ATLANTA, GA (Tim Isaacson) — With immigration reform the next big topic before Congress, evangelical leaders from the Atlanta area are joining top conservative law enforcement and business leaders and heading to Washington, D.C., next week for “Americans for Reform: Immigration Reform for our Economy, Faith and Security.”
These leaders will meet in the nation’s capital on Tuesday (October 29) for an event sponsored by the Partnership for a New American Economy, the Bibles, Badges and Business for Immigration Reform network, FWD.us, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. With immigration reform next on Congress’ agenda this fall, conservative leaders from across the country are sending a clear and unified message that Congress needs take up broad immigration reform and keep it moving forward.
Coming off of a week of large events and small gatherings during “Pray4Reform: Gathered Together in Jesus’ Name,” these evangelical leaders are continuing the Evangelical Immigration Table‘s Pray for Reform campaign and will bring their prayers and their message to Washington next week.
The following are quotes from local Atlanta area participants in Tuesday’s fly-in:
Samuel Alemán, Pastor, First Spanish Baptist Church of Atlanta:
“I am going to Washington, D.C., because I want to be heard as a Christian and an American citizen. On the immigration issue there is a definite biblical position, and it is important for me to share it. I want legislators to know that when a country welcomes people to work, buy houses, educate their children, incorporate their businesses and do other things legally, it has the obligation to provide a way for them of resolve the legal issue of immigration with a law that respects their human and family rights.”
Héctor Guzmán, Assistant Pastor, Crosspoint Encuentro Church, Smyrna:
“I am going to D.C. because it is my wish to share as many stories with lawmakers as possible to reaffirm to them that behind immigration status are families, human beings, many of whom have come to this country because they had no choice. I also want to people to know that immigration reform is an opportunity for justice in this country, and to make it so much better ... By going to meet with legislators, I hope that we can be the representatives for thousands of voices that have no representation. Voices that live in anonymity and fear, locked in their small houses, locked in an atmosphere of loneliness with little hope.”
David Park, Pastor, Open Table Community, Atlanta:
“I’m going to D.C. because I want to make sure Washington hears a voice that comes from a community of evangelical Christian believers that cares for the immigrant, invites the immigrant, and wants to worship with the immigrant. My hopeful outcome from my visits is that someone who represents my district, county, and state will listen to this collective voice and need. I hope also to convey that my concern is for reform rooted in Godly, moral ethics. One thing I want my legislator to know and understand is that immigration reform is part of the hope for our nation. Immigrants who have hope and a will made this country great in the past; they are often the most devout and faithful of all our demographics in the present, and they are our economic hope for the future. We must have change now if we desire strangers to be made into neighbors, and neighbors into friends.”
Jorge Romero, Hispanic Ministries and Community Outreach, Rome:
“I am going to D.C. to support our immigrant community and to encourage Congress to pass this immigration reform promptly. A lot of families already contributing to our society deserve the right to be integrated into our society. As an evangelical pastor I want legislators to know that immigration reform is due and should not be blocked. It will help millions of families trapped in our immigration system. Not passing this needed immigration reform will alienate the Hispanic constituency for years to come.”
Americans for Reform Sponsors: American Farm Bureau Federation – TechNet – Wal-Mart – Western Growers Association
Conveners: Americans for Tax Reform – Bipartisan Policy Center – Bread for the World – Christian Community Development Association – Consumer Electronics Association – Engine Advocacy – Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention – ImmigrationWorksUSA – Liberty Counsel Action – Marriott International – McDonald’s – Microsoft – National Association of Evangelicals – National Association of Manufacturers – National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference – National Latino Evangelical Coalition – National Restaurant Association – Republicans for Immigration Reform – Sojourners – United States Conference of Catholic Bishops – U.S. Travel Association – World Relief
The Evangelical Immigration Table is a broad coalition of evangelical organizations and leaders advocating for immigration reform consistent with biblical values.
The Never Ending Debate: To fix or not to fix the immigration system