Obama has made a right, but risky, move. Our immigration systems are broken.” — Dr. Melkonian-Hoover

In addition to chairing the Department of Political Science, Dr. Melkonian-Hoover directs the International Affairs major. Her courses at Gordon include The Politics of  Latin America, Politics of the Developing World, and Women and Politics. Her chapter entitled “Better Late than Never: Evangelicals and Comprehensive Immigration Reform” appears in Is the Good Book Good Enough? Evangelical Perspectives on Public Policy, edited by David K. Ryden (Lexington Books, 2010). Dr. Melkonian-Hoover is a sought-after speaker on religion and immigration, and has lectured at national conferences. She earned her B.A. from Biola University and her master’s and doctoral degrees from Emory University.

(Photo: The Christian Post). Dr. Ruth Melkonian-Hoover in a recent speaking engagement at an American Enterprise Institute conference in Washington, D.C., which was covered by the Christian Post.

Learn more about the Political Science program at Gordon College >>