March 23, 2009

CONLAMIC Leaders Host Familias Unidas for Comprehensive Immigration Reform in Orlando

Contact: Rev. Dr. Luis E. Lopez
(407) 902-8021

ORLANDO, FL - The National Coalition Of Latino Clergy and Christian Leaders (CONLAMIC), the largest Latino Christian advocacy organization in the nation, representing more than 20,000 thousand churches in 34 States will co-host the "Families United" (Familias Unidas) event with Congressman Luis Gutierrez, in Orlando FL, on March 28 (Saturday) at 10:00am.

The venue for this event is the Pabellon De La Victoria Church (Iglesia Pabellon de la Victoria) 12355 South John Young Parkway, Orlando.

"Congressman Gutierrez has taken the lead on this issue since 2001 with an understanding that a comprehensive legislative approach to immigration reform is the only solution to such a sensitive issue that polarizes our local communities and provides a social environment for discrimination against immigrants" says the Reverend Miguel Rivera, Chairman of the National Coalition of Latino Clergy and Christian Leaders.

"In central Florida and throughout the state our churches are being affected because members of our congregations prefer to stay home rather than risk the possibility of being arrested and separated from their families while driving without a driver's permit as a result of the 287-G immigration enforcement action by local Sheriff's Departments," says Rev. Dr. Luis Lopez, CONLAMIC Regional Vice-President and a Volunteer Chaplain with the Orange County Sheriff Department.

"To honor Congressman Gutierrez' visit to central Florida, the Hispanic Evangelical Pastor's Association is co-hosting the event and together we will reassure church members that undocumented immigrants have rights under the Constitution of the United States; and as faith leaders, we will stand by Biblical principles that call us to be benevolent with the foreigners and show mercy. We respect the laws of our Country and demand that Members of Congress fix the broken immigration system that tears families apart and violates human rights,' said Rev. Santiago Panzardi, President of the Hispanic Evangelical Pastors Association of Central Florida.

"We are coming to Orlando with the understanding that pastors and members of our churches are truly concerned due to rising anti-immigration sentiment in the Central Florida despite the benefit brought to Florida's business community by hard working labor of thousands of undocumented immigrants. These workers help the local economy as well as our nation," concluded Rev. Miguel Rivera.

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