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Category Archive for: "Statements and Press Releases"

As Evangelicals ‘Pray for Reform,’ Bipartisan House Group Agrees in Principle on Immigration Reform

WASHINGTON, D.C., MAY 20, 2013 – On Thursday, a bipartisan group of House lawmakers announced that they have reached an agreement in principle on immigration reform. The announcement comes in the midst of the Evangelical Immigration Table’s campaign “Pray for Reform: 92 Days of Prayer and Action to Pass Immigration Reform.”

The following statement can be attributed to the Evangelical Immigration Table:

“This week, evangelicals participating in the Pray for Reform challenge have been praying specifically for the negotiators in the House to resolve their differences and put forward a proposal that reflects evangelical principles for immigration reform. We are pleased to see that they have an agreement in principle, which shows courage and marks a significant step forward.

“The momentum for immigration reform continues to grow. As evangelicals, we strongly support members of Congress who continue to work together. The agreement in the House is momentous. We look forward to seeing details of a House bill that brings honor to the rule of law, keeps our borders secure and is fair to taxpayers —  and also emphasizes the God-given dignity of every person, unifies families and includes a fair path to earned citizenship.

“We will continue to pray for members of Congress to come together on immigration, rise above partisan politics and — this summer — pass an immigration bill that will strengthen our families and our communities.”

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Follow the Pray for Reform campaign on Twitter at #Pray4Reform.

 

Evangelical Community Launches ‘Pray for Reform’ Campaign

WASHINGTON, D.C., MAY 8, 2013 — On the eve of the Senate’s first markup of the bipartisan immigration reform bill in the Senate, the Evangelical Immigration Table today announced the launch of “Pray for Reform: 92 Days of Prayer and Action to Pass Immigration Reform.” This nationwide grassroots and digital campaign will engage evangelical communities in all 50 states and support congressional leaders as they move toward passing broad, commonsense immigration reform.

The effort corresponds with the Evangelical Immigration Table’s drive for bipartisan passage of a bill within 92 days, corresponding to the number of times the Hebrew word for immigrant appears in the Old Testament. It is only the latest push by evangelical leaders for far-reaching immigration reform.

This year alone, tens of thousands of people have participated in the table’s “I Was A Stranger” prayer challenge, the table launched radio ad campaigns in five key states, and more than 300 evangelical leaders gathered in Washington for the National Day of Prayer and Action, which included more than 90 meetings with congressional leaders.

The following quotes can be attributed to speakers on today’s call:

Leith Anderson, President, National Association of Evangelicals:
“We are now at the point of markup, and what we have worked [on] and dreamed about and talked about for many years is now on the eve of reality. As evangelicals we have come together in a coalition that has stayed amazingly united. … What we’re doing today is a call for prayer for our Congress and for our country to actually pass immigration reform in 92 days, [corresponding to] the 92 Old Testament references to immigrants and immigration. We did this once before: We asked that our [congressional] leadership, in 92 days, present legislation, and we believe that that happened and that prayer was answered.”

Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, President, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference:
“I am convinced we stand on the edge of the Jordan called immigration reform. On the other side lies the promised land of integration, secure borders and healthy communities. What will it take for us as a nation to get there? Two words: prophetic courage. … This is not the time for political showmanship. The NHCLC calls on Congress not to sacrifice 11 million people on the altar of political expediency. Let’s not be distracted, let us be deliberate in the final crossing.”

Michelle Warren, Colorado Immigration Specialist, Christian Community Development Association:
“Here in Colorado, we had numerous churches in congressional districts all across the state participate in the ‘I Was A Stranger’ challenge, and as a result, the eyes of evangelicals opened to what the Bible had to say about our personal attitudes towards immigrants, and our hearts were changed on how we should treat immigrants in our country. Now we’re launching the Pray for Reform campaign, which will bring evangelicals from all across the country to participate in prayer gatherings around flag poles, in sanctuaries, in front of town halls and with elected officials themselves. … We believe in the power of prayer, we believe that it has been what has driven our momentum here in Colorado and we’re eager to see the results of Christians uniting all across the country to pray for immigration reform.”

