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As Senate Moves Toward Vote, Evangelicals Continue to Pray for Reform

Week of Prayer near Capitol Continues

WASHINGTON, D.C., JUNE 25, 2013 — Following a bipartisan vote on Monday that keeps the Senate on track for final approval of broad, bipartisan immigration reform this week, about a dozen people attended the second Week of Prayer gathering this morning near the Capitol (see photos). Today’s gathering was hosted by Sojourners.

As part of the Pray for Reform campaign, supporters of broad immigration reform are praying for final legislation that reflects the God-given dignity of every human being, protects family unity, respects the rule of law, keeps our borders secure and includes an achievable pathway to earned citizenship. A mobile billboard bearing the message “Praying for Immigrants. Praying for Congress” is starting each day at the prayer gathering, then making its way around downtown Washington.

“While Congress continues to debate commonsense immigration reform, the biblical call to ‘welcome the stranger’ hasn’t changed,” said Jim Wallis, President and CEO of Sojourners. “Evangelicals want an immigration system that reflects our biblical values. The legislation in the Senate isn’t perfect, but it represents real progress on an issue that Washington has ignored for too long. Today’s prayer gathering is just an example of the attention evangelical Christians across the country are paying to this issue. We pray that the spirit of bipartisanship that has driven this process in the Senate will also prevail in the House.”

The National Association of Evangelicals will host the gathering at 9 a.m. Wednesday (note different time). Participating Evangelical Immigration Table organizations the rest of the week include the Christian Community Development Association (Thursday) and World Relief (Friday); Monday’s gathering was hosted by the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference. Prayer gatherings return to 10 a.m. Thursday and Friday.

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‘Pray for Reform’ Comes to the Capitol

WASHINGTON, D.C., JUNE 24, 2013 — With a final Senate vote on broad, bipartisan immigration reform expected by the end of this week, evangelical leaders are holding daily prayer gatherings near the U.S. Capitol. Today, the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC) hosted the prayer gathering, at Peace Circle near the U.S. Capitol.

A mobile billboard bearing the message “Praying for Immigrants. Praying for Congress” is starting each day at the prayer gathering, then making its way around downtown Washington. As part of the Pray for Reform campaign, groups are gathering to pray for senators to pass strong legislation that reflects the God-given dignity of every human being, protects family unity, respects the rule of law, keeps our borders secure and includes an achievable pathway to earned citizenship.

“In the spirit of unity and in the name of righteousness and justice, we gathered to pray at Capitol Hill today for comprehensive immigration reform,” said Rev. Tony Suarez, Virginia Chapter Director of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference and Senior Pastor, The Pentecostals of Norfolk. “For the young person who has lived here since they were a young child yet cannot obtain a driver’s license, for the mother or father who crossed deserts and rivers just to give their child a better life, we interceded before the father today and made prophetic declarations that by the grace of God we will see immigration reform come to pass in 2013.”

“Prayer is more than a spiritual exercise,” added Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference. “Prayer serves as the bridge between heaven and earth, our needs and God’s provision, and our will and His. Accordingly, as we pray for immigration reform this week, let us remember that the same God that touched Pharaoh’s heart,  as it pertains to how he dealt with Jewish immigrants, will likewise touch Congress today.

“Let us pray that God will convict our elected officials to act justly and provide a path that will free 11 million people from making bricks without straw. Let us pray that God’s Spirit will descend upon the Senate, resulting in the passage of reform legislation that will renew our core values, redeem the narrative of immigration and reinforce our physical and moral borders.”

Sojourners will host the gathering Tuesday at 10 a.m. Participating Evangelical Immigration Table organizations the rest of the week include the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention and the National Association of Evangelicals (Wednesday), the Christian Community Development Association (Thursday) and World Relief (Friday).

‘Pray for Reform’ Efforts Deepen Evangelical Support at Key Moment in Immigration Debate

Pastors in 10 States Appeal to Senators; Leaders to Hold Week of Prayer in D.C.

**To listen to a recording of today’s call, please click here.**

WASHINGTON, D.C., JUNE 20, 2013 — As the Senate forges ahead toward a vote on broad, bipartisan immigration reform, evangelical leaders and local evangelical voices are intensifying their support. On a press call today, leaders spoke about efforts on multiple fronts to broaden the Pray for Reform campaign and encourage senators to pass strong legislation that reflects biblical principles.

