Momentum for Immigration Reform Builds: 300-Plus Evangelical Leaders Meet with House Republicans

Assistant Director of Communications

July 25, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Ahead of a critical August recess for immigration reform, more than 300 evangelicals and evangelical leaders from across the nation came to Washington on Wednesday to pray and urge congressional leaders, especially House Republicans, to follow through on broad immigration reform.

The morning kicked off with a press conference on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol and continued with a worship service at a Capitol Hill church, both of which focused on the need for reform that respects the rule of law, keeps families together and is compassionate. (See additional photos.)

“We’re here today as a group

of believers in Jesus Christ to let our elected officials know we are praying for them,” said Dr. Russell Moore, President of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. “We have recognized that immigration reform is not just a political issue, it’s a personal issue, and we’re praying for justice and compassion, wisdom and mercy. We are speaking to the consciences of our lawmakers.”

The participants, who hailed from 27 states, then fanned out to more than 110 meetings with their representatives and House leaders. The overwhelming majority were with Republican offices, including those of Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio; Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va.; House Republican Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-WA; House Judiciary Committee Chairman Robert Goodlatte, R-Va.; House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wisc.; House Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul, R-Texas; and House Immigration Subcommittee Chairman Trey Gowdy, R.-S.C. 

The Day of Prayer and Action was

part of the Evangelical Immigration Table’s Pray for Reform
campaign, an effort that has included letters to Congress and a Week of Prayer, billboard and radio advertisements in key states and congressional districts and nearly 30,000 new Pray for Reform partners across the country. 

In addition to Wednesday’s

activities, prominent evangelical leaders have published op-eds this week urging just reform — including Mathew Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty

Counsel and chief counsel for the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, in the Washington Times and Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, President of the National Hispanic
Christian Leadership Conference, in Politico

And they’re not alone: business leaders Dick Rivera and EJ Dealy have published op-eds in the Tampa Tribune and Fox Business,

respectively — part of the strong push for reform from the business community. 

“Across the country, faith, law enforcement and business leaders are forging ahead in their push for broad, commonsense immigration reform,” said Eddie Aldrete, Senior Vice President of the International Bank of Commerce (IBC Bank)

and a National Immigration Forum board member. “Congress needs to catch up to them and to the American people, who recognize that will reform will move our economy and our country forward.”

“As Bibles, Badges and Business leaders continue to build momentum, evangelical leaders are making the moral case for immigration reform in a unique way,” said Ali Noorani, Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum. “Yesterday’s meetings are a clear sign of the urgency for reform. Lawmakers are listening, and now they must move forward quickly with broad solutions.”