Rev. Jim Wallis, President and CEO, Sojourners:
“We’ve seen a message go out across the country that how we treat the stranger is how we treat Christ himself. That message is converting evangelicals by the thousands, by the millions, and we’ve seen now how that conversion is changing politics. … Republicans and Democrats alike are telling us that they want to support this, but there are interests and forces and agendas always putting their weight against positive progress. So we’re praying that dysfunction can be overcome for the sake of 11 million vulnerable, undocumented people that Jesus calls us to welcome.”

Dr. Richard Land, President, Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention:
“This is a moral issue. We’re calling on Congress to not act like politicians who are focused on the next election but to act as statesmen and stateswomen who are focused on the next generation. … I believe that we are at a moment where we’ve seen really a providential convergence of forces. The Evangelical Immigration Table stands together in calling Congress to pass immigration reform in 92 days and the Prayer for Reform campaign will show Congress that evangelicals are behind them on this issue and we are ready to redeem this moment.”

Follow the Pray for Reform campaign on Twitter at #Pray4Reform.

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Evangelical Leaders to Congress: Pass Immigration Reform in the Next 92 Days

WASHINGTON, D.C., MAY 6, 2013 — With 92 days left until the start of the August recess, the Evangelical Immigration Table is launching the second stage of their campaign for humane and comprehensive immigration reform with an open letter to Congress that carries one simple message: The time is now – we respectfully urge Congress to pass immigration reform within the next 92 days.

The number 92 is particularly symbolic in the Bible – “ger,” the Hebrew word for immigrant, appears in the Old Testament 92 times.

Today’s letter is the latest push by the evangelical community for comprehensive and humane immigration reform. Over the course of the last 92 days, tens of thousands of people participated in the Table’s “I Was A Stranger” prayer challenge, five radio ad campaigns were launched in five key states and more than 300 evangelical leaders gathered in Washington, DC to hold over 90 meetings with congressional leaders on the Hill for the National Day of Prayer and Action.

In the coming 92 days, the Evangelical Immigration Table will expand on the nationwide momentum they’ve already built by announcing a host of new mobilizing efforts centered on prayer and action for immigration reform.

An excerpt of the letter is provided below. To read the letter in full, please click here.

“We understand that opponents of immigration reform will not make voting for reform politically easy, and we recognize the divisiveness surrounding the immigration debate and deeply held feelings of your constituents.  However, we believe the moral case for reform is clear. As such, we commit to supporting you in taking courageous votes both now and in the future. And we pray that God gives you wisdom and courage as you deliberate and vote on legislation we believe is vital for the future of our churches and our nation.

“Ger” is the Hebrew word for immigrant. It appears 92 times in the Bible.  As Bible believing Christians we are launching from these teachings to set the goal of passing comprehensive immigration reform in 92 days. We respectfully urge you to pass immigration reform within the next 92 days.”

Evangelicals Mobilize to Capitol Hill on Immigration Reform for the First Time; Respond to Senate Immigration Proposal

WASHINGTON, D.C., APRIL 17, 2013 — Today, on the same day that the Senate introduced immigration reform legislation, hundreds of megachurch pastors, denominational leaders, heads of evangelical organizations and other leaders descended upon Washington, D.C. for the first-ever national “Evangelical Day of Prayer and Action on Immigration Reform.”

The Day of Action kicked off with a press conference on Capitol Hill and will continue with a morning worship service of hundreds of evangelical leaders from Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin.

Since its inception in June 2012, the Evangelical Immigration Table has released immigration ad campaigns in Christian radio in key states, led letter-writing campaigns, and launched national prayer challenges like the “I Was a Stranger Challenge” and the G92 Conferences at universities all over the U.S. The “I Was a Stranger Challenge” called on elected leadersto join over 10,000 Christians in reading a verse a day for 40 days and learn about God’s heart on immigration. The G92 Conferences have energized young evangelicals like never before. In this school year, 7 universities have hosted these conferences to discuss and plan for immigration reform.

