For Immediate Release
January 23rd, 2013
Rev. Noel Andersen
Thousands of Religious Voters Call Senate offices to urge immediate action on Immigration Reform
Over 1,000 faith leaders take part in Interfaith Immigration Coalition’s National Faith Call-In Day
(Washington DC) – More than one-thousand faith leaders from diverse traditions made phone calls to their Senators yesterday urging them to pass immigration reform in 2013 that prioritizes family unity and provides a pathway to full citizenship for the approximately 11 million undocumented people living in the United States. Coming immediately after President Obama’s historic second inauguration, this National Faith Call-In Day demonstrates religious congregations’ vigorous mobilization on the issue of citizenship for immigrants.
Rev. Michael Rinehart, Bishop of the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America reported, “Calling in makes a difference. Our legislators tell me they hear more often from the loud, angry, negative voices than the calm, compassionate ones. I called today because I believe in being a welcoming country and keeping families together.” Other Texans calling in to Senators Cruz and Cornyn heard reports the offices were receiving many calls from faith leaders participating in the call-in day.
President Obama, who won over 70% of Latino voters in the 2012 election, noted in his inaugural address that “Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity.” Faith leaders of diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds are exerting nationwide pressure on lawmakers to pursue this very goal by passing legislation that provides a pathway to citizenship for 11 million aspiring Americans.
Rev. John L. McCullough, executive director of Church World Service, said “On the heels of the President’s inauguration and Dr. King’s birthday, thousands of pastors, lay clergy, and people in the pews have called their Senators to urge them to enact immigration reform that prioritizes family unity and creates a pathway to full citizenship for those who, save mere papers, are Americans in heart and contribution. May these efforts bear fruit, and may our policy makers act with moral courage and commitment to good governance to realize Dr. King’s vision of equality and justice for all, including those whose journeys have brought them to toil alongside us for a better day.”
The Interfaith Immigration Coalition is a partnership of faith-based organizations committed to enacting fair and humane immigration reform that reflects our mandate to welcome the stranger and treat all human beings with dignity and respect. Coalition members work together to advocate for just and equitable immigration policies, educate faith communities, and serve immigrant populations around the country. Through this coalition, hundreds of national and local faith-based organizations and faith leaders have called on Congress and the Administration to enact immigration reform consistent with these values. More information about the IIC is available at www.interfaithimmigration.org.