As the nation's leaders debate how to handle children of people entering the country illegally, Mercer University is spurring a conversation about the issue from a religious perspective.
Mercer University law Professor Mark Jones said the goal of the interfaith discussion is to "rise above ideology and politics" to find a solution.
In 2012, President Barack Obama signed an executive order enacting the immigration policy that allows some people who illegally entered the country as minors to register for a two-year period of deferred action from deportation and be eligible for a work permit.
In September, President Donald Trump rescinded that order and called for Congress to come up with a permanent solution by March 5.
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"This is a critical moment in the history of our nation with the future of 800,000 'Dreamers' - including nearly 25,000 Georgians - on the line as Democrats and Republicans in Congress negotiate a spending bill that would also include permanent protection for DACA beneficiaries," Jones stated in a news release.
The public is invited to join the "Immigration at the Crossroads" conversation at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 13 at the President's Dining Room of Mercer's University Center at 1400 Coleman Ave.
Several DACA recipients will share their stories before a panel discussion with leaders of the three Abrahamic faiths: Christianity, Judaism and Islam.
The Rev. David Gushee, distinguished university professor of Christian Ethics and director of the Center for Theology and Public Life at Mercer, will present the Christian perspective.
Rabbi Aaron Rubenstein, of Congregation Sha'arey Israel in Macon, will speak from the Jewish perspective and Imam Adam Fofana, of the Islamic Center of Middle Georgia in Centerville, will share Islam's views.
Mercer associate professor of law Sarah Gerwig-Moore will moderate the program that will include a question-and-answer period and short interfaith prayer vigil.
"It seems especially appropriate to be doing this on the evening before Ash Wednesday, which ushers in the Christian season of Lent, a time of renewal and conversion with powerful analogs in Judaism and Islam," Jones said.
The program is free and light refreshments will be provided.