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Georgia Faith Leaders Applaud Republican Standards on Immigration Reform

Major Commitment from House Leadership Propels Reform Forward

ATLANTA, Ga. — On Thursday, House Republicans released their standards for immigration reform. The standards were met with broad support among top Georgia faith leaders, who lauded the movement toward much-needed reform and called on Congress to pass reform this year.

The following are quotes from Georgia faith leaders:

Dr. Shawn Duncan, Community Chaplain, EIRO, Atlanta:

“GOP Leaders, thank you for coming to the table to outline principles that offer a worthwhile place to begin. I especially am grateful for the respect and dignity extended to the undocumented youth among us. As a faith leader who is committed to the biblical command to welcome the stranger, I ask, and will continue praying, that you will stay open to dialogue so that a just and fair path forward can be created in 2014.”

Dr. David Gushee, Distinguished University Professor of Christian Ethics and Director of the Center for Theology and Public Life, Mercer University, Atlanta:

“I applaud the House GOP for releasing its standards for immigration reform. This is an important step toward reaching agreement on this critical issue.”

Rev. Jim Moon, Jr., Lead Pastor and Elder, Crosspoint Encuentro Church, Smyrna:

“It is time for America’s government leaders to work together to ensure life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It is time to seek justice for the oppressed and improve liberty for all within our borders. It is time for immigration reform.”

Raymond Partolan, President, Student Government Association, Mercer University, Atlanta:

“Although there are some aspects of the House GOP’s document which I disagree, I do acknowledge that the establishment of these principles provides a framework for the Democrats and Republicans to work together in a bipartisan manner to bring about the necessary changes to our country’s broken immigration system. It’s pleasing to me, especially, to see that Speaker Boehner and his colleagues are willing to move forward with a pathway towards legal residence and citizenship for certain qualified youth.”

John Ward, Church Mobilizer, Encompass World Partners, Atlanta:

“My hope is that this is beginning of the end to a very long journey for millions of people who have been waiting for years to walk the path towards legal statues. The Republican standards for immigration reform are a way forward and a win for our friends in Atlanta and around the country. We are praying for the right outcomes in the days ahead.”

Jim Wehner, Founder and President, FCS Urban Ministries, Atlanta:

“I am glad to see the Republican standards for immigration reform in writing. Though there is much to work on to improve these standards, they form a solid starting place.  It makes me hopeful that we could be moving towards reforming a system that we all agree is broken.”

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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.

Southern California Faith Leaders Applaud Republican Standards on Immigration Reform

Major Commitment from House Leadership Propels Reform Forward 

FULLERTON, Calif. — On Thursday, House Republicans released their standards for immigration reform.The standards were met with broad support among top southern California faith leaders, who lauded the movement toward much-needed reform and called on Congress to pass reform this year.

The following are quotes from southern California faith leaders:

Kevin Doi, Lead Pastor, Epic Church, Fullerton:

“The GOP standards for immigration reform are a welcome guide to legislation that addresses concerns over security, enforcement, and border patrol while at the same time providing millions of immigrants a workable path toward legal residency and citizenship, the opportunity for students from American universities to find jobs, and families to remain intact. As a leader in the faith community, this is terrific news for our neighbors and friends. I support these standards and believe our country’s leaders should work toward passing this legislation.”

Rev. Mike McClenahan, Senior Pastor, Solana Beach Presbyterian Church, Solana Beach:

“I am encouraged to see the house Republicans put forward a comprehensive plan to address our broken immigration system. We have prayed and fasted to that end. As a pastor, I am committed to reform that reflects biblical and moral values — bringing immigrants out of the shadows, securing our borders, and creating a fair and earned pathway to citizenship, especially for our aspiring youth. There is an urgency to act now to give hardworking people who qualify the opportunity to contribute fully to our society. Pray with me that 2014 is the year for immigration reform.”

Jay Williams, Pastor of Compassion & Justice, First Evangelical Free Church of Fullerton:

“I am very encouraged that there is movement on the part of the GOP in regards to immigration reform. We are excited about the potential for help to many of our neighbors who have hidden in silence and fear. We are preparing for ministry as though reform is coming in this calendar year, trusting that our elected leaders will work this out for the common good. We will continue to pray and believe in common sense reform.”

