October 26, 2006

Latino Pastors Respond to the Signing of the Border Fence Bill:

One Step Towards Immigration Reform and Still More to Go

Washington, DC- Today, President Bush signed the Secure Fence Act of 2006. Members of the National Coalition of Latino Clergy & Christian Leaders (CONLAMIC) applaud the President for the quick action he has taken to secure this first step to what we hope is part of an effective immigration reform package that will include comprehensive measures. The signing of "EL MURO" (border fence) Act as a way to secure the border and to curve illegal immigration into the United States.

We recognize that this is indeed a necessary step to ensuring that our country avoids having millions of undocumented workers in the United States in the future without visas that allow them to work and live in this country lawfully and without fear. We commend President Bush for sticking to his promise of working to secure the border. We have faith that the President will work with members of Congress to agree to a workable solution that will at the very minimum, create temporary work visas that will address the estimated 12 million undocumented people who are in the United States today.

“Cities across America are trying to pass their own immigration laws because Congress has not provided the proper laws and enforcement. This creates chaos in local communities who want to address issues of employment and housing. If local officials had the necessary federal laws to work with, local leaders will be more effective in supportingthe enforcement of these laws and this eliminates the injustices that can happen as a result of these broad and disfunctional local laws,” said Reverend Miguel Rivera, President of CONLAMIC.

“CONLAMIC members are very pleased with this first step, recognizing that it is necessary to modernize, reinforce and reduce the pressure on our borders. We would like to see the members of Congress return after the elections to work on a solution for the 38% of undocumented Latino Christian members of our churches who are Pastors, mothers, fathers, children and a vital and contributing part of our community and this nation,” said Rev. Rivera.

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