US-based humanitarian agency World Relief has joined a chorus of outrage against President Trump's reported comments about 's***hole countries'.
The evangelical relief and development organisation signed a letter written collectively by members of the Evangelical Immigration Table, a coalition of leaders and organisations seeking biblical solutions for immigration.
The letter expressed frustration with the words reportedly used by President Trump to describe particular African nations, along with Haiti and El Salvador, from which many Americans have emigrated.
It highlighted the fact that immigrants from 'every country in the world have contributed to the greatness of this country'.
'The Scriptures teach us that each human person – regardless of their country of origin – is made in the image of God, with inherent and infinite dignity,' the letter stated. 'These biblical values inform our national values as well. The United States was founded upon the conviction that all people are created equal – though, as Martin Luther King, Jr, reminded our country, we have not always lived up to that truth.'
The letter also praised bipartisan efforts to ensure 'Dreamers', who were brought to the US as children but face deportation to countries of which they have no memory, can be granted legal status to remain in the US and continue to work.
'We pledge to the Dreamers who know most personally the urgency of this situation – including many within our churches and organizations –that we will continue to stand with them and work for a just, compassionate solution,' the letter concluded.
The plight of Dreamers has been highlighted by the case of Jorge Garcia, a 39-year-old landscaper brought to the US at the age of 10 and deported to Mexico yesterday. He is married with two children and has no criminal record. Garcia was deemed too old on his arrival to benefit from the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programme.
An emotional video showing the family's farewell at Detroit Metro Airport has been widely shared. Russell Moore, head of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, tweeted: 'This is outrageous. The Congress should fix this immediately. Too many families have been torn apart.'
The DACA programme itself has long been a target of Republican lawmakers. While there have been attempts at a bipartisan solution, President Trump blamed his opponents for their failure, tweeting on Sunday: 'DACA is probably dead because the Democrats don't really want it, they just want to talk and take desperately needed money away from our Military.'
Legislative solutions have so far been thwarted over attempts to fold them in with other measures such as support for Trump's border wall.