Press Release - nytimes.com
By Julia Preston
November 25, 2013
In Report, 63% Back Way to Get Citizenship
A consistent and solid majority of Americans — 63 percent — crossing party and religious lines favors legislation to create a pathway to citizenship for immigrants living in the United States illegally, while only 14 percent support legal residency with no option for citizenship, according a report published Monday by the nonpartisan Public Religion Research Institute.
Those surveyed expressed strong support for citizenship for 11.7 million immigrants in the country without documents just as Congress appears to be shifting away from that approach, with Republican leaders in the House working on measures that would offer legal status without a direct path to naturalization.
Sixty percent of Republicans, 57 percent of independents and 73 percent of Democrats favor a pathway to citizenship, according to the report. Majorities of Protestants, Catholics and Americans with no religious affiliation also support that plan.
The institute found that there is slightly less support for limiting the immigrants to legal residency than there is for a tough enforcement strategy of identifying and deporting them, a policy favored by 18 percent.
The report is based on results from four national surveys, one in Ohio and focus groups in Arizona, Florida and Ohio. It compares results from a national poll in March with a similar bilingual telephone survey that was conducted nationwide in English and Spanish from Nov. 6 to 10 among 1,005 adults, with a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points. The nonprofit research institute conducts surveys on public policy issues and religious values.
Support for citizenship has not changed significantly since March, the institute found.
The group drilled down into that issue, creating subgroups for the November survey who were asked questions with differing levels of detail about the requirements immigrants should have to meet to become citizens. When there was no mention of requirements, 59 percent supported an option for citizenship. When the question specified that immigrants would have to pay back taxes, learn English and pass background checks, support increased to 71 percent.
The requirements were “most important for Republicans,” the report said. When the question did not mention requirements, only about four in 10 Republicans supported citizenship. When the requirements were described in more detail, Republican support increased to 62 percent.
In June, the Senate passed a broad bipartisan bill with a 13-year pathway to citizenship that includes the hurdles mentioned in the poll: paying back taxes and passing English tests and criminal background checks. House leaders have said they will not take up that measure, but will address immigration issues in smaller bills. Several House Republican leaders have said they are drafting measures that would provide “lawful status” for many unauthorized immigrants but no “special path” to citizenship.
According to the report, nearly seven in 10 Americans believe the 13-year wait for citizenship under the Senate bill is too long, while 24 percent said it was just right.
The institute found that Americans living in Ohio — the home state of Speaker John A. Boehner, a Republican — are significantly more likely than those in Arizona and Florida to say “things have gotten worse” in the country over all and to hold negative views of immigrants. Nevertheless, the surveys found similarly broad agreement in all three states on a pathway to citizenship, with 60 percent of Ohio residents favoring that approach.
Nearly two-thirds of Americans — 65 percent — say the United States’ immigration system is either completely or mostly broken. Those who say it is “completely broken” have increased to 34 percent from 23 percent in March, according to the report.
Press Release - politico.com
By Seung Min Kim
November 21, 2013
John Boehner: Immigration work not dead
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) reaffirmed his commitment to enacting immigration reform, a week after the chances of an overhaul appeared dead following his comments that he would not support negotiating with the Senate on its comprehensive bill.
“Is immigration reform dead?” Boehner said to reporters. “Absolutely not.”
Boehner pledged that his chamber was still working on the issue that had long dominated the congressional calendar this year until recently. The speaker noted that he has said since last year’s presidential election that Congress needs to enact immigration reform.
“I believe the Congress needs to deal with this,” he said. “Our committees are continuing to do their work. There are a lot of private conversations that are under way to try to figure out how do we best move on a common-sense, step-by-step basis to address this very important issue. Because it is a very important issue.”
His comments came as pro-reform protesters flooded his personal office, set on delivering a turkey and a bottle of Merlot wine to mark the work that immigrants do to harvest food. Activists have ramped up the pressure on Boehner in recent days — accosting him at his favorite breakfast joint, Pete’s Diner, and going to his home at dawn earlier this week for a protest.
At his weekly news conference — to which his aides invited multiple members of the Hispanic media, according to sources — Boehner said he was “encouraged” that President Barack Obama this week more fully embraced the legislative strategy that House Republicans prefer on immigration reform. GOP lawmakers want to do a so-called piecemeal approach, which means they would reform parts of the immigration system with multiple bills, rather than one, sweeping comprehensive piece of legislation.
“The American people are skeptical of big, comprehensive bills, and frankly, they should be,” Boehner said. “The only way to make sure immigration reform works this time is to address the complicated issues one step at a time. I think doing so will give the American people confidence that we’re dealing with these issues in a thoughtful way and a deliberative way. So I’m hopeful that we can make progress on this very important issue.”
