Latinos Take Immigration Reform to Evangelical Churches ~ Praxis Habitus - On Race Religion & Culture

Friday, March 13, 2009

Latinos Take Immigration Reform to Evangelical Churches

Quick Post: Latino activists urge churches to provoke broad immigration reform.

Stories and quotes in an interesting article originally from the Chicago Tribune describes the effort by Latino immigration activists to bring families together.

From the article:

LOS ANGELES - DECEMBER 19:  A man points while...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Two years after a sweeping immigration reform bill failed in Congress, Latino leaders have revitalized the effort, positioning children who were left behind when their parents were deported as the new face of the movement. 
The campaign is designed to place pressure on President Barack Obama to make comprehensive immigration reform a priority.

Borrowing a page from the civil rights movement of the 1960s, Latinos have taken their cause to churches, drawing upon the growing population of evangelical Latinos, who like their white counterparts, are strong advocates of family values.

While Hispanics overwhelmingly remain Roman Catholics, nearly one in six in the U.S. identify as evangelicals, the second largest religious group in the Latino community, according to the Pew Hispanic Center.

"Our families are the cornerstone of our society, and we want to protect those families." Packing a large evangelical church in suburban Atlanta, the mostly Latino audience shouted "amen" and waved as ministers preached about how God would protect them.

The Meeting Place Church service held in basem...Image via Wikipedia

For more than three hours, they prayed, sang spirituals in Spanish and listened to the testimonies of families torn apart at the hands of federal immigration agents.

The stories are designed to tug at the heartstrings of Americans and focus attention on what community leaders said is the most tragic consequence of the federal government's crackdown on illegal immigration -- the breakup of families, a problem they said affects up to 5 million children, most of whom were born in the U.S. and automatically are citizens.

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