Hundreds of pastors are sending letters to their senators and representatives this week and next, from 10 states: Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, North Carolina, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin. The letters speak to the urgent need for reform that respects the God-given dignity of every person, protects family unity, respects the rule of law, guarantees secure national borders, ensures fairness to taxpayers and establishes a path toward earned citizenship for those who qualify.

In addition, a Week of Prayer for immigration reform will begin Monday. At 10 a.m. each day next week, evangelical leaders will gather at a mobile billboard at Peace Circle, near the Capitol, and pray for senators to transcend partisanship and vote for commonsense immigration solutions that include an achievable roadmap to citizenship. Participating organizations include the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, Sojourners, the National Association of Evangelicals, the Christian Community Development Association and World Relief.

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

Leith Anderson, President, National Association of Evangelicals:
“We recognize that immigration is an important national issue, but it also is an important local issue. A key emphasis of the Evangelical Immigration Table has been to encourage Christians across America to read the 92 references in the Old Testament on immigrants. We’ve picked up on that number 92 and we’ve asked people to pray for God’s help and direction over a 92-day period, with the hope and prayer that this will result in legislation.

“I think the process the Senate is considering is very compatible with the biblical teaching, with the rule of law and with the history of the United States. As immigration reform moves forward in Congress, we will pray for all of those that are involved and we will seek to meet with them.”

 

Linda Jones, Missions Coordinator, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, North Carolina:
“At CBF North Carolina, we have created, empowered and now partnered with our Hispanic network. … They recently had a family retreat that 605 people attended. These are upstanding, law-abiding people who care about this country, who speak English, and almost all our families have lived in the U.S. a long time. This is their home; their children were raised here.

“We’ve had situations where one parent has been deported, leaving the other family members kind of destitute without the one who’s working and bringing in the income. These families live in fear. … We need permanent reform. We need a path to citizenship. This has gone on far too long. These are wonderful people who love our country.”

 

Keith Stewart, Founding and Senior Pastor, Springcreek Community Church, Garland, Texas:
“We’ve gotten involved in the advocacy for immigration reform largely because of the sense of biblical mandate. Our church has continued to go through a transformation of realizing how much vulnerable people really matter to God. No one who reads the Bible can come away with any other conclusion other than that the immigrant matters to God.

“When our people see  how comprehensive the Bible is — God’s Word — about the immigrant and how they’re to be treated, there’s this natural conversion that happens, and people even here in suburban Dallas, Texas, have had a warm embrace around immigration reform. … To us, we feel like we have really a higher authority, and that’s the Kingdom of God, and it trumps all political ideologies. … Even in very conservative districts, the people of God have a heart for the immigrant, and we’ve got to get this done.”

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Southern Baptist Leader Reaffirms Commitment to Immigration

Southern Baptist Leader Reaffirms Commitment to Immigration
New President of Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission Sends Letter to Every Senator

WASHINGTON, D.C., JUNE 20, 2013 – Earlier today, Dr. Russell Moore, the newly elected president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, sent a letter to every Senator reaffirming the Southern Baptist Convention’s commitment to passing compassionate and commonsense immigration reform.

The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission is the public-policy arm of the Southern Baptist Convention, the nation’s largest non-Catholic denomination, with nearly 16 million members worshipping in more than 46,000 autonomous local congregations.

The full text of the letter is here.

 

Evangelical Leaders Intensify Call for Bipartisan Immigration Reform with Radio Ads and Billboards

WASHINGTON, D.C., MAY 30, 2013 — As momentum builds in support of broad, commonsense immigration reform, the Evangelical Immigration Table announced Thursday its newest and largest paid-media campaign to reach evangelicals on the issue of immigration. On a press call today, national and local evangelical leaders discussed the quarter-million-dollar effort, which includes ads airing nationally on the Salem Communications Network and additional reach in 13 key states — including billboards near congressional offices in four states.

To listen to the ads, visit https://soundcloud.com/eit_1

The ad campaign further increases the Evangelical Immigration Table’s support for bipartisan, commonsense immigration reform and builds on the 92-day “Pray for Reform” campaign. The call took place as small groups of Christians in at least 20 states gathered in their communities to pray for immigrants and for Congress as part of the Pray for Reform campaign.

