September 11, 2008

Editorial Statement: Why a Republican White House and Democratic Congressmake sense to Latino Evangelical Christian Pastors dvocating for Comprehensive Immigration Reform"

By: The Reverend Miguel Rivera

WASHINGTON, DC- Evangelical Hispanic Pastors and National Latino Clergy Leaders, affiliated with the National Coalition of Latino Clergy and Christian Leaders (CONLAMIC) for the last seven years have been strong and devoted defenders of undocumented immigrants, many of whom are members of our congregations, with the conviction and understanding that, America's Spiritual Revival, its Economy and Cultural Heritage benefits from such efforts.

CONLAMIC is the largest Latino Evangelical and Hispanic Pastor's advocacy organization in the Nation and confronts this dilemma face to face, revealing how polarized our nation is around this controversial issue.

In communities such as Riverside New Jersey, Providence Rhode Island, Tulsa Oklahoma, Atlanta Georgia, Prince William County Virginia, Shenandoah Pennsylvania, and Irving Texas, CONLAMIC Hispanic pastors, have organized Prayer Vigils, Press Conferences, Immigration Forums and have litigated against anti-immigrant efforts and the powerful forces that have taken advantage of such a complicated but " legislative workable" situation.

CONLAMIC Latino Evangelical Pastors have concluded that the anti-immigrant sentiment exploited by pundits, ignorant or race intolerant politicians to seek the benefits of political capital, racism sentiments and frivolous opportunism.

CONLAMIC Statewide Latino Evangelical Pastors Chapters in 34 States across the Country, are committed to advance a Civil Rights Agenda on behalf of thousands of undocumented immigrants that are willing to bring themselves out of the shadows and legalize their status with a profound commitment to this nation but because of a broken immigration system are unable to achieve their goals and enjoy the privileges of being 'American Citizens'.

Thousands of their children have enlisted themselves in the military to defend our freedom, knowing that their undocumented parents meant well when they crossed the border seeking liberty and escaping from corrupt political governments, sponsors of misery, crime, slavery and even political sentiment against the American Democracy and Freedom.

As Hispanic Ministers of the Gospel, we have access to real testimonials that confirm our ministry and move our prayers on behalf of many of our brothers who have become Deacons, Bible Teachers, Itinerant Preachers and Pastors, carrying themselves the stigma and knowing that while being exemplary individuals and parents that demonstrate strong family values who even advocate for the obedience to Law per the Bible Doctrine Teachings, but such "faithful christian leaders", have so far no recourse, to correct their past, while forces of political and special interests, ferociously disturb all efforts in Congress, to accomplish a Comprehensive Immigration Reform.

While Senator Barack Obama, has said that, before the end of his first year as President of the United States of America, if elected, he will provide such immigration initiative and reform, we remember that, when our friend, President George W. Bush committed himself to such a task and having his own political party in control of both legislative branches, this was not possible.

A Democratic President with a Democratic Congress, will have the same fate. Even our best Democratic friends and strong advocates of Immigration Reform in this Congress know, that these are pragmatic facts and we cannot let more time go by, without solving this issue and bring back America, to its place of Honor, Integrity, Liberty and Justice for All.

CONLAMIC and the Latino Evangelical Pastors advocates also for, School Choice and Education Reform; Fiscal Conservative Policies and Conservative Nominees to the Supreme Court.

We understand that, these issues can and will only be accomplished with a Republican President in the White House.

We have also come to the conclusion, that a Democratic Congress, understands these "conflicting times" and will assume a posture of Valor, Justice and Moral Integrity, pushing "politics as usual, aside" and will find the honorable way to legislate, on behalf of Comprehensive Immigration Reform.

Each member of CONGRESS (Republicans and Democrats) alike, need to realize that, States and Municipal Governments, are surely struggling with this complex issue and even the Constitutional tenets regarding Immigration Law, are being questioned and subject to strenuous opinions by State and Federal Courts, without a true comprehensive solution, to this matter.

Thousands of families are being torn apart. Children who are legal citizens of our Country, are being deprived and displaced of their "Homeland", forced to lost all American constitutional rights,
while being, deported with their undocumented parents.

As Preachers of Faith, Justice and Hope, we are truly convinced that, this sensitive issue can be resolved, but only when we sent a strong message to our leaders on these coming elections, that the time has come, and Justice needs to be done on behalf of millions of decent, hard working immigrants that have done their best under the circumstances and willing to abide by the Laws of Our Nation, learn English, assimilate to a new Culture and make America Proud of themselves.

Prayer and "true" Civic Values, will bring us to the voting booths, with a PRUDENT approach and to the task of making once again, the American Dream, accessible to every worthy human being.

It is without a doubt, an issue of Human Rights, Social Justice and most important, "of Profound Spiritual consequences for our Nation".

The Rev. Miguel Rivera is Chairman of the Board Of Directors of the National Coalition of Latino Clergy and Christian Leaders (CONLAMIC).

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