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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.

Michigan Faith Leaders Applaud Republican Standards on Immigration Reform

Major Commitment from House Leadership Propels Reform Forward

 

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — On Thursday, House Republicans released their standards for immigration reform. The standards were met with broad support among top western Michigan faith leaders, who lauded the movement toward much-needed reform and called on Congress to pass reform this year.

 

The following are quotes from western Michigan faith leaders:

 

Rev. Brian Bennett, Lead Pastor, Overflow Church, Benton Harbor:

“As those who follow the truth of scripture, it is clear and imperative that we pursue the extension of equality and opportunity to those that have, or will, lawfully seek refuge and freedom within our borders. Those that seek to refuse or remove basic rights misunderstand the foundation on which our country was built and the great commandment to ‘love our neighbor.’ Our faith informs this love and encourages humility and hospitality as we engage in this movement that has much to do with human dignity in our generation.”

 

Rev. Joel Boot, Executive Director, Christian Reformed Church in North America, Grand Rapids:

“We are greatly encouraged by the progress being made on immigration reform. These standards are a hopeful sign that the House is motivated to fix the broken immigration system. Christians are called to notice the concerns of ‘the least, the last, and the lost,’ and in the midst of our broken system, the concerns of immigrants made vulnerable by our current broken system are great. When immigrants suffer, we all suffer. While we have a long way to go, I pray that this is the first real step toward a solution to this national disgrace.”

 

Tim Brown, President, Western Theological Seminary, Holland:

“Jesus’ call, ‘Come to me all who are heavy ladened and I will give you rest’ and our Statue of Liberty leaning forward to say, ‘Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, ‘ compel me to join with other Evangelical leaders in urging Congress to bring forward immigration reform that works. We know — and a watching world knows that we know — how to get this done, and these Republican principles bring hope of a real, achievable, and common sense solution. In the name of Jesus we must do this!”

 

Rev. Chris Conrad, District Superintendent, Western Michigan District of the Wesleyan Church, Grand Rapids:

“Because we have waited too long for a just immigration system, I applaud GOP leaders in their willingness to address this issue. As a faith leader who is concerned about the unity of family and justice for those on the margins, I see a lot of hope in these standards laid out by Republicans.”

 

Wesley Granberg-Michaelson, General Secretary Emeritus, Reformed Church in America, Grand Rapids:

“Societies develop to their full potential when strangers and aliens in their midst become neighbors and friends. This is the year when the moral mandate for fundamental reform in our immigration system can find legal implementation. Any step forward is welcomed, for such reforms in the long run address not only our society’s economic strength and political health, but also our future moral and religious vitality.”

 

Peter Vander Meulen, Coordinator, Office of Social Justice of the Christian Reformed Church in North America, Grand Rapids:

“We’ve been praying for the GOP to move forward to address our broken system, and we welcome these standards as an answer to that prayer. There are so many living in the shadows, and a chance to legalize will fundamentally change their lives.”

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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.

North Carolina Faith Leaders Applaud Republican Standards on Immigration Reform

Major Commitment from House Leadership Propels Reform Forward

RALEIGH, N.C. — On Thursday, House Republicans released their standards for immigration reform. The standards were met with broad support among top western Michigan faith leaders, who lauded the movement toward much-needed reform and called on Congress to pass reform this year.

The following are quotes from North Carolina faith leaders:

Steve Angle, Pastor, Southside Community Church, Winston-Salem:

“I am glad to see the immigration reform debate moving forward. In the tradition of Dr. Martin Luther King, our leaders – especially our Christian leaders – must be more vocal and biblically-based in speaking out about the way we treat the foreigner and the alien. We must be leaders, not followers, when we talk about immigrants and immigration.”