For Immediate Contact:
Rev. Miguel Rivera
Septiembre 27, 2013
Judge Mary Jacobson Wrong Decision
NEWARK, NJ- The New Jersey Coalition of Latino Clergy and Christian Leaders (CONLAMIC-NJ) supports a decision by Governor Chris Christie, to file an immediate appeal at New Jersey Supreme Court, to overrule Judge Mary Jacobson's judicial activism and ruling to initiate same sex marriages in New Jersey.
"Judge Jacobson's activism is contrary to the will of the majority of New Jersey residents who by overwhelming majority, supports a referendum on this matter and expects for Trenton lawmakers, to provide such a forum to decide the same", says the Reverend Miguel Rivera, Chairman of the New Jersey Christian Coalition of Latino Clergy (CONLAMIC-NJ).
"Activists Judges who take into their own hands to decide over the will of the people are not abiding by the constitutional process which authorizes the legislative branch of government to write and vote the laws of the State.
New Jersey legislature has the ability to override Governor Christie's veto and only by an election process, the voters in this State can decide for such a controversial and sensitive matter", says also the Reverend Rivera.
CONLAMIC-NJ with a membership of over 400 hundred latino evangelical churches in the State of New Jersey, had no objection to "civil unions" but advocates nationally for the traditional marriage of one man and one woman and has a strong record supporting 2006 federal legislation against hate crimes.
"Our position is very clear. Latino Pastors are clearly and understandably supportive of a state legislature process on this matter and against hate speech or animosity against any human being.
The doors of our churches are always open to those who seek GOD's Love and the Gospel of Salvation in Christ. We are not ordained to discriminate against anyone but to preach the Bible and Pray for a revival and better understanding among all fellow citizens of this earth.
We understand separation of Church and State doctrine and at this time, our only and main concern is against the activism actions of Judge Jacobson, which overrides the will of the people in New Jersey and impedes the right of the members of the New Jersey legislature, to duly execute their legislative powers and seek consensus for constitutional solution to this matter.
CONLAMIC-NJ commends Governor Christie immediate actions to appeal and in return, give back the all residents of New Jersey, the right to decide and vote on this matter, right that Judge Jacobson annulled with her non-prudent and charge of animosity against traditional marriage with her decision", concludes the Reverend Rivera.
COMUNICADO DE PRENSA
Para Atención Inmediata
Rev. Miguel Rivera
Septiembre 26, 2013
Pastores Evangélicos Latinos Oran y Marchan el 5 de octubre, por una Reforma Inmigratoria
WASHINGTON, DC- CONLAMIC La Coalición Nacional Latina de Ministros y Líderes Cristianos, envía un mensaje a toda la "Pastoral Evangélica Hispana en 26 Estados de la Nación a unir esfuerzos en Oración y hacer presencia el 5 de octubre y marchar con nuestros hermanos por una reforma inmigratoria justa" declara la misiva enviada a todas las congregaciones afiliadas.
"Igual como hicimos en el 2006 y 2008 apoyando actividades de Familias Unidas en Georgia, New Jersey, Texas, Florida y Arizona, una vez haremos presencia en la gestión de presionar al Congreso que aprueben legislación justa a favor de miles de hermanos indocumentados", dice el Reverendo Miguel Rivera, Chairman de la Junta Nacional de Directores de CONLAMIC.
Durante los últimos cinco meses, el liderato evangélico pastoral, ha estado siguiendo de cerca y gestionando la aprobación en la Camara de Representantes, por una legislación que permita ser aprobada y concluya en conferencia con el Senado esperando que el producto final sea efectivo para corregir la infraestructura legal de inmigración y aumente el numero de visas, asegurando un camino a la legalización de status de millones de inmigrantes.
"Nuestras reuniones con líderes mayormente republicanos del Congreso, animan la esperanza que todavía hay un espacio (aunque limitado) que ocupando eficazmente en el calendario limitado y con una pieza legislativa sensible a lo controversial del ambiente político, se logre una votación cameral.
Creemos todavía que el Portavoz John Boehner esta comprometido con asegurar y pasar una reforma inmigratoria, asegura el Reverendo Rivera.
Vigilias de Oración, Foros de Inmigración y Marchas son las alternativas que apoya CONLAMIC, en unión y respaldo a otras entidades que abogan por el mismo principio de justicia social y legalización hacia la ciudadanía de millones de indocumentados.
"Mientras Oramos seguimos de cerca las gestiones del Congreso y no vacilaremos en gestionar acción legal en Corte Federal, contra leyes anti-inmigrantes e injustas que separan familias y destituyen del derecho a la libertad y felicidad de quienes por no tener documentos, sufren la discriminación y los abusos de arrestos y deportación.
