May 08, 2007

Evangelical Leaders Hold a National Forum on Comprehensive Immigration Reform

CONLAMIC Addresses Leaders in Support for the STRIVE Act

Baltimore, MD – The National Association of Evangelicals and World Relief have invited Reverend Miguel Rivera, President of the national Coalition of Latino Clergy & Christian Leaders (CONLAMIC) to serve as a key speaker at a forum that will address comprehensive immigration reform. This meeting will be held at the Sheraton Hotel at the Baltimore airport on Wednesday, May 9th from 9:00am to 4:00pm.

Rev. Rivera will speak during a panel discussion with prestigious national leaders such as Rev. Luis Cortez, President of Esperanza-USA and Juan Hernandez, the former Special Assistant to Mexico’s President, Vicente Fox and author of “The New American Pioneers”.

There are high expectations of this event, since for the first time, the Anglo and Hispanic churches who are affiliated to the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) will be addressed by the leadership of CONLAMIC who has for years lead the fight for the Latino church to obtain a comprehensive solution to immigration reform. CONLAMIC has given its strong support for the STRIVE Act, an immigration bill sponsored by Congressmen Luis Gutierrez and Jeff Flake, a proposal that contains the key elements needed to provide a workable solution to this problem.

Rev. Rivera will be supporting the STRIVE Act project during his speech, which he considers the only workable alternative in the negotiations with the White House, who have taken a very conservative view of the issue in order to maintain open lines of communication with the Republican leaders on this debate.

“President George Bush who has never expressed opposition to the STRIVE Act, and has obtained the support of Secretary of Commerce, Carlos Gutierrez, in efforts to keep the issue active among Republicans. This needs to see results during the next two weeks. The faith community is a critical supporter of the measures introduced in the STRIVE Act because it has the necessary ingredients for successful reform and will assist in providing legal status to our undocumented brothers and sisters,” declared Rev. Rivera.

Until now, the evangelical groups in general have maintained two positions, one is neutral and the other is in support of a generic form of comprehensive immigration reform. CONALMIC leaders see this as the moment for evangelicals to abandon both positions and unite in support of the STRIVE Act. It’s time to take action and stop the anti-immigrant special interests and political dividers that have derailed efforts to obtain comprehensive immigration reform.

”We are closer than ever to an answer that will help millions of undocumented people in this country and will correct the problems along the border of human contraband and exploitation of human labor of Hispanic immigrant. It's critical that we not fixate ourselves on positions that will detain this process, but instead must be on the offensive in seeking a strategy that will release the millions of families who have been trapped in a situation that subjects them to racial intolerance and exploitation,” said Rev. Rivera.

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