Doug Gamble, Pastor of Mission Partnerships, Crossroads Fellowship, Raleigh:  

“There is much to appreciate about these principles. They touch the issues I care about, albeit not as compassionately as I might desire. Nevertheless, if embraced they would go a long way in improving our broken immigration system. There are many complex issues involved, and these principles leave much to be discussed on both sides of the aisle, but a just policy that is both fair and compassionate would be good for everyone.  Let’s hope that both sides would see that common sense and compassionate law should be a win-win for all parties and constituencies concerned here.”

Dr. James J. Seymour, Senior Pastor, North Haven Church, Raleigh:

“Surely in a nation built by immigrants upon the foundation of Judeo-Christian principles of hard work, compassion, and opportunity…. a new immigration policy that both protects our borders and gives opportunities to all who dwell among us can be achieved.  It is not a matter of possibility it is a question of inclination.”

Join the conversation on Twitter using #Ready4Reform.

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South Carolina Faith Leaders Applaud Republican Principles on Immigration Reform

Major Commitment from House Leadership Propels Reform Forward

SPARTANBURG, S.C. — Today House Republicans released their standards for immigration reform. The standards were met with broad support among top South Carolina faith leaders, who lauded the movement toward much-needed reform and called on Congress to pass reform this year.

The following are quotes from South Carolina faith leaders:

David Blanton, Director of Missions, Union County Baptist Association, Union:

“It is refreshing to witness a growing bipartisan effort to address and deal with the issue of immigration in our nation. All of us will benefit from a reformed system that protects the rule of law while equally protecting the dignity and respect of the immigrant among us. As a person of faith, I applaud any sincere efforts to get closer to an immigration reform that will result in a more efficient and dignified approach toward those who seek to be a part of this great American experience.”

Rev. Sam E. McGregor, Jr., Pastor, Allison Creek Presbyterian Church, York:

“When I was in Silver City, North Carolina, we began a ministry to the growing Hispanic community. We called a pastor who was passionate to serve the Lord. After living in North Carolina for over 10 years he was deported to Guatemala because of a misunderstanding of when he was to renew his work visa. He left a family and growing ministry behind. Immigration reform is essential if we are to continue to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ in our communities. The biblical record is clear that we are to welcome the foreigner and show hospitality to the stranger. Faithful obedience to Christ demands it.”

Dr. Victor Prieto, Hispanic Ministries Consultant, Spartanburg County Baptist Network; Professor of Linguistics and Spanish, North Greenville University:

“I’m glad the GOP is moving forward on immigration reform. This is critical since as it would humanize the current system and relate better to new realities in our country.  In Hispanic churches, we hurt seeing families separated, dreams broken, and children uncertain of the future of their parents or their own due to the lack of a sound and updated immigration system. I pray that moral courage and concern for our neighbors and nation will override political differences as we move forward on immigration reform.”

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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.

PRESS RELEASE: Evangelicals Pray for Immigration Reform at Hundreds of Events and Gatherings Nationwide

Evangelical Christians Urge Congress to Move Reform Forward

WASHINGTON, D.C., OCTOBER 17, 2013 — With immigration reform on deck for Congress, evangelical Christians across the country are in the midst of more than 400 events and gatherings in 40 states to pray for immigrants, for Congress and for broad, bipartisan reform.

At large events and small gatherings, “Pray4Reform: Gathered Together in Jesus’ Name” continues the evangelical Pray for Reform campaign, through which more than 187,000 people have signed up as prayer partners. The Evangelical Immigration Table supports reform that reflects biblical values, including family unity and the God-given dignity of every person.

Events continue through Sunday, with a few additional events planned for later in October and into November (a map of larger events is available here). In addition, evangelical Christians will be traveling to Washington, D.C., Oct. 29 to meet with members of Congress and urge movement on reform.

Follow the conversation on Twitter at #pray4reform, and find a recording of a press call announcing this week’s prayer gatherings here. The following are quotes from local participants in this week’s Pray4Reform events:

Luis Cantú, Pastor, Sagemont Church, Houston:
“When I was a boy, I fought for the street corner where I could shine shoes so I could eat. As a young man I fought for my American citizenship. This issue of immigration reform is a 15-rounder. We cannot give up now. We must win the right for those who live hidden in the shadows of society the right to come out and live under the bright lights of the streets and contribute their skills in legal status or as American citizens. The time for reform is now!”