Throughout the day, delegations of evangelical leaders are scheduled to meet with 80 Congressional representatives and their staff to discuss the evangelical support for fair and practical reform that includes an earned path to citizenship.

The following quotes can be attributed to evangelical speakers at today’s Capitol Hill press conference:

Rev. Gabriel Salguero, Pastor, The Lamb’s Church and President, National Latino Evangelical Coalition (NaLEC):

“The time for immigration reform is now. NaLEC remains hopeful that we will cross this rubicon with strong bi-partisan support. Now is the time for courageous leadership. The 7.8 million Hispanic evangelicals are looking to see real leadership not partisanship on immigration reform.”

Jenny Yang, Vice President of Advocacy and Policy, World Relief:

“We are encouraged that after months of careful negotiation and deliberation, a group of bipartisan Senators will soon introduce an immigration bill that reflects many of the principles World Relief has been advocating for. While the introduction of the bill is just one step forward in a long process, we applaud the actions taken by the Senate and believe such leadership from Members of Congress and the President will continue to be critical in the months ahead.”

Dr. Richard Land, President, Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, Southern Baptist Convention:

“The contentious issue of immigration reform is rending the social fabric of the nation in ways that are far easier to rend than they are to mend. It is well past time for our elected representatives to quit behaving like politicians who are focused on the next election, and start focusing on the next generation as statesmen and deal with this issue in a fair and responsible way. Comprehensive immigration reform must secure the border, secure the workplace, recognize the dignity of each and every undocumented worker, and find a pathway to earned legal status and or citizenship for those who desire it. There should be no room for second class citizens in our democracy. Those who desire citizenship should be able to earn it.”

Timothy Goeglein, Vice President of External Relations, Focus on the Family:

“If our immigration challenges are to be effectively addressed, then we need a balance of compassion, respect for the rule of law, and common sense.  We can find that balance, rooted in what is best for families, marriages, and kids.  We at Focus on the Family are dedicated to keeping families together as they comply with entrance requirements.”

Bill Hybels, Senior Pastor, Willow Creek Community Church (South Barrington, Illinois):

“Immigration is an urgent issue that directly affects many individuals within Willow Creek Community Church and thousands of other local churches around the country. I’m encouraged that our elected officials are now coming together to address this topic. I join many within our local church family in praying that they find consensus.”

Kenton Beshore, Senior Pastor, Mariners Church (Irvine, California):

“The biblical mandate is clear that we are to love and care for the poor, orphaned, widowed and strangers; namely immigrants. For over twenty-five years, our church has cared for those on the margins of our society. It was through our work in one of the most impacted cities, west of the Mississippi, that we came face to face with the effects of our broken immigration system.”

Dr. David Uth, Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church Orlando:

“I’ve met so many families whose lives are broken by the system. I want to find a way to help them, influence the debate on immigrants and immigration, not to write it, but to bring it to a discussion. No matter their immigration status, if they are part of our community we will minister to them. We, as evangelical Christians, travel halfway around the world to bring hope to people. Why should we not reach out in our own neighborhoods?”

Dr. Barbara Williams-Skinner, Co-Chair. National African America, Clergy Network:

“The Black evangelical community stands in solidarity with our Latino brothers and sisters for comprehensive immigration reform that respects the dignity and right of every person to a better life.”

Dr. Carlos Moran, Board Member, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference:

“As Evangelicals, as born again believers, as the spiritual heirs to the mantles of Billy Graham and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., we affirm our conviction that it is the time to reconcile border security with security of our values; values that include faith, hope and charity. Values that prompt us to worship our Lord and welcome the stranger.For at the end of the day, passing immigration reform is not, as Rev. Samuel Rodriguez reminds us, about advancing the agenda of the donkey or the elephant. Immigration reform is about living out the agenda of the lamb.”

