Author: Carol Kuruvilla

This Mom Of 4 With No Criminal Record Was Deported After Following ICE’s Rules

THE HUFFINGTON POST Despite vigils, social media campaigns, and strong statements of support from church members, prominent politicians and faith leaders, the simple truth is this: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement will show no mercy ― even to a mother of four American children with no criminal record.   Maribel Trujillo Diaz, who has peacefully lived in the United States for 15 years, was deported to her native Mexico on Wednesday, her lawyers confirmed.  About two weeks ago, the 41-year-old was reportedly seized by ICE officials outside her home in Cincinnati days after a regularly scheduled check-in with ICE. Her four children were apparently...

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Trump’s Order Is Still A Muslim Ban, Faith Groups Say

A wide spectrum of religious organizations and leaders came forward on Monday to denounce President Donald Trump’s revised executive order on immigration. After an initial version of the order, issued Jan. 27, resulted in confusion, protests and numerous legal challenges, the Trump administration was forced to issue a new, significantly scaled back travel ban. The new version makes it clear that people with dual nationality, green cards, and current visas aren’t affected by the ban. It also strikes Iraq off a list of Muslim-majority countries from which some nationals will be barred from the U.S. for 90 days. Religious minorities will no longer be prioritized for admission and Syrian refugees are no longer barred indefinitely ― although they will still be affected by a blanket ban on refugee resettlement that will last for 120 days. The new order still cuts the refugee resettlement program in half, capping it at 50,000. The ban will go reportedly go into effect on March 16. Kevin Lamarque / ReutersHomeland Security Secretary John Kelly (L), Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (C) and Attorney General Jeff Sessions (R), deliver remarks on issues related to visas and travel after U.S. President Donald Trump signed a new travel ban order in Washington, U.S., March 6, 2017. Faith-based organizations representing Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Muslims, and other interfaith activists responded to the new order on Monday ― with many saying that...

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More Than 500 Evangelical Leaders Sign Letter Decrying Trump’s Refugee Ban

More than 500 evangelical leaders and pastors from every state in the country have signed a letter denouncing President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration. The letter, which appeared as a full-page ad in Wednesday’s Washington Post, points to the role that local churches have played in helping refugees resettle in the United States. The leaders used the Bible to emphasize that welcoming the refugee is a Christian duty. “As Christians, we have a historic call expressed over two thousand years, to serve the suffering,” the letter states. “We cannot abandon this call now.” But there’s a divide between the pulpit and the pew on this issue. Although this formidable group of conservative Christian pastors agree that caring for the stranger is the right thing to do, many rank and file evangelicals around the country are fearful about letting refugees into the United States. So while the letter is addressed to Trump and Pence, the pastors also face the task of getting other American evangelicals on board. Pool via Getty ImagesPresident Donald Trump speaks to the Major Cities Chiefs Association (MCCA) Winter Meeting on February 8, 2017 in Washington, DC. The letter was organized by World Relief, the humanitarian arm of the National Association of Evangelicals. World Relief is one of the nine voluntary agencies that work with the federal government to help resettle refugees. World Relief collected signatures from...

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The Pope Just Threw Shade At Trump In The Classiest Way Possible

Pope Francis hasn’t yet directly addressed President Donald Trump’s executive order on refugees and immigrants ― but the pontiff is clearly thinking about the large swath of humanity Trump is shoving to the margins. Days after President Donald Trump signed a sweeping order dramatically restricting the number of refugees and foreign nationals allowed to enter the United States, Francis called on his flock to pray that the “poor, refugees, and marginalized” would find “welcome and comfort in our communities.” Curiously, he mentions “skyscrapers” and “real estate deals” ― two things the president is intimately acquainted with. “We live in cities that throw up skyscrapers and shopping centers and strike big real estate deals but they abandon a part of themselves to marginal settlements on the periphery,” he said in the video published on February 2. “The result of this situation is that great sections of the population are excluded and marginalized: without a job, without options, without a way out. Don’t abandon them.” POOL New / ReutersPope Francis shows drawings made by children on his flight back to Rome following a visit at the Moria refugee camp in the Greek island of Lesbos, April 16, 2016. The YouTube video announced Francis’ prayer intentions for the month of February. Every month, the pope encourages Catholics to join his worldwide prayer network in praying for a specific theme. February’s theme asks Catholics to “welcome the needy.” The...