Rev. Dr. David Fleming, Senior Pastor, Champion Forest Baptist Church, Houston:
“We are a nation of laws, yes. But we also have a God-given responsibility as Christians to care for people created in the image of God. We have every right to insist that our laws are just and fairly enforced. But we must remember who we are as a nation of immigrants. And for us here tonight, we are here as Christians, before God, accountable for how we treat people — all people, regardless of status or position.”

Dr. John Jackson, President, William Jessup University, Sacramento, Calif.:
“As the President of an evangelical university, I am for immigration reform that is just, merciful and compassionate. I am praying for our legislators that they will establish a ‘new Ellis Island’ that, coupled with safe and secure national borders, will again declare that the United States is the ‘land of the free and the home of the brave’ as a nation under God. Immigration laws that reflect the just and compassionate heart of God is my prayer.”

Rev. Alex Mandes, Director of Hispanic Ministries, Evangelical Free Church of America:
“There are people wondering why the church should be speaking on this matter, but for us the church can have only one plan: to be the hands, legs and feet of Jesus. All of us were immigrants in trouble at one time. If the church wants to be relevant and help, it better show up when people are hurting. For us, this is what Jesus would do.”

Rev. Chase Stancle, Kentwood Community Church, Grand Rapids, Mich.:
“As Christians, we should be concerned about immigration because we ourselves are immigrants. As believers in Christ, our primary citizenship is The Kingdom of God. I am proud to be an American but this is not my home. If we have accepted His gift of salvation, we have renounced our Earthly Citizenships and no longer call this home. I am an immigrant. Because Christ welcomes me as a citizen of His heavenly home, it is my privilege to extend that grace here in America as we seek and support legislation that will live up to the standards of our home.”

Dave Workman, Pastor, Vineyard Cincinnati:
“The system that [immigrants are] stuck in is just a really, really broken system. These are people who really want to work, really want to contribute to our city, and are stuck in the littlest ways, [which] has created all sorts of turmoil in their lives and really difficult situations in their families … The idea of beginning to pray for our leaders and just to get some sort of movement of reform in our immigration policy — that just seems like a smart and wise thing to do. I know it’s a complex problem, but I know there are solutions here that will satisfy [both ends] of the spectrum in terms of politics.”

PRESS RELEASE: The Evangelical Immigration Table’s Historic Radio Ad Buy

To listen to a recording of today’s call, click here.
To listen to the ads, visit https://soundcloud.com/eit_1/.

WASHINGTON, D.C., AUGUST 20, 2013 — As momentum for broad, commonsense immigration reform continues to build, the Evangelical Immigration Table announced today the launch of its largest radio ad buy to date. With Congress home for the August recess, local evangelical pastors and national evangelical leaders are encouraging their fellow Christians to pray and take action for broad immigration reform. On a press call today, national and local evangelical leaders discussed the more than $400,000 effort, which puts cumulative media buys in the every region of the country at nearly a million dollars.

The multi-week ads, airing at saturation rates locally in key cities across 14 states, are the latest effort in the Evangelical Immigration Table’s “Pray for Reform” campaign, during which grassroots support is coming from more than 60,000 people who have signed up as prayer partners.

 

Ads are airing locally in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Wisconsin. Members of Congress in these states will return to Washington knowing that they have support at home for immigration solutions that ensure secure borders, keep families together and include an earned pathway to citizenship.

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

Barrett Duke, Vice President for Public Policy and Research, Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission:
“The rule of law and love of neighbor are both necessary values for any civilized people. They don’t have to be competing values. I am praying for our members of Congress as they engage in the nation-defining work of developing immigration solutions that temper justice with compassion.”

Felix Cabrera, Hispanic Pastor, Quail Springs Baptist Church, Oklahoma City:
“I decided to record the radio ad because I feel that through the ad, I could be the voice for those who are voiceless in my congregation. As a Hispanic pastor in the United States, I have to deal with the collateral damages that immigration brings to Hispanic families. There are many who are unjustly detained and deported. Many are separated from their families, leaving behind U.S.-born children without their parents.

