September 29, 2007

CONLAMIC 8th Annual Legislative Update

Washington, DC – This week the National Coalition of Latino Clergy & Christian Leaders (CONLAMIC) held their 8th annual Legislative Conference this week, which proved to be its most successful and impactful gathering in its history.

“This meeting was the most effective of all the previous ones that we have held,” declared Rev. Manuel Jordan, Secretary of CONLAMIC and President of United for Churches Empowerment in Camden, New Jersey, an affiliated with CONLAMIC.

The 8th annual CONLAMIC Legislative Conference included the participation of Congressmen Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ), who are currently the only champions of comprehensive immigration reform in Congress through legislation called the STRIVE Act. They have remained true to their word as they fight both political parties to achieve a workable solution that is effective and protects the human dignity of immigrants in this nation.

"Before winning the past elections, the Democratic Party promised to bring change to Washington. Hispanic voters showed their support at the polls expecting us to bring a solution to what has affected millions of undocumented people as a result of our broken and obsolete immigration system,” said Congressman Gutierrez.

"My Republican colleagues know that the right thing they must do is to recognize the family values. My experience growing up on a farm in Arizona with Hispanic migrant workers who came to cultivate the land of my parents, who would return to their families and native country at the end of the season confirms to me that this is the right course of action to pursue, one that will provide these workers the opportunity for legalization and to establish themselves in this country. It should be a source of pride for us that they would want to be an integral part of our great nation,” declared Congressman Flake.

CONLAMIC leaders' visit to Washington, DC began with a historic conference sponsored by the White House Faith & Community Initiatives and the U. S. Department of Education who recognized our valuable support of No Child Left Behind.

“The federal government needs our leadership to ensure that the implementation and distribution of Faith Initiative resources are utilized by those who demonstrate integrity,” said Rev. Miguel Rivera, President of CONLAMIC as he spoke to more than 1,200 Hispanic, and African American faith leaders who attended the conference at the Hilton Washington.

One of the most important outcomes of this event was the presence of members of 4 new CONLAMIC state chapters, adding to the growth of the Latino Evangelical Movement in the United States. Leaders representing Hispanic pastors associations in Kansas City, KS, Laredo, TX, Sacramento, CA and Cleveland, OH encouraged us to continue the effort to build CONLAMIC as a force for change across the nation.

The states of Oklahoma and Georgia were each represented by delegations of influential ministers that recently experienced the victorious Justice of God in local battles against laws that affect the Latino Christian church as members have suffer through the implementation of local laws that increase the number of arrests and deportations.

“Since CONLAMIC arrived in Oklahoma, there is great hope. Our congregations have faith that we will see victory through the courts against the anti-immigration law 1804 that has divided our community,” affirmed Dr. Victor Otra, Oklahoma State CONLAMIC Coordinator.

“Thousands of our church members recently rallied in Atlanta in objection to the 529 law in Georgia that criminalizes our undocumented brothers and sisters and severely impacts the economic situation of our families. CONLAMIC has taken steps to unite the Latino Evangelical Church, Christian radio stations and Hispanic ministers,” said Rev. Antonio Mansogo, President of the Georgia State Hispanic Pastors Association and Georgia CONLAMIC Coordinator.

“Now we have the daunting task of continuing to raise funds through our workforce committees, special events, and through church offerings from the members of our congregations to assist us in growing this movement,” said Rev. Mansogo.

In the upcoming weeks CONLAMIC will announce the creation of a new initiative to establish charter schools and private Christian Schools. One hundred CONLAMIC affiliated churches will start new schools . These schools will be K-8th grade that will serve thousands of children from our communities. The core curriculum will offer children a high quality education and core values and character building

As always, we request your prayers united in faith, believing that God has called us in this critical hour for this nation, to lift His name and strengthen the unity of the body of Christ and to heal our communities.

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