January 30, 2008

Support John McCain

WASHINGTON, DC- The National Coalition of Latino Clergy and Christian Leaders (CONLAMIC) the largest latino evangelical Pastor's advocacy organization in the Country, is calling the anglo evangelical conservative Pastors, to support Senator John McCain."It is clear that Senator John McCain is now the front runner for the Republican Party, after last night's victory in an "all republican primary participation" in Florida. We should put aside all concerns regarding his social conservative credentials, and unite all, in the best interest of our commitment to traditional values, conservative nominees for Federal Courts vacancies and a strong defense against fanatical religious terrorists that are willing to harm America", said the Rev. Miguel Rivera, President of CONLAMIC. The Rev. Rivera is sending a letter to the National Association of Evangelicals, in behalf of more than 16,000 thousand latino non-denominational, christian and evangelical churches around the Country, as a request to "stop frivolous disagreements and give Senator McCain a chance to win"."The Evangelical leaders of America cannot afford to let apathy and non-relevant divise frivolous arguments, disturb the opportunity (once again), to have a President that supports our social conservative values and will advance an agenda for a conservative Supreme Court", also said the Rev. Rivera."The vast majority of latino evangelicals in the State of Florida supported Senator McCain because we know he is a man of integrity and commitment to conservative traditional values", also said the Rev. Luis Lopez, CONLAMIC Regional Vice-President and Chaiman of the Florida Hispanic Pastor's Association, with a 2,700 membership in the State.

The National Coalition of Latino Clergy and Christian Leaders, represents over 3.4 million latino evangelical christians around the Nation, with state wide Chapters in 34 States.

January 29, 2008

CONLAMIC Endorses Free Trade Agreement with Costa Rica

January 29, 2008

Washington D.C. - The Reverend Miguel Rivera, President of the National Coalition of Latino Clergy & Christian Leaders (CONLAMIC), is calling all Latino evangelical pastors to support President Bush's efforts on behalf of and in support of a Free Trade Agreement with Costa Rica.

"Free trade is an excellent opportunity to show our friends, brothers and sisters in Latin America how much the United States is committed to developing new economic policy that will bring economical renewal to the homeland." says the Reverend Miguel Rivera.

The National Coalition of Latino Clergy & Christian Leaders (CONLAMIC) is on record in the endorsement of Free Trade Agreements such as CAFTA (Central American Free Trade Agreement), which includes the Dominican Republic.

The National Coalition of Latino Clergy and Christian Leaders (CONLAMIC) represent over 16,000 Churches across 34 states within the U.S. Each of these Churches represents hundreds of individuals who attend church services and related activities every week.

January 21, 2008

Romney’s Political Hypocrisy and Double Talk

Washington, D.C. – The Board of Directors of the National Coalition of Latino Clergy and Religious Leaders (CONLAMIC) today called on Governor Mitt Romney to stop his double talk on the issue of immigration. “As Governor Romney campaigns in the Latino communities in Florida and the February 5th primary states, he needs to come clean with voters and stop the double talk regarding immigration,” said CONLAMIC Chairman Reverend Miguel Rivera. “He tells Latino voters about his pro-immigrant stand, yet tries to hide the fact that Congressman Tom Tancredo has endorsed his candidacy and that Tancredo’s Campaign Manager, Bay Buchanan, is now a senior advisor to the Romney campaign. Then he turns around and goes to conservative rural voters and tells them about Tancredo and Buchanan, and forgets the immigrant friendly rhetoric he uses in Latino neighborhoods. This type of double talk and ‘tell them what they want to hear’ campaign will not work this election cycle. We have witnessed his double talk and flips on the issues of abortion, gay marriage and gun control. “Governor Romney might be able to pull the wool over voters’ eyes on abortion and gay rights, but he cannot do it on so many issues of importance to most Americans. Governor Romney needs to show leadership for once and make a decision: either he immediately distances himself from the harsh rhetoric of Tom Tancredo and fire Bay Buchanan, or pulls his Spanish radio ads in the Florida market. He simply cannot have it both ways.”

The National Coalition of Latino Clergy and Christian Leaders (CONLAMIC) represent over 16,000 Churches across 34 states within the U.S. Each of these Churches represents hundreds of individuals who attend church services and related activities every week.

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January 20, 2008

Washington, DC- The President of the National Coalition of Latino Clergy & Christian Leaders, Rev. Miguel Rivera has called to all Latino Evangelical pastors in the state of Florida to support Senator John McCain.

It is clear by now that most conservatives and evangelicals in Florida are being offered many choices, but for us the Latino Evangelical church Senator John McCain is the true smart choice due to his experience, his faith, strong conservative record and his compassion for the Latino community," said Rev. Rivera.

"After a complete review of all the Republican candidates, it is a fact that Senator John McCain truly understands the concerns of the American people, on the important issues of the economy, border security, and is most prepared to fight the war against terrorism," said Rev. Rivera.

"CONLAMIC recognizes that the state of Florida will be a critical battleground for the candidates and Latino Evangelical leaders must unite in support of Senator John McCain," said Rev. Rivera.