“The Bible doesn’t call me to judge the reasons why immigrants arrive to this country. The Bible calls me to love them and welcome them. It calls me to treat them justly. That should be the response of all of us who call ourselves Christians. Immigration reform is urgent — our 11 million brothers and sisters living in the shadows should be able to live here safely and in peace, knowing they’re a part of this nation. Many of them have come here to do good, to work and make the United States a better place. They and their children deserve and need immigration reform.”

Galen Carey, Vice President of Government Relations, National Association of Evangelicals:
“Millions of evangelicals look to Christian radio for news and perspective on social, moral and spiritual issues. Hearing local evangelical leaders present a biblically informed call for a just, compassionate and effective immigration system will unleash a new wave of support for reform. We pray that these radio messages amplify the evangelical witness to God’s love and care for the immigrants whom He has brought to our shores.”

Dr. Stan Coffey, Senior Pastor, The Church at Quail Creek, Amarillo, Texas:
“All of us know that Texas is a border state. We have many, many immigrants in our state, and I think it’s so important for Christians and evangelicals to let our voices be heard on immigration reform. As a minister to the immigrant community I’ve found them to be people who are a family, people who are hard-working, people who make a positive contribution to our community and to our state. And that’s why I’d like to see immigration reform for our nation … I believe that’s what Jesus would have done if he were here. He would have been compassionate.”

Dr. Bob Lowman, Executive Director, Metrolina Baptist Association, Charlotte, N.C.:
“I serve in Charlotte, and the immigrant communities in our metropolitan area are growing to a size that cannot be ignored and must not be neglected. I often talk about the nations that live in our neighborhoods and how we must be actively engaged in building relationships and serving these neighbors in ways that will bless them and their families. We have prayed for years that we would be able to reach the ends of the earth with the love and hope of Christ, and now the ends of the earth have moved to the city where we live. … The more I work and the more I see our local churches and leaders, especially our churches that are actively engaging the immigrant community, the more that awareness and that need come to the front.”

Mike McClenahan, Pastor, Solana Beach Presbyterian Church, Solana Beach, Calif.:
“I never thought I’d be advocating for immigration reform, but I lead a church deeply invested in relationships with our Hispanic neighbors through worshiping and serving together, house-building across the border, tutoring children and encouraging first-generation college students. I urge our elected representatives to say yes to immigration reform that respects the rule of law, maintains family unity and secures our borders. For me, this is not hypothetical but very personal: Children living in fear are not “their children” but “our children.” I believe lasting and comprehensive immigration reform grounded in biblical values will give children and adults the opportunity to move out of the fearful shadows, eventually earn citizenship and contribute to our society with their God-given potential.

“The reason I did the radio ad was because of the urging of my members who have spent the last year or so talking together … our people have a growing awareness and their minds are being changed as they’re engaging in scripture and having honest conversations … I feel that I’m being brought along by members of my congregation.”

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Evangelical Support Broadens as Momentum for Immigration Reform Builds

WASHINGTON, D.C., JULY 29, 2013 — Results from a new CBS News poll indicate broad support for immigration reform, including widening support among evangelicals across the country. Among the 1,036 respondents, 75 percent of evangelicals expressed support for broad reform that includes the opportunity for aspiring Americans to earn citizenship — alongside border security and other important elements.

The findings capped a week during which more than 300 evangelicals and evangelical leaders from 27 states came to Washington for a Day of Prayer and Action to urge congressional leaders to follow through on broad immigration reform without delay. The Wednesday event, part of the Evangelical Immigration Table’s “Pray for Reform” campaign, made #pray4reform a trending topic in the nation’s capital. (See photos from the Day of Prayer and Action.)

Participants spoke with more than 110 congressional offices, most of them Republican, about the urgency for broad reform. It is the same message evangelical leaders around the country made in a series of op-eds that appeared last week. Mathew Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel, made the evangelical case for reform in a July 22 Washington Times op-ed. He was joined by National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference President Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, Thursday in Politico.

