A Word For The Wetbacks

The NCC also grabbed some headlines with its action in regard to the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT II). A White House official had called San Antonio the first day of the conference informing NCC officials that a Soviet-U.S. agreement on SALT II would be signed that day. The board unanimously endorsed the SALT II treaty and voted to take out a full-page advertisement in the New York Times, which published a joint statement signed by twenty Soviet and U.S. (mostly NCC) churchmen, “Choose Life.” The statement, which indicated support for SALT II and nuclear disarmament, was presented to Governing Board members by several NCC officials that had attended the disarmament conference in March in Geneva, Switzerland.

One other publicized action by the Governing Board involved passage of a resolution in support of amnesty for all illegal aliens now in the United States. This was the board’s solution to the problem of undocumented and “overstayed” persons in the United States, most of whom enter from Mexico at the estimated rate of eight hundred thousand per year.

Newspaper stands in the city displayed red posters with banner headlines, “Churches Back Illegal Alien Amnesty”—certainly good reading in San Antonio where thousands of illegal Mexican immigrants live or pass through.

Several speakers described the illegal alien problem while at nearby Trinity College (United Presbyterian) during a luncheon that also included a tour of a major solar energy project at the school. Eunice de Velez, NCC staff official, called illegal aliens “children of need”—persons forced to flee subsistence living conditions in their own countries, who allegedly are harassed and deprived of their basic human rights by U.S. authorities. ...

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