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January 05, 2008

CONLAMIC Stays Constant in it's Fight Against Oklahoma's HB-1804 Anti-immigrant Law

Tulsa, OK- CONLAMIC Legal Defense Fund is considering filing with the Denver-based 10th Circuit Court of Appeals as early as next week in followup to Judge James Payne's dismissal of a complaint filed against Oklahoma anti-immigrant HB-1804 law. The organization seeks to continue its push to halt the implementation of this harmful law.

"We plan to continue our fight to demonstrate the distress and grievance that has been created by this draconian law in Oklahoma," says Rev. Miguel Rivera, President of the National Coalition of Latino Clergy (CONLAMIC) who filed the lawsuit. "We strongly believe that the proponents of this law are motivated by their interest to cleanse the state of Hispanics."

CONLAMIC's legal team, William Sanchez and Rohit Sharma are reviewing the recent state-level complaint to determine if providing legal support is feasible. CONLAMIC Attorneys are considering a legal action in State Superior Court against the City of Tulsa and individual members of the City Council, those who served as the main sponsors of a resolution that led to the arrest of undocumented immigrants prior to providing the necessary training of Deputies per the required federal guidelines.

The excessive and aggressive actions displayed by the Tulsa County Sheriff in agreement with the Tulsa City Police Department that brought so much fear and disturbed hundreds of Latino families in Tulsa County even before the implementation of HB-1804.

"We considered them racially motivated against Latinos and is the primary reason we may pursue this action,"said the Rev. Rivera.

The Rev. Rivera is expecting an intervention of the Federal Department of Justice regarding a formal investigation on racial profiling incidents that occurred this past summer.

January 03, 2008

Oklahoma’s HB-1804 Law is a Redundant Focus for Policymakers

Law aimed at illegal immigration shifts attention away from education, roads, the economy, and healthcare

Since 911, many Americans have been concerned about illegal immigration primarily due to fear of terrorism. As Americans, do we want the assurance that we are safe from another attack? Yes. Is that a problem that a state policymaker will or should resolve? I don’t think so. Why are policymakers in Oklahoma spending so much time on the issue of illegal immigration?

Investigation of our national security protocols have uncovered the gross dysfunction of our nations immigration system, which has concerned us all, but has also motivated anti-immigrant groups and individuals (a minority) to speak passionately of their desire for Congress to ‘crack down’ on illegal immigration. Eventually, the focus shifted away from terrorists and on Hispanic migrant workers and others who come to the United States to live peacefully and work hard in this country. Meanwhile, Congress failed to come to an agreement on a solution that would fix the dysfunctional system and now a handful of states including Oklahoma have spent a great deal of time and taxpayer money on the issue. That is, the issue of illegal immigration…primarily targeting Hispanics rather than terrorists.

Should Oklahoma’s policymakers spend valuable time (2 years) working on policies that may or may not fix a problem that may or may not exist in the state? According to the recent voter opinion poll conducted by the University of Tulsa, 16% view immigration as a priority issue. Clearly this does not tell us that the majority of citizens want to shift the focus on immigration and away from education and other issues. Are voters concerned with a brown person who speaks Spanish as they landscape their neighbor’s yard that may or may not have a green card more than they are about the roads they face daily that are unsafe and need repair? Honestly, don’t voters care more about the absurdity of having to pay lofty taxes for those same deteriorating roads? Absolutely.

Rep. Randy Terrill has made a mountain out of a mole hill on this immigration issue. He convinced the state to focus on this issue regardless of the fact that a relatively small number of illegal aliens live in the state and are not eligible to receive public benefits such as healthcare, and less than 1% populate the state prison system. Terrill now says he is planning to focus his time on creating a new immigration law using taxpayer money that will make English the official language of Oklahoma. I’m certain Terrill is aware that 92.6% of Oklahomans speak only English. He does his homework, so he probably is also aware that statistics show that immigrants largely seek to learn English anyway. So what is his true motivation?

I am astounded that policymakers are spending time on issues that take away from the focus on the health and safety of Oklahoma’s citizens. The voter opinion poll also found that voters feel that immigration is shifting attention away from the issue of education. Terrill recently said that he plans to work on challenging the constitutional amendment that allows all children the right to access K-12 education. This is absurd. How will this improve Oklahoman’s quality of life? This is likely an effort to garner more attention.

An Oklahoma Judge recently dismissed a lawsuit that would halt HB-1804’s implementation due to lack of evidence showing that hardship has been caused by the law. Did you know that Randy Terrill failed to provide evidence that illegal immigration has caused economic hardship or lawlessness in Oklahoma?

I hope that Oklahoma’s leaders will soon shift back to the issues that will truly make a difference in the lives of its citizens. Drafting ‘English-only’ laws that limit Native American’s from preserving their languages is not a better focus than improving the quality of education or healthcare.

HB-1804 makes it possible to punish a Good Samaritan for giving a pregnant woman and her family a ride to town on a hot day as its now considered “transporting an alien in reckless disregard for their illegal immigration status”.

Ultimately, I believe that Oklahoma voters will support the leaders who work on the issues that are important to their families and communities, including road improvement, quality of education, the economy, lowering taxes, and improving healthcare rather than on redundancy.

Reverend Miguel Rivera is the President of the National Coalition of Latino Clergy & Christian Leaders (CONLAMIC), America’s leading Hispanic Christian advocacy organization, based in Washington, DC with a Tulsa-based chapter that represents Hispanic Christians throughout Oklahoma.