Local voices chimed in as well: Regent University President Dr. Carlos Campo made the case in Wednesday’s Virginian-Pilot, and Revs. Jim Goodroe and Anthony Casey wrote in support of reform in the Greenville (S.C.) News — in House Immigration Subcommittee Chairman Trey Gowdy’s district.

“We’re here today as a group of believers in Jesus Christ to let our elected officials know we are praying for them,” Dr. Russell Moore, President of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, said at Wednesday’s Day of Prayer and Action. “We have recognized that immigration reform is not just a political issue, it’s a personal issue, and we’re praying for justice and compassion, wisdom and mercy. We are speaking to the consciences of our lawmakers.”

For additional quotes from evangelical leaders who spoke at Wednesday’s event, please click here. Video of the day’s worship service is available here.

Over 300 Evangelical Leaders Meet with House Republicans on Immigration Reform

Evangelical Delegations from 27 States Pray, Urge Action

WASHINGTON, D.C., JULY 24, 2013 — Today, on the eve of a critical August recess for immigration reform, over 300 evangelical leaders from across the nation made the pilgrimage to Capitol Hill to pray and urge congressional leaders in both parties to come to agreement and pass immigration reform that respects the rule of law, keeps families together and is compassionate.

The morning kicked off with a press conference on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol and continued with a worship service at a Capitol Hill church. Evangelical leaders have now fanned out across House office buildings, where they are holding more than 90 meetings with their representatives and with House leaders, including many key Republicans.

Evangelical participants represented states and met with congressional delegations from 27 states: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, California, the District of Columbia, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Washington.

The Day of Prayer and Action comes in the midst of the Evangelical Immigration Table’s Pray for Reform campaign, an effort that has included letters to Congress and a Week of Prayer, billboard and radio advertisements in key states and congressional districts and nearly 30,000 new Pray for Reform partners across the country.

The following quotes can be attributed to speakers at the Pray for Reform Day of Prayer and Action.

Dr. Carlos Campo, President, Regent University; Board Member, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference:
“Reform is often in the eye of the beholder, but more and more evangelicals—and more and more Americans—agree that we are facing a moral imperative to transform our broken immigration system. This need transcends race, political party and even faith. Our country will be stronger with a system that strategically addresses our immigration problem, and reflects the compassion that has defined our nation.”

Noel Castellanos, CEO, Christian Community Development Association:
“We can all agree that our current immigration system is not working. Therefore we must choose to take action. In a time of political division, it is encouraging to see support from both parties and, more important, from a vast majority of Americans. I pray that lawmakers will share our urgency and quickly move ahead with broad reform.”

Dr. David Crosby, Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church New Orleans:
“The most victimized and vulnerable people in my community are the undocumented workers. They are assaulted, robbed, raped and shot with impunity. Common decency requires us to address their plight with haste and humanity.”

Andy Crouch, Executive Editor, Christianity Today:
“There aren’t many changes more dramatic in American evangelicalism than the way its leaders have embraced the indispensable justice of immigration reform. Evangelical Christians are involved in countless forms of service in cities and towns where they directly experience the dignity and the needs of both documented and undocumented immigrants. Their churches and institutions have been enriched by generations of immigrants from every part of the world. They have seen how directly Scripture addresses the responsibility of nations to welcome and protect the most vulnerable: widows, orphans, and ‘strangers.’ A just and humane system for recognizing and welcoming immigrants is a biblical non-negotiable for any nation that wants to reflect the heart of God.”

Rev. Wendell Griffen, Pastor, New Millennium Baptist Church, Little Rock, Ark.:
“Immigration reform is justice for all. It builds a lawful and predictable system of immigration, assures border security and reorders justice with business solutions, law enforcement solutions and family solutions. Bipartisan cooperation is already at work; many workable solutions are available. Scripture reminds us that ‘to everything there is a season.’ The time to reform immigration is now.”