Como hicimos el New Jersey en el 2006, Oklahoma en el 2007 y Arizona en el 2008 estamos listos para apelar a los tribunales de justicia y promover que leyes inconstitucionales, sean erradicadas de ejecución, pero ahora a Marchar y si no escuchan en el Congreso, seguiremos la lucha hasta la Corte Suprema de Justicia....", concluye diciendo el Reverendo Rivera.
Nace la Asociación de Pastores Latinos de Paterson
PATERSON, NJ.- Con la finalidad de velar por la seguridad, la educación e interceder ante las autoridades para ser parte de la solución de los problemas en la ciudad, fue anunciado este martes la creación de la Asociación de Pastores Latinos de Paterson, Inc. (APLP).
La nueva entidad, afiliada a The National Coalition of Latino Clergy and Christian Leaders (CONLAMIC) agrupa inicialmente a más de cincuenta ministros, obreros y líderes cristianos de diversas iglesias y denominaciones locales.
En sus palabras de presentación, el presidente de CONLAMIC, Reverendo Miguel Rivera, al destacar los valores la organización, dijo que “traemos un mensaje espiritual de unidad, para que la ciudad de Paterson se levante, mantener el liderazgo político en oración, y enfrentar la criminalidad con educación”.
Explicó que “estamos preparando un proyecto con expertos para auxiliar a las escuelas, sin la necesidad de hablar de religión, sino para que enfrentemos juntos las necesidades de esta gran ciudad”.
“Paterson debe recuperar su prestigio, el lugar que tenía antes, una ciudad más segura para sus residentes, y que podamos disfrutar de mejor calidad de vida”, dijo el líder religioso.
Indicó que un programa similar se ha implementado exitosamente en escuelas de Texas y Georgea.
Por su parte, el Reverendo Fabio Sosa, aclaró que “no se trata de procelitismo de la iglesia con las escuelas, sino que nosotros podemos aportar mucho espiritualmente, y podemos sumarnos en la discusión de los problemas a nuestra ciudad, y ser parte de la solución.
“Es compromiso de establecernos como un organismo sólido, influyente y de respeto ante las autoridades seculares, la comunidad de fe y la sociedad en general, con el propósito de ayudar a transformar positivamente nuestro pueblo y a extender el Reino de Dios por doquier”, agregó Sosa.
De su lado, el presidente de la Junta de Directores de Radiovisión Cristiana, Dr. Héctor Chiesa, añadió: “Le damos la bienvenida y nuestro respaldo incondicional a todos los miembros de la naciente Asociación de Pastores Latinos de Paterson”. “Porque en momentos difíciles como los que enfrenta Paterson, se necesitan entidades y líderes fuertes que puedan impulsar el cambio y aboguen por una transformación social efectiva”.
Por el comité interino que dirige la organización estuvieron presentes también los pastores Ricardo de Jesus, José Nieves, César Martínez, Miquea Nieves, Yanet Benítez, César Guzmán y César Castillo. La recepción inaugural se llevará a cabo el 9 de diciembre, a las 7pm, en el Brownstone House de Paterson, donde se elegirá la primera directiva. Su oficina está en el 126 Pennsylvania Ave., Suite 2, Paterson, NJ.
A group of seven pastors from various Hispanic churches around the city launched the Latino Pastors’ Association of Paterson, a civic organization, on Tuesday morning. Main aim of the association, according to Fabio Sosa, the president, is to foster a sense of common cause between the disparate ministries.
A statement released by the organization read “over twenty” churches signed up to join the association; however only seven pastors attended the event, among them, Miqueas Nieves, senior pastor at the Iglesia La Gran Comision on Marshall Street, who said, “I don’t mind working with politicians.”
Nieves said, as long as the association wishes to lift people up and better the community, he is willing to help and work with them, but that is where it stops: he does not wish to get his church involved in the murky business of politics. “I don’t care about politics,” said Nieves.
Other pastors uttered the same reaction when faced with political questions and their willingness to take sides in elections. Politics was visible in the conference room on the lower level of the Radio Visión Cristiana building on Broadway, where Maria Teresa Feliciano, a mayoral candidate, spoke to some of the pastors. Feliciano said, it is a civic organization.
The association seeks to create a network of Hispanic churches in the city, who can influence “policy making at legislative, executive and civic levels in our city, state and nation,” according to Alejandro Benjamin, one of the founders of the association.
Miguel Rivera, president of the National Coalition of Latino Clergy and Christian Leaders, a national organization that has been fighting the draconian anti-immigration laws in Arizona. “Our main purpose is to give a voice to the Latino churches,” said Rivera. “We need to empower our communities, and local pastors’ associations gives that empowerment.”
