Local Pastors Join Effort in More Than 50 Key Districts as Members of Congress Hear from Constituents
**To listen to a recording of today’s call, click here .
To listen to the ads, visit https://soundcloud.com/eit_1/ .
WASHINGTON, D.C. — As momentum for broad, commonsense immigration reform continues to build, the Evangelical Immigration Table announced today the launch of its newest and largest radio ad buy to date. Nearly 60 key members of Congress home for the August recess are hearing local evangelical pastors and national evangelical leaders encouraging prayer and action on broad immigration reform. On a press call today, national and local evangelical leaders discussed the more than $400,000 effort, which puts cumulative media buys in the every region of the country at nearly a million dollars.
The ads, airing locally in 56 key Congressional districts across 14 states, are the latest effort in the Evangelical Immigration Table’s “Pray for Reform” campaign, during which grassroots support is coming from more than 60,000 people who have signed up as prayer partners.
Ads are airing locally in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Wisconsin. Members of Congress in these states will return to Washington knowing that they have support at home for immigration solutions that ensure secure borders, keep families together and include an earned pathway to citizenship.
The following quotes can be attributed to speakers on today’s call:
Barrett Duke, Vice President for Public Policy and Research, Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission:
“The rule of law and love of neighbor are both necessary values for any civilized people. They don't have to be competing values. I am praying for our members of Congress as they engage in the nation-defining work of developing immigration solutions that temper justice with compassion.”
Felix Cabrera, Hispanic Pastor, Quail Springs Baptist Church, Oklahoma City:
“I decided to record the radio ad because I feel that through the ad, I could be the voice for those who are voiceless in my congregation. As a Hispanic pastor in the United States, I have to deal with the collateral damages that immigration brings to Hispanic families. There are many who are unjustly detained and deported. Many are separated from their families, leaving behind U.S.-born children without their parents.
“The Bible doesn’t call me to judge the reasons why immigrants arrive to this country. The Bible calls me to love them and welcome them. It calls me to treat them justly. That should be the response of all of us who call ourselves Christians. Immigration reform is urgent — our 11 million brothers and sisters living in the shadows should be able to live here safely and in peace, knowing they’re a part of this nation. Many of them have come here to do good, to work and make the United States a better place. They and their children deserve and need immigration reform.”
Galen Carey, Vice President of Government Relations, National Association of Evangelicals:
“Millions of evangelicals look to Christian radio for news and perspective on social, moral and spiritual issues. Hearing local evangelical leaders present a biblically informed call for a just, compassionate and effective immigration system will unleash a new wave of support for reform. We pray that these radio messages amplify the evangelical witness to God’s love and care for the immigrants whom He has brought to our shores.”
Dr. Stan Coffey, Senior Pastor, The Church at Quail Creek, Amarillo, Texas:
“All of us know that Texas is a border state. We have many, many immigrants in our state, and I think it’s so important for Christians and evangelicals to let our voices be heard on immigration reform. As a minister to the immigrant community I’ve found them to be people who are a family, people who are hard-working, people who make a positive contribution to our community and to our state. And that’s why I’d like to see immigration reform for our nation … I believe that’s what Jesus would have done if he were here. He would have been compassionate.”
Dr. Bob Lowman, Executive Director, Metrolina Baptist Association, Charlotte, N.C.:
“I serve in Charlotte, and the immigrant communities in our metropolitan area are growing to a size that cannot be ignored and must not be neglected. I often talk about the nations that live in our neighborhoods and how we must be actively engaged in building relationships and serving these neighbors in ways that will bless them and their families. We have prayed for years that we would be able to reach the ends of the earth with the love and hope of Christ, and now the ends of the earth have moved to the city where we live. … The more I work and the more I see our local churches and leaders, especially our churches that are actively engaging the immigrant community, the more that awareness and that need come to the front.”
Mike McClenahan, Pastor, Solana Beach Presbyterian Church, Solana Beach, Calif.:
“I never thought I’d be advocating for immigration reform, but I lead a church deeply invested in relationships with our Hispanic neighbors through worshiping and serving together, house-building across the border, tutoring children and encouraging first-generation college students. I urge our elected representatives to say yes to immigration reform that respects the rule of law, maintains family unity and secures our borders. For me, this is not hypothetical but very personal: Children living in fear are not “their children” but “our children.” I believe lasting and comprehensive immigration reform grounded in biblical values will give children and adults the opportunity to move out of the fearful shadows, eventually earn citizenship and contribute to our society with their God-given potential.
“The reason I did the radio ad was because of the urging of my members who have spent the last year or so talking together … our people have a growing awareness and their minds are being changed as they’re engaging in scripture and having honest conversations … I feel that I’m being brought along by members of my congregation.”
The Evangelical Immigration Table’s work is supported by a range of moderate and conservative individual, business and institutional donors.