Texas Evangelical Leaders Call For a Vote on Immigration Reform
Local Pastors Discuss Moral Imperatives for Reform, April 29 D.C. Event
**For a recording of today’s call click here.**
DALLAS, APRIL 22, 2014 — Top Texas evangelical leaders joined a telephonic press conference this morning to highlight the biblical call to welcome the stranger and urge Congress to move forward with a vote on immigration reform.
The telephonic press conference featured local Texas pastors discussing the moral imperatives for immigration reform, their efforts during the April congressional recess and their April 29 #Pray4Reform trip to Washington, D.C., to meet with their members of Congress.
The following are quotes from pastors who were on today’s call:
Ademir Simoes Ferreria, Past President, U.S. Brazilian Baptist Association, Pflugerville:
“It is unfortunate that the Republican conference has talked more than it has actually done to address an outdated immigration system. It does require leadership and political maturity within its ranks to do the right thing for the country. Instead of running away in fear when they hear the word legalization, they need to come together on a bipartisan basis to better the future of millions who desire to help and share what will be a much brighter future.”
Dr. David Galvan, Senior Pastor, New Life Baptist Church, Dallas:
“This year the nation has seen a fundamental shift in our country’s support for reform. Most Americans support a path to citizenship. As Evangelical pastors we have organized the broadest and most diverse coalition of its kind to pray for and encourage action in the House. Congress is now hearing from the heart of our churches and the voices of our families and the cries of millions caught in the balance of the outcome of this debate. It is now time for a vote on immigration.”
Pastor Tim Moore, Texas Mobilizer, Evangelical Immigration Table; Senior Pastor, Walk Worthy Baptist Church, Austin:
‘There was a time not so long ago when we were a country of hope and promise for immigrants and their children. Their coming, however they could come, was persuasive evidence they were coming to improve their lot as well as the nation’s. We have sadly become a nation where few are welcomed and most are ridiculed or tolerated at best. America has lost her way on this issue. It’s time to renew our vision and draw a new map that will lead to a better and brighter and more hopeful future. It’s unconscionable for America to allow millions to swim invisible and hopeless between other American’s lives. It’s time for immigration reform.”
Dr. Chuck Padilla, Church Planter, Baptist General Convention of Texas:
“We’re asking today for a better law. I have been able to minister to people that were deported and their children were left with neighbors. We need the immigrant here. We ask Congress to see what the nation needs and what’s best for the nation, that they might be able to help these people, because they are a blessing and a need that the nation has. We want Congress to give us a permanent solution.”
Daniel Sanchez, Professor of Missions, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth:
“We support a just and compassionate way forward for the millions of undocumented immigrants living peacefully and productively in our midst. We realize that it is not going to be helpful to think in terms of amnesty or even a special path, but that we need a tough but fair path for legalization with the opportunity for people eventually to apply for citizenship. We want to offer our support for the type of legislation that focuses on securing our borders and asking people to pay a fine. This will emphasize that we expect people to be law-abiding citizens. There is a great deal of suffering and uncertainty and quite a bit of confusion, and this is why we call on our legislators to move forward with a sense of urgency. But we also promise to help in any way that we can and be in prayer for Congress. All of us agree that these decisions need to be made.”