December 30, 2007

Oklahoma Judge Denies Motion to Reconsider Dismissal of Lawsuit to Halt Anti-Immigrant HB-1804

Washington, DC- On Friday, an Oklahoma Federal Judge denied a motion to reconsider his decision to dismiss the lawsuit against the anti-immigrant law HB-1804. CONLAMIC Legal Defense Fund will seek action in the Denver based 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.

“HB-1804 is a defective law that is unconstitutional, breed’s discrimination, and punishes local business, churches and immigrant families. Creators of the law, including Rep. Randy Terrill used flawed statistics and misinformation to sell it to Oklahoma citizens. I cannot tell you how disappointed we are in Judge Payne’s refusal to recognize the injustice this creates for the states citizens,” said Rev. Miguel Rivera, President of the National Coalition of Latino Clergy & Christian Leaders (CONLAMIC).

Oklahoma’s Latino evangelical leaders have united in protest with CONLAMIC Legal Defense Fund to halt this harmful law before it causes further unneeded chaos and discrimination. This law is erroneous and its proponents know well that this will not solve the problems caused by lack of a solution by Congress to fix the broken immigration system that we have in this nation today.

“Harmful effects including loss in local revenues and hardship on hardworking immigrants have resulted since the laws implementation on November 1st. CONLAMIC Legal Defense Fund will continue to fight against HB-1804 to ensure the immigrants of Oklahoma and those who are perceived to be immigrants receive fair and equal treatment, per the Constitution of the United States,” said Rev. Rivera.

CONLAMIC Legal Defense Fund will seek action against HB-1804 through the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals based in Denver, Colorado.

December 27, 2007

President of National Coalition of Latino Clergy & Christian Leaders Endorses Senator John McCain for President

Washington, DC – The President of the National Coalition of Latino Clergy & Christian Leaders (CONLAMIC) has announced his endorsement of Republican Presidential candidate, Senator John McCain.

“Senator McCain is a true friend to the Latino community,” said Rev. Miguel Rivera, President of CONLAMIC. “He is the only candidate that has demonstrated solid political expertise, personal and professional sacrifices for our nation, and compassion and understanding that has led to his support of the issues we see as critical for the improvement and protection of our nation and its citizens.”

Rev. Rivera views Senator McCain’s as having a trajectory that is unquestionably conservative as a legislator. He is a man of principal, so much so that he does not waver when the winds of opinion are adverse to his position. Senator McCain is sincere about his faith in God. In matters of national security, he undoubtedly more qualified than the other candidates to lead our nation and protect its citizens.

“Senator McCain has shown courageous leadership on issues that are important to American’s, including defense of our nation, the sanctity of human life, ethics, and fiscal responsibility,” said Rev. Rivera. “Our nation needs a leader that will lead with integrity and will work hard to find practical and effective solutions to the challenges we face as we work to improve our economy and protect our citizens. We need a President who will lead by example, with moral integrity. The Latino evangelical community has tremendous faith in Senator McCain. We know him to be the best candidate for the Republican nomination.”

December 22, 2007

CONLAMIC Fights the Anti-Immigrant OK Law HB-1804 with Motion to Vacate

Tulsa, OK-The National Coalition of Latino Clergy and Christian Leaders and CONLAMIC Legal Defense Fund filed a procedural response action in federal court known as a motion to vacate for Judge James Payne to consider at the Tulsa Federal District Court this week.

"We have said in the past that it is imperative for us, the Latino Evangelical Church, to seek for a legal constitutional opinion and stop the implementation of the Oklahoma State Law HB-1804 in Federal Court in order to have the freedom to minister to Latino undocumented families in Oklahoma. We consider it our moral duty to fight for social justice for all undocumented immigrants that are living in the United States. That is the reason that we are back in court with this issue," said Rev. Miguel Rivera, President of CONLAMIC and Chairman of the CONLAMIC Legal Defense Fund.

Oklahoma Attorney Rohit Sharma and William Sanchez the CONLAMIC lead Attorney, are filling the motion after careful review of Judge's Payne recent decision to dismiss the lawsuit. Both attorneys are very confident that Judge Payne will recognize the need to address the constitutionality merits of HB-1804 or open the path for an appeal at the 10th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals in Denver CO.

"It's our understanding that Oklahoma Senator Harry Coates will offer an amendment in the next legislative session to address the negative impact this law has had on the business sector; particularly construction and agriculture. Even more importantly, this is of critical concern to the Latino Evangelical Church in the United States. The present debate on who should address immigration issue, state or federal, is the reason the Oklahoma case is an unprecedented legal and constitutional exercise for the whole nation," said the Rev. Rivera.

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December 13, 2007

Oklahoma Judge Dismisses CONLAMIC Legal Defense Fund Lawsuit

Appeal to Follow

Washington DC-Rev. Miguel Rivera will call today for a meeting with the CONLAMIC Legal Defense Attorneys, to confer after Judge James Payne's decision yesterday to once again, dismiss a lawsuit filed by the National Coalition of Latino Clergy, Piedra Angular Church, Iglesia Eficaz and other plaintiffs, against the State of Oklahoma, regarding legislation known as HB-1804.

"It is a sad day for the Constitution of the United States, after Judge Payne's decision to dismiss our legal action. It happened once before and we will evaluate all our options, in order to pursue justice in behalf of hundreds of Latino undocumented people who are members of our Churches, hard working families and Latino students, that are seriously affected by this legislation", says the Rev. Miguel Rivera, President of the largest Washington based Latino evangelical church advocacy organization.

At first, Judge Payne decided that there was no standing for CONLAMIC to file such action since there was no proof of injuries before November 1st.

"We are convinced that once our Attorneys review Judge Payne's opinion, grounds to appeal at the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, will be our next move", continues saying the Rev. Rivera.

Latino evangelical churches have been negatively affected due to the numbers of parishioners (legal and undocumented) that have left the State, since HB-1804 was implemented, "due to the requests of landlords to vacate rental apartments and the lost of jobs at the construction industry", also said Rev. Rivera.

"We are very concerned and disappointed that at a time when the State of Oklahoma is suffering due to the struggles caused by the largest "ice storm" in the last twenty years and hundreds of people are seeking shelter and assistance, this non-prudent decision by Judge Payne, will continue to create chaos and anxiety among many undocumented families that were expecting a fair remedy against such an immoral piece of legislation" concluded Rev. Rivera.