February 12, 2009

National Hispanic Evangelical Leaders Respond to Judicial Decision on Oklahoma HB-1804

WASHINGTON, DC - Those who were expecting to be comforted by a compassionate and morally acceptable judicial decision in Oklahoma regarding the anti-immigrant law HB-1804, were disappointed as Oklahoma's justice system makes decision to uphold this law that has positioned this state as the most racially intolerant, politically opportunistic, sensational, and anti-Latino immigrant in the nation.

"Once again the echo of racial intolerance and social injustice has broken through the victims silence as the state's justice system upholds the anti-immigrant law in the nation," said Reverend Miguel Rivera, President of the National Coalition of Latino Clergy & Christian Leaders (CONLAMIC) who lead efforts to fight the law through the litigation in 2006.

HB-1804 has been enacted as a result of broken immigration system that breeds injustice and denies undocumented hard working, immigrants with traditional family values from being able to fix their legal status in this Country," said Rev. Rivera.

Both judicial opinions by Judge Payne and Judge Sellers were passed down despite lawsuits filed to stop the consequences of the Oklahoma State Law HB-1804, further demonstrating an opportunistic political and populist approach instead of upholding the constitutional rights of individuals. This is considered by Latino ministers to be a gross violation of human rights due to the traumatic and destructive effects on families and in particular, children. The law empowers local law enforcement to continue its siege of the Latino community; posting roadblocks at main avenues, in front of Churches and commercial strip malls and harassing undocumented immigrants that remain in Oklahoma," concluded Rev. Rivera who will visit the City of Tulsa for a comprehensive immigration reform rally on May 1st.

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