Local Faith Leaders Laud Republican Standards on Immigration Reform

**For a recording of today’s call click here.**

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Evangelical pastors from Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas joined national evangelical leaders today to highlight their support for the House Republican standards for immigration reform and discuss the path forward on immigration reform rooted in biblical values.

The standards discuss ways to reform our broken immigration system in a way that secures our nation’s borders, meets the needs of employers and addresses legalization, including citizenship for DREAMers.

The following are quotes from national and local evangelical leaders on today’s call:

Pastor Jason Lee, Oak Grove Baptist Church, Spartanburg, S.C.:
“As an evangelical pastor, I believe immigration reform is an urgent priority first because of a Christian commitment from scripture that repeatedly tells us to welcome and love the immigrants in our midst and seek justice in our cities. I am encouraged that the Republican principles announced last week for immigration reform will help move us closer to fix our broken and outdated immigration system and that there is progress to move forward. Our current system has led us to a moral crisis. The GOP’s principles are a step to move forward and have bipartisan solutions that will help protect the border, grow our economy and provide opportunities for undocumented immigrants to obtain legal status and provide a way for them to come out from living in the shadows.”

Pastor Evelyn Chaparro, The River Church, Tampa, Fla.:
“As evangelical leaders we call for a bipartisan solution that will help honor the God-given dignity of every human, keep families together, respect the rule of law, ensure fairness to taxpayers, and establish a path to legal status and citizenship for those who qualify and wish to become lawful residents. For me, the pain in the life of the immigrant is my motivation, and I believe that these biblical principles can unite us to come about with the best solution. We must move forward on what all of us care about: passage of comprehensive immigration reform.”

Pastor Alex Cosio, Apex Baptist Church, Apex, N.C.:
“I am thankful and hopeful for this major step toward immigration reform. A comprehensive reform will help our country to continue to enrich our cultural diversity. The U.S. is a country blessed with many cultures and national backgrounds all coming together as ‘one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.’”
Pastor David Galvan, New Life Baptist Church, Dallas:
“Immigration Reform is overdue. I applaud the House GOP conference for opening the door to a hurting people and for laying out a framework for reform. Many people have been torn apart by a system in great need of repair, and these principles are a positive move forward. I have great admiration for the tough choices that have been made by our leaders and know that this represents a bright future for many.”

Noel Castellanos, CEO, Christian Community Development Association, Chicago:
“Today, it is significant that many evangelical leaders are speaking boldly in favor of fixing our nation’s broken immigration system. We will continue to pray for our elected officials, as pastors and Christian leaders across our nation, that we might work together at this critical time to pass bipartisan reform that will allow our nation to flourish for all.”

Galen Carey, Vice President of Government Relations, National Association of Evangelicals:
“We are pleased that the issue of immigration reform is being debated by both parties in the House and in the Senate. The details of legislation are still being worked out, but we commend the forward movement by both Democrats and Republicans to address the needs of immigrants and our country. In a very politically charged climate, immigration reform is one issue that does have true bipartisan support. We are pleased with the introduction of these principles and will continue to press for immigration reform that is consistent with biblical values. As evangelicals we will stand behind our leaders, and we will pray for them as they move forward on legislation that will allow us to reach our full potential as a nation.”

Find additional reactions to the House Republican standards from national evangelical leaders here, and from local evangelical leaders at the following links:
South Carolina
North Carolina
Southern California
Michigan