NHCLC Launches Comprehensive Immigration Reform Effort in Time for ’24 Election

By Published on March 4, 2024

In the face of an unprecedented immigration crisis, the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC), representing America’s largest Latino faith organization, announces “The Urgency of Now” — an emergency national campaign that will galvanize more than 65 million Latino voters, with a particular focus on the 20 million-strong Latino evangelical community, to push for comprehensive immigration reform before the 2024 election.

Drawing on the successful collaborative strategies of previous campaigns, such as the Faith and Education Coalition, this initiative will combine national grassroots advocacy with a robust digital-first media campaign.

The time for action is long overdue. Decades of political inaction and neglect have allowed the immigration crisis to fester, undermining both the rule of law and the values of compassion and decency that America espouses.

Now, with prophetic courage and political will, the NHCLC asserts that our beloved nation stands at the threshold of reform, poised to move from the wilderness of political apathy to the promised land of “Just Integration.”

At the heart of NHCLC’s message is a call to reconcile border security with the values of faith and family.

This includes a multifaceted approach to immigration reform policy because this crises is about bad policy made worse by craven, partisan politics. Americans are tired of their elected officials using this issue to divide us. We elected our representatives to represent us, and here’s how they can do it:

Securing Borders and Enforcing the Law

Advocate for immediate action to halt illegal immigration, including the construction of a comprehensive border wall and the cessation of catch-and-release policies. NHCLC emphasizes the importance of reverting to the” stay in Mexico” policy, ensuring that individuals seeking asylum wait in Mexico rather than being released into the United States.

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Moreover, NHCLC stresses the urgency of addressing the continuum of lawlessness that arises from permitting millions of people to enter the country illegally. This perpetuates a message to the next generation that breaking the law is tolerable, creating a societal impact that extends from the southern border to urban centers across America. NHCLC opposes using the U.S. military to deport undocumented individuals and supports efforts by the U.S. Congress to provide all necessary ICE funding required to lawfully pursue justice for undocumented individuals.

Legal Status, Not Amnesty

NHCLC proposes a non-amnesty path to legal status and citizenship for long-standing undocumented residents, contingent upon their contributions to the economy and adherence to the law. Citizenship will be reserved for natural-born citizens and those who have legally entered America and gone through the naturalization process without violating any law. The plan includes a guest-worker program aimed at integrating productive members of society into the fabric of American life.

Employer Responsibility

NHCLC emphasizes the need for employers to take responsibility for verifying the legal status of their employees, while also advocating for a streamlined sponsorship process to ensure that immigrants can contribute to the workforce without burdening the welfare system.

Assimilation

Recognizing the importance of assimilation, NHCLC calls for initiatives to help immigrants learn English and civics while combatting anti-American sentiments in public institutions. By fostering a sense of national unity and shared values, NHCLC aims to empower immigrants to fully participate in American society.

Work, Not Welfare

NHCLC advocates for welfare-program reforms that would incentivize gainful employment among immigrants, thereby reducing dependence on government assistance and fostering a culture of self-reliance.

It’s Time to Unite

It is crucial to emphasize that this issue transcends partisan lines. It is not a matter of Republican or Democratic affiliation, but rather a moral imperative that speaks to the core values of justice, compassion, and decency that define the United States. Therefore, NHCLC invites people from all walks of life, regardless of political affiliation, to engage in a constructive dialogue and encourages a shared commitment to finding just and compassionate solutions that align with the foundational values that have historically defined America.

It is time to unite and demand collective action NOW to address immigration challenges in a way that reflects the best of American principles and fosters a more inclusive, compassionate society.

 

 

Rev. Samuel Rodriguez is president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference and a bestselling author. He is executive producer of two films: Breakthrough, which won the Dove Award for Inspirational Movie of the Year and was nominated for an Academy Award for best song; and Flamin Hot, produced in partnership with Franklin Entertainment and 20th Century Fox. CNN and FOX News have called him “the leader of the Hispanic Evangelical movement” and TIME magazine listed him among the 100 most influential leaders in America. His latest book, Your Mess, God’s Miracle (Chosen Books) was released in 2023.

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