The national ads on Christian and talk radio stations feature Dr. Russell Moore, President-elect of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and Lynne Hybels, co-founder of Willow Creek Community Church. In addition, ads featuring local pastors are airing on stations in Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Montana, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas. Pray for Reform billboards will appear in Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas.

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

Stephan Bauman, President and CEO, World Relief:
“What we’ve seen across the country is really a sea change among Christians and evangelicals. People are wanting to know about the issue, they want to know what the Bible says about it … [The radio ads] are very simple messages — praying for immigrants, praying for Congress and reminding Christians across our country that this is first a biblical and moral issue.”

Lynne Hybels, Co-founder, Willow Creek Community Church:
“Immigration is not an abstract issue because immigrants are people with whom we live and worship. We in this movement are reaching out to our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ because we believe that this is one of the great moral issues of our country and that the voices of evangelical Christians must reach our politicians.”

Rev. Dan Krause, Lead Pastor, Chugach Covenant Church, Anchorage, Alaska:
“When you look through scripture you see the heart of God is one of concern for immigrants. It is our job as Christians and Christian leaders to love those who are here in Jesus’ name … I have had some conversations with our congregants on this issue, and they’re going through a similar process I did just several months ago. As soon as we take them into the scripture and really show people, ‘Listen, God has spoken clearly about this issue,’ it’s fairly easy to convince somebody who has a high regard for scripture that God loves the stranger, the sojourner in our land and we need to be praying for reform.”

Dr. Russell Moore, President-elect, Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention:
“Evangelicals understand that our broken system is a moral issue; this isn’t just a legal issue, it isn’t a political issue or an economic issue only. It’s a moral issue and it’s been a stain on our country for too long. Now is the time for the country to come together for an immigration system that respects the God-given human dignity of every person.”

Rev. Gabriel Salguero, President, National Latino Evangelical Coalition:
“There has really been a conversion [among evangelicals]. There is mounting momentum and impetus. The pushback that we may have now is not what we had even a year ago or six months ago because people are sitting down, reading and reasoning. And [people] are in relationships with immigrants. They know they’re hardworking, they know they want to contribute to society in healthy ways.”

Bipartisan Immigration Reform Bill Heads to Full Senate

WASHINGTON, D.C., MAY 21, 2013 – In a bipartisan, 13-5 vote today, the Senate Judiciary Committee sent the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, S. 744, on to the full Senate.

The vote came as evangelicals participating in “Pray for Reform: 92 Days of Prayer and Action to Pass Immigration Reform” focused their prayers on a bill with no amendments that would jeopardize chances for final passage. As reported, the bill meets that description. Participants in the Evangelical Immigration Table’s campaign will continue their prayers as the debate continues on the Senate floor.

 

The following quotes are from Evangelical Immigration Table leaders:

Leith Anderson, President, National Association of Evangelicals:

“The Senate Judiciary Committee has proved that bipartisanship on commonsense solutions to tough topics like immigration reform is possible. We pray this spirit of cooperation and statesmanship continues as the bill moves to the Senate floor.”

Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, President, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference

“The NHCLC commends the Senate Judiciary Committee for successfully advancing the cause of immigration reform via it’s bi-partisan vote in favor of legislation that will resolve America’s immigration crisis. As the full Senate considers this historical bill, we pray that political courage trumps political expediency and both Republican and Democratic Senators coalesce around this legislative solution that, fully enacted, will protect our values, borders and families. For this cause, we hereby call bible believing Christ followers to pray for passage, preach reform and prophetically demonstrate courage by conveying to Congress that ‘Now is the time!'”

Rev. Gabriel Salguero, President, National Latino Evangelical Coalition:

“Now is the time for immigration reform. The close to 8 million Hispanic evangelicals remain optimistic for broad, bipartisan legislation. We are hopeful to see real commonsense solutions that transcend partisanship. We know our country has the ingenuity to solve one of our most intractable problems in just, moral, and humane ways.”

Jim Wallis, President and CEO, Sojourners:

“As Evangelical Christians we are very grateful the spirit of bipartisanship shown by the Senate Judiciary Committee in advancing legislation that reflects our nation’s best values on immigration. This shows political courage for the common good.”

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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