Catholic, Evangelical Leaders Meet with Top Congressional Offices, Urge Action on Immigration Reform

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Following their recent open letter to urge Congress to move forward on immigration reform, high-level evangelical and Catholic leaders have come together once again to meet with key Hill offices.

While in town Wednesday, Catholic bishops and evangelical leaders urged Congress to move forward on long overdue reform rooted in biblical principles. The national leaders’ visit included meetings with the offices of Speaker John Boehner (OH-08), Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05), Congressman Paul Ryan (WI-01) and Congressman Jason Chaffetz (UT-03).

The following are quotes from national evangelical and Catholic leaders on their meetings:

Leith Anderson, President, National Association of Evangelicals:
“There is broad consensus among evangelicals that our immigration system is deeply broken and not working for immigrant families, businesses or law enforcement communities. I am encouraged that the House continues to discuss immigration reform, and we will continue to urge them to bring immigration reform up for a vote.”

Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, Bishop of Seattle:
“As pastors, there is an urgency to this issue, as families are being separated daily. As a moral matter, Congress and the nation can no longer stand by as immigrant communities and families are being ripped apart.”

Rev. Gabriel Salguero, President, National Latino Evangelical Coalition:
“Wednesday’s meetings with House members were an unwavering sign of unity on immigration reform. I am proud to stand with evangelical leaders and Catholic bishops in our continued call for immigration reform. In terms of the close to 8 million Hispanic evangelicals, many of whom are social conservatives, we are very frustrated with the inertia on this issue. We should not sacrifice immigration reform at the altar of political expediency.”

Jim Wallis, President and Founder, Sojourners:
“It has become abundantly clear that immigration reform is the moral test of our politics right now. Evangelical and Catholic leaders from all over the country are uniting to remind our leaders of the names and faces of people and families who suffer most from this broken system. It’s time to transform politics as usual into commonsense policy solutions. Refusing to call a vote is a morally irresponsible decision to continue the massive suffering of the current system. A majority of Americans from all parties and diverse faith communities want to see this system fixed, and we call on our lawmakers to do what is responsible and bring commonsense immigration reform to a vote this year, not next.”

Bishop John Charles Wester, Salt Lake City:
“Reports of the demise of immigration reform are overblown. If we continue to push our message and mobilize our grassroots, there remains a chance for success this year. The Catholic-Evangelical coalition will help us reach that goal.”

Join the conversation on Twitter using #Pray4Reform.

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The Evangelical Immigration Table is a broad coalition of evangelical organizations and leaders advocating for immigration reform consistent with biblical values.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is the national public policy arm of the U.S. Catholic bishops.