Rivera said, he wants religious leaders of all stripes to play a bigger role in their communities; he said, he wants to see imams, rabbis, and pastors, in the school system, not to teach religion, but to work in tandem with counselors and teachers. “We want to be engaged,” said Rivera, who said the clergy working with politicians and teachers and others in the community can address a number of problems plaguing the city, including “high criminality.”
Although Nieves expressed reservation about involving his church in politics, Sosa, the association’s president, said he has no qualms about politics; and when asked whether the association will endorse a candidate for the next year’s election, he said, “Most definitely.”
The association has an office in Pennsylvania Avenue which is funded by the members of the association which includes many of the pastors, who attended the meeting, among the churches that had a representative at the association includes: Iglesia Cristiana Transformando Vidas, a church on River Street; People’s Park Reformed Church, a church on 22nd Avenue; Iglesia Apostolica Cristiana De Bethsaida, a church on Market Street; Iglesia La Gran Comision, a church on Market Street; Iglesia de Cristo Misionera Betel, a church on Carroll Street; Riverside Reformed Church, and Family Destiny Ministries, a church on Pennsylvania Avenue.
Nieves, pastor at the Marshall Street church, said, “I am not going to use my church as a platform for politics.”
Press Release - huffingtonpost.com
Septiembre 20, 2013
House Immigration Group Stalls As 2 Republicans Drop Out
An effort by a bipartisan House group to create a comprehensive immigration reform bill has stalled, group member Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) said Friday, and likely won't produce any bill this fall, as two Republicans have dropped out of negotiations.
The group of seven members had been working for years on comprehensive immigration reform that would, unlike most GOP proposals, include a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. It suffered a blow in June when Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho) dropped out over health care issues, but the remaining members continued to insist they were close to a deal. They announced they had agreed to key principles in May, but observers began to worry they wouldn't release a bill at all when the process continued to drag on. It was never clear whether House GOP leadership would allow a vote on the group's legislation, even if they were to introduce it.
The group consisted of Democratic Reps. Gutierrez, Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.) and John Yarmuth (D-Ky.), plus Republican Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.), Sam Johnson (R-Texas) and John Carter (R-Texas) -- but Johnson and Carter have now quit negotiations.
Johnson and Carter issued a joint statement on Friday afternoon saying they "are honored to have worked" with the group, but will no longer do so.
"After years of hard work and countless meetings, we have reached a tipping point and can no longer continue working on a broad approach to immigration," they said. "We want to be clear. The problem is politics. Instead of doing what's right for America, President Obama time and again has unilaterally disregarded the U.S. Constitution, the letter of the law and bypassed the Congress -- the body most representative of the people -- in order to advance his political agenda. We will not tolerate it. Laws passed by Congress are not merely suggestions, regardless of the current atmosphere in Washington. Laws are to be respected and followed by all -- particularly by the Commander-in-Chief."
They went on to say Obama's actions on Obamacare have proved he should not be granted additional discretion because "any measure depending on the president's enforcement will not be faithfully executed."
"The administration's practice of hand-picking what parts of laws they wish to enforce has irrevocably damaged our efforts of fixing our broken immigration system," they said.
Lofgren issued a statement after Johnson and Carter had announced their decision saying she is "sure that they would agree that our efforts during these last several years were characterized by mutual respect and serious legislative work." She went on to say the group's efforts could still be used to help move forward immigration reform.
"In the end, it's the Republican leadership that must make a decision on whether they intend to allow the current broken immigration system to continue as it is, or whether they will allow the House to vote on reform," she said. "I continue to be hopeful that Republican leaders will schedule votes on serious reform measures that aren't host to known poison pills. It can be done. Let's hope Congress can perform this basic task."
Gutierrez also put out a statement in response to the news, and said advocates will continue to pressure House leaders to allow a vote on comprehensive reform. The statement read in part:
John Carter, Sam Johnson, and Mario Diaz-Balart put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into our group and are among a few dozen Republicans I think will be critical to successfully getting a solution out of the House. Right now things are partisan and polarized and Carter and Johnson took a shot at President Obama in pulling out of the group, but everyone knows there are two critically important reasons we need to pass immigration reform. One, our commitment to justice, our security, our economy and the growth of our nation require a modern immigration system based on the rule of law and both parties understand we need legislation to get us there. Secondly, there are enough sensible Republicans who understand that the future of their party depends on getting this issue resolved.
Becerra said in a statement that he was saddened the group is now at an impasse, but also promised to continue to push for immigration reform.
Only one Republican, Diaz-Balart, is still with the group, although he said in a statement that he shares his GOP colleagues' frustration with the president.
"I will continue to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to solve the issues of our country's broken immigration system," he said. "I've long said that immigration reform will not be easy, but I'm continuing to find other avenues that will ultimately lead to a solution that the American people demand," he added later.
This post has been updated with comment from additional members.