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How Trump’s Muslim Ban Is Affecting One Iranian-American Bride

Planning a big, multicultural interfaith wedding is stressful enough for any bride. Last week, Iranian-American bride Nassim Alisobhani received the news that her nuptials will also be complicated by international politics. Alisobhani, a 27-year-old Muslim woman from Newport Beach, California, is marrying her fiance, Justin Yanuck on May 20, 2017, during a wedding that aims to bring together their Persian and Jewish heritages. The interfaith couple has encountered a number of stumbling blocks while planning their wedding, but through it all, the one thing Alisobhani was looking forward to the most was having her entire family together in the same room for the first time in decades. But President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration may prevent that from happening. The order bans citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries, including Iran, for at least 90 days. The particulars of that ban are still being parsed through, as legal challenges to the order emerge around the country. In addition to temporarily targeting these seven countries, the executive order also asks the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Secretary of State and the Director of National Intelligence to review the United States’ visa and admission procedures and to come up with a list of countries who don’t comply with requests for information. Nationals of those countries are at risk of being banned in the future. Carlos Barria / ReutersU.S. President Donald Trump signs an executive order to impose tighter...

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Chip And Joanna Gaines Go To An Anti-Gay Church. Does It Matter?

Brian Ach/Invision/AP. In this March 29, 2016 photo, Joanna Gaines, left, and Chip Gaines pose for a portrait in New York to promote their home improvement show, “Fixer Upper,” on HGTV It’s been a rollercoaster of a week for Chip and Joanna Gaines, the reality TV couple who are the stars of HGTV’s popular home renovation series “Fixer Upper.” The Gaineses made a name for themselves by helping clients buy and remodel homes. They’ve been praised for their on-screen charm and their talent in design. They haven’t used their show as a platform for spreading hateful messages about queer people. So does it matter that the couple supposedly attended a church that touts so-called “traditional” Christian views on sexuality, believes homosexuality is a sin, and where the pastor actually promotes conversion therapy? Yes, it matters. But the reason why goes much deeper than what the Gainses may or may not believe. On the same day that their fourth season premiere earned top ratings, the Gaineses found themselves under fire for attending an evangelical church that preaches against homosexuality. The controversy began after a Buzzfeed reporter tried and failed to get a definitive answer from the couple about their personal stance on same-sex relationships. Instead, the publication made claims based on old sermons and statements from the couple’s church, Antioch Community Church and its pastor, Jimmy Seibert. Like many conservative evangelical churches, Texas-based Antioch promotes the...

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10 Donald Trump Quotes That His Evangelical Supporters Should Be Horrified By

  Getty/HuffPost After months of campaigning, flip-flopping on important issues, and generally wreaking havoc on the party that for decades has presented itself as defenders of Christian America, Donald Trump took to the stage at the Republican National Convention and thanked the evangelicals who helped him get there. At this moment, I would like to thank the evangelical and religious community because I’ll tell you what. Because the support they’ve given me, and I’m not sure I totally deserve it, has been so amazing. And has had such a big reason for me being here tonight. True. So true. So true, it’s cringeworthy. White evangelical Protestants are a considerable force in the elections ― making up one-fifth of all registered voters. While a number of evangelical leaders have pointed out that Trump’s policies and actions are decidedly un-Christian, rank-and-file white evangelical Americans have in fact thrown their support behind the candidate. According to the Pew Research Center, 78 percent of white evangelical voters say they would vote for Trump if the election were held today. But if you place Trump’s quotes, principles and policies next to the ideals set forth by Christianity’s founder, the gap is startling. Trump has little regard for some of the fundamental teachings of Jesus Christ ― showing love for your neighbor, welcoming the stranger, and asking for God’s forgiveness. Inspired by HuffPost contributor Michael Stark’s blog, “Donald Trump’s...

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Trump Death Watch Clock