Immigration Reform News: Evangelical Leaders Announce Letter to House Leadership Pressing for Reform Action
WASHINGTON, D.C. - National and local evangelical leaders joined a press call today to announce the release of a letter to House leadership.
In the letter, the Evangelical Immigration Table urges Congress to move forward with votes on broad immigration reform this summer - in spite of Majority Leader Eric Cantor's primary defeat.
Today also marks the two-year anniversary of the Table's launch. With the letter and other efforts this summer, leaders are telling Congress that it's time to decide whether and how immigration reform rooted in biblical values will move forward.
The call comes amid more than 800 nationwide screenings of The Stranger, which highlights the stories of three families caught in our broken immigration system.
The following are quotes from speakers on today's call:
Leith Anderson, President, National Association of Evangelicals:
"The overdue reform of our nation's immigration laws should not depend on a limited number of one-party voters in one district of one state on one day. Let's ask all of Congress to vote for all of America. If now is not the right time for immigration reform, when is? Is Congress waiting for 2020, 2040, or would 2014 be best for America?"
James Heyward, Pastor, Calvary Church of the Nazarene, Annandale, Va.; resident of Majority Leader Cantor's district:
"I'm here to say that the time to act is now. I live in a community where we see the effects of bad immigration policy all the time. I believe this is our opportunity to put this before Congress, put this up for a vote and pass commonsense reform this summer. I think this is not a political ball we play with. This is about people, and as evangelicals we care about people. I'm excited about the political opportunity I think we have.
**For a recording of press call on 12th June, click here.**
The letter shown below:
Dear Speaker Boehner, Leader Cantor, Representatives McCarthy and McMorris Rodgers,
Exactly two years ago, we came together as the Evangelical Immigration Table to advocate for
immigration reform consistent with biblical values. After thousands of hours of work, reaching millions
of evangelical Christians across our nation, the evidence proves America is ready for commonsense
With all due respect, it is time to decide.
We believe these next weeks are crucial in ensuring legislation comes to the floor. As part of our work
with the Evangelical Immigration Table, we have repeatedly asked Congress in public press events and
private meetings to pass legislation in this Congress 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.
The status quo is untenable. Congressional inaction is hurting our families, farms, businesses, churches
and national security. The moral case for reform is clear and compelling.
The time has come to finish the job! We need your leadership to bring this about. The best immigration
reform policy will come from legislation, not from executive action. You have the opportunity to solve
one of our country's most pressing issues in a way that strengthens our nation and brings us together.
The cost of inaction on immigration reform is too great.
Our prayer is that the House passes immigration legislation before the August recess. Please don't let the
vocal opposition of a few prevent you from acting. We commit to supporting your efforts and praying for
you as you work to take historic votes in the days ahead.
Leith Anderson, President, National Association of Evangelicals
Stephan Bauman, President and CEO, World Relief
David Beckmann, President, Bread for the World
Noel Castellanos, CEO, Christian Community Development Association
Russell D. Moore, President, Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission
William Robinson, Interim President, Council for Christian Colleges and Universities
Samuel Rodriguez, President, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference
Gabriel Salguero, President, National Latino Evangelical Coalition
Mathew Staver, Chairman and Founder, Liberty Counsel
Richard Stearns, President, World Vision U.S.
Jim Wallis, President and Founder, Sojourners
Read full article at Evangelical Immigration Table