Rev. Dr. Brenda Salter McNeil, Reconciliation Leader, Author, Professor & Teaching Pastor at Quest Church, Seattle:
“We have a mission to perform, and we are united. This is going to require us to step out with faith for the solutions to a broken system that ruins lives. The world that God created intends for every family to flourish.”

 

Dr. Russell Moore, President, Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention:
“We’re here today as a group of believers in Jesus Christ to let our elected officials know we are praying for them. We have recognized that immigration reform is not just a political issue, it’s a personal issue, and we’re praying for justice and compassion, wisdom and mercy. We are speaking to the consciences of our lawmakers.”

Rev. Gabriel Salguero, President, National Latino Evangelical Coalition:
“We have not lost hope that we can find a way to get to commonsense bipartisan immigration reform legislation. Evangelicals believe that we can both respect the rule of law while finding ways to integrate men, women and children who want to contribute to our great nation.”

Jim Wallis, President and CEO, Sojourners:
“Now that immigration has moved out of the Senate, it’s time for members of Congress, especially those who consider themselves people of faith, to put their faith in to action by supporting common sense immigration reform that reflects our values as a nation.  There is a way forward on immigration that respects the God-given dignity of every person, keeps families together while also securing national borders.  While no solution will be perfect, any solution to help bring 11 million people out of the shadows will require leaders with the moral courage to do what is both right and seeks to serve the common good.”

 

Jenny Yang, Vice President of Advocacy and Policy, World Relief:
“The evangelical community continues to build momentum and urges the House of Representatives to pass immigration reform consistent with Biblical principles of compassion, justice and the rule of law. There is a moral cost to inaction and we urge members to act quickly and in good faith to move our country forward in the right direction.”

The Evangelical Immigration Table Focuses in on the House Debate

**For a recording of the call, please visit: http://tinyurl.com/EIT-House**

WASHINGTON, D.C., JULY 9, 2013 — Ahead of the key House GOP conference on immigration being held tomorrow, national and local evangelical leaders came together to unveil a trio of actions they’re taking to support members who stand up for immigration reform. Now more than ever, these influential leaders are calling on their legislators to pass commonsense immigration reform that is compassionate and just.

On the call, speakers highlighted their most recent Pray for Reform campaign effort — a full page-ad in Politico that ran earlier this morning thanking each senator that voted for reform and letting House members know that they remain in evangelicals’ prayers.

In addition to the ad, the speakers discussed a series of letters that went from Evangelical Immigration Table leaders to House members ahead of tomorrow’s meeting. The leaders also spoke about the upcoming Pray for Reform Day of Prayer and Action in Washington, which will help bring the Pray for Reform campaign to a close. On July 24th, hundreds of evangelicals are expected to come to Washington, D.C. where they will meet for a day of worship and meetings with influential House legislators, urging them to pass immigration reform that adheres to biblical principles before the August recess. Pray for Reform began in May and comprises of tens of thousands of evangelicals across the country.

The following quotes can be attributed to speakers who were on the call.

Noel Castellanos, CEO of the Christian Community Development Association:
“We want to reiterate our thanks to the Senate for passing their version of an immigration bill and now we call on the House to do the same. That’s what we expect to see happen for the sake of our country and also for the sake of the 11 million immigrants in a very vulnerable position.”

Mathew Staver, Chairman of the Liberty Counsel:
“This summer, Congress must follow through with broad immigration reform that simultaneously keeps our borders secure, respects the rule of law and provides a way out of the shadows for our neighbors who dream of becoming American citizens. Each day that passes is a missed opportunity to replace our broken system with a process that adheres to biblical values. The House must move forward, and it must not create a permanent second class that comprises millions of people. We seek neither amnesty nor any special treatment, but rather a tough but achievable process through which aspiring Americans can one day contribute fully to our country as citizens.”

David Cooper, President and Head of School, Front Range Christian School, Littleton, Colo.:
“Looking at immigration through a biblical lens has awakened us to the need for broad reform. We will support our Colorado representatives’ efforts to create a new immigration process that honors the Christian values of human dignity and family unity. Alongside hundreds of evangelicals from across the country, I am coming to Washington on July 24th to tell Congress in person that now is the time.”

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