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ICYMI: Evangelicals’ Resounding Call for Immigration Reform

WASHINGTON, D.C., APRIL 10, 2013 — With Congress back in town and immigration-reform legislation expected soon, a front-page article in Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal covers the increasing support among evangelical Christians for bipartisan immigration reform that includes steps toward earned citizenship — a “dramatic shift” from previous debates, when evangelicals stayed on the sidelines.

In addition, the new cover story in TIME magazine (April 15 edition) focuses on just one reason evangelicals have reconsidered their immigrant neighbors: For evangelicals, “they” are increasingly “us.” Latino churches make up a key and growing component of evangelical churches in the U.S. In a post about the article, writer Elizabeth Dias cites the New Life Covenant Church in Chicago. In 2000, all of the church’s 100 attendees were Spanish speakers; now its 17,000 members can choose from 11 services, nine of which are in English.

The increased importance of Latino evangelicals to American churches and the increasingly outspoken support among white evangelicals, both in the pulpit and in the pews, for immigration reform comes as evangelical leaders prepare to share their support in person with congressional leaders in Washington. On April 17, the Evangelical Immigration Table expects hundreds of participants for its Day of Prayer and Action, which will send a clear message to Congress: Support for commonsense reform is strong within the evangelical community, and it is time to move forward.

The Evangelical Immigration Table also has run a radio ad campaign on Christian radio in five key states: Colorado, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas. In the ads, local pastors from each state encourage listeners to support immigration reform based on Table principles.

The message should be clear to lawmakers in both parties: The time has come for Congress to engage in the kind of respectful debate that we’ve seen in churches all over the country. These conversations are changing hearts and minds in the pews, and it is time for Congress to work together to pass just immigration reform that includes a road to earned citizenship.

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A media advisory for the Evangelical Immigration Table’s April 17 Day of Prayer and Action follows.

Hundreds of Evangelicals to Gather in D.C. for Day of Prayer and Action

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On April 17, hundreds of megachurch pastors, denominational leaders, heads of evangelical organizations and other leaders will gather in Washington for the “Evangelical Day of Prayer and Action on Immigration Reform.

The Senate and the House of Representatives are expected to introduce immigration reform legislation in the next few days, and lawmakers will hear a unified evangelical voice proclaiming a biblical vision for immigration reform that respects the rule of law, reunites families and upholds human dignity.

The Evangelical Day of Prayer and Action will feature a Capitol Hill press conference, worship services and meetings with legislators to support legislation that reflects Christian values and builds the common good.

WHAT: Evangelical Immigration Table Day of Prayer and Action on Capitol Hill

WHO: Confirmed speakers include:
•    Bill Hybels, Senior Pastor, Willow Creek Community Church, South Barrington, Ill.
•    Dr. David Uth, Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church Orlando
•    Dr. David Anderson, Founder and Senior Pastor, Bridgeway Community Church, Columbia, Md.
•    Lee de Leon, Executive Pastor, Templo Calvario Church, Orange County, Calif.
•    Stephan Bauman, President and CEO, World Relief
•    Rev. David Beckmann, President, Bread for the World
•    Tim Goeglein, Vice President for External Relations, Focus on the Family
•    Rev. Gabriel Salguero, President, National Latino Evangelical Coalition
•    Sandra Van Opstal, Director of Worship, Urbana Mission Convention, will lead worship.

WHEN: Wednesday, April 17, 2013, beginning at 9:30 a.m. Daylong events will include a press conference, meetings with members of Congress and their staffs, and worship services.

PRESS RELEASE: Florida Faith Leaders Call For Bipartisan Immigration Solutions

JACKSONVILLE, FLA., APRIL 3, 2013 — As the immigration reform debate moves forward in Congress and in our nation, evangelical leaders continue to strongly support just and accountable immigration solutions. Today, prominent Florida and national faith leaders spoke at “Who is My Neighbor? An Evangelical Forum on Immigration,” where local residents discussed the urgency for a new immigration process based on biblical principles. The discussion follows the launch of the Evangelical Immigration Table’s immigration radio ad campaign in Florida and other key states.

