Religious Leaders to Discuss Immigration Reform at Interfaith Conference

Posted on Tue, Jul 11, 2006 at 13:57 pm

Set for Wed., July 12 in Washington

Hundreds of national religious leaders will converge on Capitol Hill Wed., July 12, to discuss the impact of faith perspectives on the immigration policy debate. “Faith and Migration: Diverse Perspectives from Religious Leaders” will examine the bipartisan, religious grounds for comprehensive immigration reform. Speakers include Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas, Reverend Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention, and Rabbi Steve Gutow, of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs.

The conference continues the momentum of a coalition of more than 200 faith-based leaders that produced the “Interfaith Statement in Support of Comprehensive Immigration Reform.” The co-signers of that statement, which was initially released in 2005, “call attention to the moral dimensions of public policy and pursue policies that uphold the human dignity of each person, all of whom are made in the image of God.”

“Finding a bipartisan consensus on immigration reform has become particularly pressing in recent weeks, as the House and Senate prepare to negotiate the differences in their immigration legislation,” says Gideon Aronoff, president and CEO of HIAS, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, which is a key sponsor of the event. “Upcoming hearings across the country promise to make the debate even more divisive. We are hopeful that a faith-based perspective on immigration has the potential to unite Americans behind comprehensive immigration reform.”

The conference will be held at Jones Day, 51 Louisiana Ave NW, from 9 a.m. to noon, followed by a luncheon at the United Methodist Building, 100 Maryland Ave. NE, from 12:30 to 2 p.m. Afternoon advocacy visits to congressional offices will be followed by a community forum/round-table from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Free registration is required to attend. Panelists are available to meet with the press following the end of the conference at noon.