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Christian Groups Organize Pro-Immigration Efforts

In an effort to push through immigration reform in the stalled U.S. House of Representatives, several important Christian organizations are employing a variety of strategies. Among the most important of these is a concerted campaign being conducted by the Catholic Church, which intends to schedule immigration themed Mass and organize trips to offices of Congressmen. The Evangelical Immigration Table, a national coalition of evangelical Protestant churches, has also purchased commercial air time on radio stations in many of the Congressional districts where Republican representatives reside.

As an immigration attorney, I have long recognized that there are many areas of commonality between Americans and immigrants. These activities by Catholic and Protestant groups are indicative of the shared religious heritage that many of these groups espouse. While it is unclear if their efforts will help pass a comprehensive immigration bill in the House, the investment of time, money and effort on the part of these groups reveals how many components of American society are in support of immigration reform.

The Catholic Church has helped organize pro-immigrant rallies and activities in more than 20 dioceses in states where key Republican Congressmen are based. The Catholic priests of many of these parishes intend to conduct services that will touch on immigration on Sept. 8. This date is of importance because it is the day before House Representatives return from their summer recess, and an opportunity when many of these Congressmen are able to attend Mass in their home district.

In addition to immigration themed Mass, Catholic leaders are also organizing pilgrimages to the offices of Congressional leaders. In addition to leading activists to the offices of House Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor and House Judiciary Committee Chair Bob Goodlatte, Catholic community leaders intend to target lawmakers in California, Pennsylvania and Florida.

The intended goal of this campaign is to convince House lawmakers to produce and support a bill that will provide a path to citizenship for the almost 11 million undocumented immigrants already residing in the country. Catholic leaders feel that the coming weeks will prove pivotal in the outcome of immigration reform.

Protestant leaders of many evangelical churches across the country echo this sentiment. A broad coalition of churches and Christian organizations which makeup the Evangelical Immigration Table are actively seeking to influence the votes of undecided or wavering Congressional Representatives. This group intends to purchase almost $400,000 of air time on Christian radio stations from Florida to Wisconsin during the coming weeks. This is in addition to the dozens of meetings this group has already held with key House lawmakers in the past six months.

As a longtime immigration lawyer in Austin, I recognize that the efforts by these Christian groups is a bold initiative. I understand the motivations that are compelling the efforts by these religious organizations, but most Congressmen must be more expansive in their consideration to support an immigration reform package.

Lyttle Law Firm, PLLC has produced successful outcomes for many of its clients in matters of immigration or family law. To learn more about how Lyttle Law can help you, please call (512) 215-5225.

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