Matthew Soerens, a nationally recognized evangelical leader, spoke with Florida evangelical leader Travis Trice about the complexities of the debate for fellow Christians. They urged attendees to turn to scripture to see what Jesus had to say about welcoming the stranger and asked them to pray and strategize about how to improve our immigration process.

Said Matthew Soerens, U.S. Church Training Specialist, World Relief, “We are working to build a moral movement of evangelicals who believe in just and practical immigration solutions that include an earned process for citizenship. Tens of thousands of Christians have accepted the ‘I Was a Stranger Challenge’ and are reading 40 days of Bible verse to learn about God’s heart for the immigrant. This is inspiring a new and productive conversation in our churches about the value of immigrants and immigration to our nation.”

PRESS RELEASE: Evangelical Leaders Amplify Call For Bipartisan Immigration Reform With Radio Ads in Key States

WASHINGTON, D.C., APRIL 3, 2013 — With members of Congress home for their Easter recess, leaders from the Evangelical Immigration Table announced today a new round of immigration ad buys on Christian radio in four key states: Colorado, Florida, North Carolina and Texas. The ads are playing statewide at saturation levels.

The ad campaign further increases the Evangelical Immigration Table’s support for Congress to produce a new, bipartisan immigration process this spring. It also presages the April 17 Day of Prayer and Action in Washington, during which evangelicals will meet with legislators to demand action, as well as continue the biblically inspired reflection on immigration exemplified by the “I Was a Stranger” immigration prayer challenge.

The buy follows a successful ad campaign on Christian radio stations in South Carolina that led into the recess. Last week, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., met with evangelical leaders in South Carolina, including the speaker in the ad, to discuss immigration.

The following quotes are from the speakers on today’s call.

Dr. Richard Land, President, Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, Southern Baptist Convention:
“Evangelical Christians who listen to Christian radio tend to be well educated in the scriptures and politically engaged. Reaching them with this message about God’s heart for immigrants and the importance of immigration solutions rooted in biblical values will be absolutely crucial for building the political will we need to pass meaningful reforms in 2013. Our political leaders need to hear from our constituents and from their constituents and know that evangelical Christians are strongly behind them if they have the moral courage to act on the values we see in Matthew 25 and other places in the scripture concerning welcoming the stranger.”

Rev. Dr. David Uth, Senior Pastor, First Baptist Orlando:
“There’s a consistent message throughout scripture, and it’s a command to welcome and to treat fairly all people, but especially the stranger and the foreigner in your land. … When we fail to welcome the stranger, in essence we fail to welcome Christ. And so Christians in our church, when they learn about God’s heart for the immigrant and what the Bible has to say, their hearts are open because we are a people of faith and it is our desire to live out that faith in our world. Coupled with that, when they meet these immigrants, when they have personal encounters, all of a sudden this issue has a face, it has a story. And it’s in that meeting that transformation happens and has happened here for us. … We know that the time is now for this discussion.”

Rev. Dr. David Fleming, Senior Pastor, Champion Forest Baptist Church, Houston:
“We’re beginning now to see [immigrants as] ‘us’: We live together, we work together, we serve together, we’re all in this together, and the notion of welcoming the outsider and the stranger and inviting them in has been key to that. We see the immigrant as a person created in the image of God. They’re husbands and wives, they’re parents, they’re children. Oftentimes our broken immigration system causes great suffering in the homes and in the families and in people’s lives. … I believe and my experience has been here in Texas that conservative Christians and evangelicals are rising to support a biblical approach to this very complex issue.”

