The Common Good

Over 300 Evangelical Leaders Meet with House Republicans on Immigration Reform

Date: July 24, 2013

For Immediate Release                                

July 24, 2013                                                                         

Contact:

Dan Gordon, 202-383-5996 or 202-309-5645

Brian Duss, 202-745-4615 or 202-997-0184

 

Over 300 Evangelical Leaders Meet with House Republicans on Immigration Reform

Evangelical Delegations from 27 States Pray, Urge Action

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. —Today, on the eve of a critical August recess for immigration reform, over 300 evangelical leaders from across the nation made the pilgrimage to Capitol Hill to pray and urge congressional leaders in both parties to come to agreement and pass immigration reform that respects the rule of law, keeps families together and is compassionate.

The morning kicked off with a press conference on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol and continued with a worship service at a Capitol Hill church. Evangelical leaders have now fanned out across House office buildings, where they are holding more than 90 meetings with their representatives and with House leaders, including many key Republicans.

Evangelical participants represented states and met with congressional delegations from 27 states: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, California, the District of Columbia, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Washington.

The Day of Prayer and Action comes in the midst of the Evangelical Immigration Table’s Pray for Reform campaign, an effort that has included letters to Congress and a Week of Prayer, billboard and radio advertisements in key states and congressional districts and nearly 30,000 new Pray for Reform partners across the country.

The following quotes can be attributed to speakers at the Pray for Reform Day of Prayer and Action.

Dr. Carlos Campo, President, Regent University; Board Member, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference:
“Reform is often in the eye of the beholder, but more and more evangelicals—and more and more Americans—agree that we are facing a moral imperative to transform our broken immigration system. This need transcends race, political party and even faith. Our country will be stronger with a system that strategically addresses our immigration problem, and reflects the compassion that has defined our nation.”

Noel Castellanos, CEO, Christian Community Development Association:
“We can all agree that our current immigration system is not working. Therefore we must choose to take action. In a time of political division, it is encouraging to see support from both parties and, more important, from a vast majority of Americans. I pray that lawmakers will share our urgency and quickly move ahead with broad reform.”


Dr. David Crosby, Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church New Orleans:
“The most victimized and vulnerable people in my community are the undocumented workers. They are assaulted, robbed, raped and shot with impunity. Common decency requires us to address their plight with haste and humanity.”

Andy Crouch, Executive Editor, Christianity Today:
“There aren't many changes more dramatic in American evangelicalism than the way its leaders have embraced the indispensable justice of immigration reform. Evangelical Christians are involved in countless forms of service in cities and towns where they directly experience the dignity and the needs of both documented and undocumented immigrants. Their churches and institutions have been enriched by generations of immigrants from every part of the world. They have seen how directly Scripture addresses the responsibility of nations to welcome and protect the most vulnerable: widows, orphans, and 'strangers.' A just and humane system for recognizing and welcoming immigrants is a biblical non-negotiable for any nation that wants to reflect the heart of God.”

Rev. Wendell Griffen, Pastor, New Millennium Baptist Church, Little Rock, Ark.:
“Immigration reform is justice for all. It builds a lawful and predictable system of immigration, assures border security and reorders justice with business solutions, law enforcement solutions and family solutions. Bipartisan cooperation is already at work; many workable solutions are available. Scripture reminds us that ‘to everything there is a season.’ The time to reform immigration is now.”

Rev. Dr. Brenda Salter McNeil, Reconciliation Leader, Author, Professor & Teaching Pastor at Quest Church, Seattle:
“We have a mission to perform, and we are united. This is going to require us to step out with faith for the solutions to a broken system that ruins lives. The world that God created intends for every family to flourish.”

Dr. Russell Moore, President, Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention:
“We’re here today as a group of believers in Jesus Christ to let our elected officials know we are praying for them. We have recognized that immigration reform is not just a political issue, it’s a personal issue, and we’re praying for justice and compassion, wisdom and mercy. We are speaking to the consciences of our lawmakers.”

Rev. Gabriel Salguero, President, National Latino Evangelical Coalition:
“We have not lost hope that we can find a way to get to commonsense bipartisan immigration reform legislation. Evangelicals believe that we can both respect the rule of law while finding ways to integrate men, women and children who want to contribute to our great nation.”

Jim Wallis, President, Sojourners:
“Now that immigration has moved out of the Senate, it’s time for members of Congress, especially those who consider themselves people of faith, to put their faith in to action by supporting common sense immigration reform that reflects our values as a nation.  There is a way forward on immigration that respects the God-given dignity of every person, keeps families together while also securing national borders.  While no solution will be perfect, any solution to help bring 11 million people out of the shadows will require leaders with the moral courage to do what is both right and seeks to serve the common good.”

Jenny Yang, Vice President of Advocacy and Policy, World Relief:
“The evangelical community continues to build momentum and urges the House of Representatives to pass immigration reform consistent with Biblical principles of compassion, justice and the rule of law. There is a moral cost to inaction and we urge members to act quickly and in good faith to move our country forward in the right direction.”

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