Evangelical Immigration Table Celebrates Three-Year Anniversary

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Evangelical Immigration Table Celebrates Three-Year Anniversary

June 12, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In three years, the Evangelical Immigration Table has broadened and deepened its network of leaders calling for a just, compassionate immigration process rooted in biblical values.

Since leaders of national evangelical organizations launched the Table on June 12, 2012, nearly 1,700 local and national leaders have signed its Statement of Principles. Signatories urge legislators to advance meaningful reform that:

• Respects the God-given dignity of every person.
• Protects the unity of the immediate family.
• Respects the rule of law.
• Guarantees secure national borders.
• Ensures fairness to taxpayers.
• Establishes a path toward legal status and/or citizenship for those who qualify and who wish to become permanent residents.

In the Table’s three years, local and national organizers have held hundreds of pastors meetings, prayer events, press conferences and fly-ins. The Table’s documentary film, The Stranger, has screened more than 3,000 times in 46 states and Washington, D.C., since its June 2014 premiere.

The following are quotes from Table leaders:

Leith Anderson, President, National Association of Evangelicals:
“Three years ago an impressive group of evangelical leaders came to the same commonsense principles for immigration reform. The movement now includes thousands of local pastors and organizers across the country. Our voice is louder, and our message is the same. We want immigration reform.”

Stephan Bauman, President and CEO, World Relief:
“On the three-year anniversary of the Evangelical Immigration Table, I am amazed to see the shift in evangelical attitudes towards immigrants and am proud of the work the Table has done to mobilize hundreds of individuals for immigration reform. The growing consensus around immigration reform reflects the deep conviction that many evangelicals have that we are to welcome and love the stranger as we would Christ Himself. We hope that our Congress heeds the calls of many evangelicals in passing immigration reform that would allow millions of our fellow brothers and sisters who live in the shadows of our country to become fully integrated members of our society.“

Noel Castellanos, CEO, Christian Community Development Association:
“I remain proud to stand among evangelical leaders who came together three years ago across the denominational, political, cultural and racial spectrum to call on our elected officials to replace the broken immigration system. Since then we have seen growing support from the broader evangelical community. But we have waited too long. In our work, the CCDA encounters families still living in fear of separation and people remaining in the shadows. Our elected officials must act on their moral courage and find solutions that will support immigrants, our economy and our communities. We remain committed to this effort.”

Shirley V. Hoogstra, President, Council for Christian Colleges & Universities:
“Advancing the well-being of people through immigration reform is what Christian Higher Education wants to be ‘for.’ This coalition of evangelicals brings dedication and hard work to a tough problem. It is in unity that we have hope.”

Dr. Russell Moore, President, Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission:
“In the past three years, I’ve been grateful to see God at work in churches all across this country. God is reminding us that ‘immigrants’ are not an abstraction. They are our neighbors, created in the image of God, and many of them are our brothers and sisters in Christ. I pray that three years from now, we see not only a more just system in the public arena, but also more and more churches that reflect the glorious unity and diversity of the kingdom of God.”

Dr. Samuel Rodriguez, President, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference:
“Today we celebrate the collaborative work of the Evangelical Immigration Table. Together, we have won the moral argument for the need of immigration reform. We stand on the edge of a proverbial ‘Jordan River,’ inches away from stepping into the Promised Land. We never would have crossed the desert of apathy and fragmentation without the Evangelical Immigration Table.”

Rev. Gabriel Salguero, President, National Latino Evangelical Coalition:
“The work of this broad coalition of evangelical leaders for immigration reform has been nothing short of inspiring. Political leadership should take note of the faith-inspired, principled, and trans-partisan efforts of evangelicals and move on immigration reform. We are praying together for solutions.”

Rev. Jim Wallis, Founder and President, Sojourners:
“To see evangelicals coming together to support immigration reform across our racial, cultural, theological, and political differences has been one of the most hopeful signs we have seen for a long time. This is gift to the church, and a blessing to the country by showing divisive politics the way forward.”

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