Rev. Nick Lillo, Lead Pastor, WaterStone Community Church, Denver:
“The Bible doesn’t give us a piece of legislation to govern our immigration system, but it does give us a framework and an approach on how we can think as Christians in a way that’s faithful and biblical. … I really didn’t understand the injustice of our immigration system or how convoluted of a process and unfair of a process it is, but when you start talking to people who are even in the midst of that, it just angers you, because it’s not treating them fairly or justly. … As evangelical Christians, we have to ask ourselves whether or not the way we think and feel and act toward immigrants as individuals, as a community, and as a country really reflects the way we think that Jesus himself should be treated. And we need to ask our elected officials to ask themselves the same questions.”

Noel Castellanos, CEO, Christian Community Development Association:
“It is impossible to read the scriptures and not to conclude that how we treat the stranger and the vulnerable among us is very closely connected to the authenticity of our Christian faith … The focus of our effort as evangelical leaders goes way beyond politics. It’s about changing hearts around the nation, including changing the hearts of our legislators. … We’re a growing movement of evangelical Christians who are committed to supporting Congress and exerting pressure on our elected officials to make sure that commonsense, just immigration reform is a reality this year.”

**To listen to a recording of today’s call, visit http://tinyurl.com/Evangelical0402.
To listen to the ads, visit https://soundcloud.com/eit_1.**

PRESS RELEASE: Colorado Faith Leaders Call For Bipartisan Faith Solutions

FORT COLLINS, COLO., MARCH 29, 2013 — Today, Colorado evangelical leaders joined together at SouthGate Church in Fort Collins to discuss immigration from a biblical perspective. They spoke about the moral imperative to improve our country’s immigration process in a way that adheres to biblical principles and keeps families together.

One focus was the ongoing “I Was a Stranger” immigration prayer challenge, during which church members, pastors and elected officials are reading a passage of scripture related to immigrants daily for 40 days.

The following statements can be attributed to speakers at today’s event:

M. Daniel Carroll-Rodas, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of the Old Testament, Denver Seminary:
“My goal is to open these scriptures to pastors, illustrating that if we are Christians, we need to base our lessons on what the scripture says. The Bible teaches us to welcome strangers, and we must live that. We must make this a foundation for what we are communicating to our congregations.”

Michelle Warren, MPA, Colorado Immigration Specialist, Christian Community Development Association:
“Immigration is a biblical justice issue. As we learn to value people as equals in humanity, deserving to be treated with dignity and respect, we will look at all life and justice issues with new understanding. The Bible clearly spells out how we are to welcome the stranger among us, to care for and have compassion for them. As Christians we need to learn and practice the spirit of hospitality to the nations that are coming to our doors and not allow our politics and fear to hinder that spirit.”

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PRESS RELEASE: Evangelical Leaders Plan DC Day of Prayer and Action at Key Moment in Immigration Reform Discussions

WASHINGTON, D.C., MARCH 25, 2013 — The moment to fix our broken immigration system and restore hope to millions by passing immigration reform has arrived. On April 17, a unified evangelical voice will echo through the halls of Congress proclaiming a biblical vision for immigration reform that respects the rule of law, reunites families and upholds human dignity.

Evangelical leaders are planning their day of action as bipartisan leaders in the Senate try to reach final agreement on the elements of immigration legislation before their two-week Easter recess. At this critical moment in legislative negotiations, members of the Evangelical Immigration Table pray that all stakeholders involved can work toward a compromise. The hopes and dreams of millions lie in their hands.

WHAT: Evangelical Immigration Table Day of Prayer and Action on Capitol Hill

WHO: Confirmed speakers include:
•    Bill Hybels, Senior Pastor, Willow Creek Community Church, South Barrington, Ill.
•   Dr. David Uth, Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church Orlando
•    Dr. David Anderson, Founder and Senior Pastor, Bridgeway Community Church, Columbia, Md.
•   Lee de Leon, Executive Pastor, Templo Calvario Church, Orange County, Calif.
•    Stephan Bauman, President and CEO, World Relief
•    Rev. David Beckmann, President, Bread for the World
•    Tim Goeglein, Vice President for External Relations, Focus on the Family
•    Rev. Sam Rodriguez, President, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference
•    Rev. Gabriel Salguero, President, National Latino Evangelical Coalition
•    Sandra Van Opstal, Director of Worship, Urbana Mission Convention, will lead worship

WHEN: Wednesday, April 17, 2013, beginning at 10 a.m. Daylong events will include a press conference, meetings with members of Congress and their staffs, and worship services

For questions, please e-mail media@immigrationforum.org.

