Denver Leaders Engage in Immigration Conversation

Communications Associate

March 11, 2016

DENVER — Local leaders urged immigration solutions during an event hosted by the Incarnational Leadership Initiative on Wednesday.

Local immigrants, pastors and other leaders spoke to challenges of the broken immigration system and discussed the positive impact that reform would have on families, communities and the economy.

The following are quotes from speakers at Wednesday’s event:

Michelle Warren, Mountain West consultant for Bibles, Badges and Business for Immigration Reform:
“This event was a great example of support on the ground for a better immigration conversation than we’re hearing from some of the candidates. We need solutions that strengthen our families, churches, businesses and whole communities. We’ve had enough with the negative rhetoric toward immigrants, who are our neighbors.”

Carlos Calandreli, Chaplain, U.S. Christian Chaplains Association:
“As immigrants we know immigration stories … but when we hear the actual statistics and specifics around immigration, we understand the immigration problem better. As a Christian leader, my hope is that we work to love our neighbors better. It is difficult to hear, “We love you but we want you to leave our country.” That does not feel like love.”

Gary Armstrong, Business Owner and President of General Air:
“Eighty-five percent of the undocumented population has been in our country for over a decade, which shows this problem is not new. We have not framed the question correctly in order to create good solutions. We need to look at the immigration reform problem through the lens of the economy. Immigration is an economic decision and it requires an economic solution. We need to speak up when our laws don’t support our needs. We need to work together toward a non-polarized solution.”

Jude del Hierro, Faith Leader at Confluence Ministries:
“It is important for faith, business and community leaders to gather together to look at the problems around immigration and discuss potential solutions, which is why we at Confluence hosted an event like this today. We know the immigration system is broken. We want to be a part of the solutions and not just let the current national narrative shut out productive movement forward on immigration reform.”

Sarah Jackson, Founder and Director at Casa de Paz:
“One of the clients we hosted at our deportation center home recently was able to share his story today. Jose was able to share his story about his time in the Aurora deportation center. In spite of his trials, he is persevering and courageous. It’s important for faith and business leaders to hear real stories and not just look at people as numbers and facts. People are separated from their families and communities and it’s heartbreaking.”