September 12, 2006

Latino Clergy & Christian Leaders to Gather in Washington

A Response to Congressional Abandonment of Immigration Reform Solution

Washington, DC –
On September 21st, Presidents and officials of Latino Pastor Associations from 32 states who are affiliates of the National Coalition of Latino Clergy & Christian Leaders (CONLAMIC) will arrive in Washington to conduct meetings with national leaders and members of the House and Senate. Congressional Republican leaders have all but abandoned comprehensive immigration reform turning instead to a focus on national security issues that they believe will help give them political strength. Leaders of CONLAMIC have worked tirelessly to increase the pressure in local congressional districts in support of a comprehensive solution to the immigration crisis and to combat local anti-immigrant “crackdowns” in communities such as Riverside, NJ and Hazelton, PA.

Latino pastors will come to Washington to exchange information regarding the contact with House members in their districts and church mobilization activities conducted to demand a comprehensive solution to immigration reform.

“At this time, members of Congress should at very minimum consider a temporary worker permit that is obtainable by eligible undocumented people who live and work in the U.S. without having to resort to self-deportation,” said Reverend Miguel Rivera, President of CONLAMIC. “Anything less than this is unacceptable. We remain committed to President Bush, knowing that he has been consistently supportive in a push for a comprehensive solution that includes a temporary work permit, however, we have given up hope that the members of the House will see it fit to recognize our past support and value our vote.” said Rev. Rivera.

“CONLAMIC affiliates will gather in Washington to support the issues that are important to our community not to support a particular political party. It is clearly evident that the Republican Party doesn’t value us as they should. We want leaders to note that just as we have are sharply aware of the abandonment by Republicans, we are also aware that of those members of the Democratic party have also failed to support comprehensive immigration reform, although it’s not been so visible. The coming elections will be very interesting and our network of Latino pastors will not forget this abandonment for many years to come,” said Rev. Rivera.

CONLAMIC affiliates will gather for a full day of congressional briefings on September 21st and the leadership of Latino Pastors Associations will gather on September 22nd for a meeting at the White House.

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