PRESS RELEASE: Evangelical Leaders to Push for Earned Citizenship

WASHINGTON, D.C., MARCH 18, 2013 — Evangelical leaders today announced a statement of support for earned citizenship as part of broad, bipartisan immigration reform. The Evangelical Immigration Table’s call is rooted in the biblical values of human dignity and respect.
The conversation around immigration has changed among evangelicals and is changing in Congress, where leaders are hearing the call of evangelicals and others who are pushing for a road to earned citizenship. Evangelical leaders have continued to build momentum: They met with President Obama on March 8 to talk about immigration reform and are in the midst of a Christian radio ad campaign in South Carolina in support of immigration reform informed by biblical principles. Speakers on today’s call also noted the impact of the continuing “I Was a Stranger” immigration prayer challenge.

The following statements can be attributed to speakers on today’s call:

Galen Carey, Vice President of Government Relations, National Association of Evangelicals:
“We’re pleased that all of the serious proposals that have been put forward for fixing our broken immigration system do involve having a way for those who are here in an undocumented status to come forward and identify themselves and then be able to earn permanent residency and eventually citizenship. … We want to see at the end of the day an opportunity for the folks who have been here, who have been working hard and contributing but lacking that legal status, to be able to eventually become citizens like the rest of us.”

Robert Gittelson, President and Co-Founder, Conservatives for Comprehensive Immigration Reform:
“All of our organizations [in the Evangelical Immigration Table], from the more progressive groups to the more conservative organizations, didn’t have significant daylight between us in how we felt about the issue of earned citizenship. We were unanimous in our conclusion that both from a moral perspective as well as from the perspective of our shared American values, we all felt that some kind of rigorous yet attainable pathway towards eventual citizenship was appropriate and just. … Aspiring Americans should be able to swear their oath of allegiance and fealty to our great nation [and] be able to assume the oath of citizenship. They should have an eventual yet unfettered access to the full pursuit of our shared American dream.”

Rev. Gabriel Salguero, President, National Latino Evangelical Coalition:
“The National Latino Evangelical Coalition is so hopeful that there’s strong bipartisan support, that the Evangelical Immigration Table, with evangelicals from all over the political spectrum and ideological spectrum, have gotten behind a legalization process that gives people a path to citizenship. We believe that now is the time, that the moral standard is being met … Many of our congregations are full of immigrants that just want to contribute to the American dream and contribute to the American economy.”

Rev. Jim Wallis, President and CEO, Sojourners:
“As evangelicals we don’t believe there are second class images of God, and therefore we don’t believe in a second class status for people who are willing to follow an earned path toward citizenship. That’s very important to us. … We’ve been through a conversion on this as evangelicals, a biblical conversion, a relational conversion, and really a conversion about the future of the church. … Faith leaders can offer to political leaders both courage and coverage, sometimes, to do the right thing … we think that’s happening now and we’re very encouraged by the atmosphere on this issue.”

Jenny Yang, Vice President of Policy and Advocacy, World Relief:
“We believe that immigrants will contribute to the social fabric of our country and really build upon the values that our country was founded upon. … For many in the evangelical community, we strongly feel like we should not create bad policy for the sake of political expediency that will only kick the can down the road, but we should address this issue once and for all and really create a permanent pathway for immigrants to earn the right to stay in this country but also earn citizenship as well. [Earned citizenship] makes social sense, it makes economic sense, and for those in the evangelical community, it’s something that we meaningfully embrace as something that’s an important part of the immigration debate.”

 

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