The Common Good

Christian Faith Leaders Call for Understanding on Immigration before Thanksgiving Holiday

Source: Sojourners
Date: November 12, 2007

Christians for Comprehensive Immigration Reform

For Planning Purposes:
November 12th, 2007

Contact:
Cara Morris Stern; 202-261-2387

**Media Advisory: Press Conference with Telephonic Conference Capability**
Wednesday, November 14, 2007 @ 11:30 a.m. EST

Christian Faith Leaders Call for Understanding on Immigration before Thanksgiving <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 />Holiday

Christians for Comprehensive Immigration Reform Release Report "A House Divided: Why Americans of Faith Are Concerned About Undocumented Immigrants"

Washington, DC - On Wednesday, November 14th at 11:30 a.m. EST, Christians for Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CCIR) will host a press conference where Rev. Jim Wallis, Founder and CEO of Sojourners, Most Reverend John Wester, Bishop of Salt Lake City, Chairman, USCCB Committee on Migration, Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference and James Winkler, General Secretary of the United Methodist Church, General Board of Church & Society, will urge Christians across the country and people of good will to remember the place of immigrants in our country and in our history as people of faith. CCIR is engaging faith leaders in an effort to reframe the immigration debate with a stronger moral imperative. Speakers will call on Christians to reject hate speech aimed at immigrants and to remember the scriptural call to "welcome the stranger among us," a stranger, who in fact may be our neighbor or our fellow church member. As Thanksgiving approaches, participants will urge Americans to recall both the blessings in their lives and the needs of "the least of these" in our nation, many of whom are undocumented immigrants working for a better life.

The press conference will take place at Calvary Baptist Church, 755 Eighth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001,
and will have telephonic conference available.

At the press conference, Christians for Comprehensive Immigration Reform, a coalition of Christian organizations, churches, and leaders from across the theological and political spectrum, united in support of responsible immigration reform, will release a report "A House Divided: Why Americans of Faith Are Concerned About Undocumented Immigrants." This report documents the increasing prevalence of the un-Christian treatment of immigrants. It focuses on three areas of humanitarian concern for the faith community, including the increases in hate speech and hate groups linked to the anti-immigrant movement, the upswing of harshly anti-immigrant local and state ordinances and the impact of raids on immigrant families living in our country’s shadows.

WHAT: Press Conference: Christian Faith Leaders Call for Understanding on Immigration before Thanksgiving Holiday

WHO: Rev. Jim Wallis,
Founder and CEO of Sojourners;

Most Reverend John Wester, Bishop of Salt Lake City, Chairman, United States Catholic Conference of Bishops Committee on Migration;

Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference;
James Winkler, General Secretary of the United Methodist Church, General Board of Church & Society

WHEN: Wednesday, November 14, 2007 @ 11:30 a.m. EST

WHERE: Calvary Baptist Church, 755 Eighth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001

TELECONFERENCE INFORMATION: 1-866-866-2244, password: 802456#


Some of the report findings include:

  • That the tenor of the national debate over immigration is being set by organizations deeply rooted in hate, with the key national groups advocating against immigrant rights having received funding from a pro-eugenics foundation;
  • That the consequences of this hateful debate are being felt not only in the Congress, but at a state and local level, and communities are being ripped apart;
  • Our Christian and American values of compassion and human dignity are endangered as immigrant families are ripped apart and individual undocumented immigrants are treated as less than human; and
  • The religious community is uniquely positioned to serve as a bridge across our differences on immigration and a source of healing and reconciliation. We as Christians are pledging to do more to unite our communities and restore the fabric of our society that this growing hate threatens to tear apart.

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Christians for Comprehensive Immigration Reform represents a coalition of Christian organizations, churches, and leaders from across the theological and political spectrum united in support of comprehensive immigration reform. Read the Joint Statement of Principles with Signatories for more detailed information on the mission and participants of this coalition.