Esperanza's Rev. Cortes Urges Continued Progress on Immigration Reform

Rev. Luis Cortes, Jr., a key Hispanic immigration advocate, says reform is a 'moral imperative'

May 07, 2013, 13:56 ET from Esperanza

PHILADELPHIA, May 7, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Reverend Luis Cortes, Jr., a key figure in the national immigration debate, commends the efforts of Congress and President Obama to continue pushing forward on comprehensive immigration reform. 

As the Senate Judiciary Committee reviews the 844-page immigration reform bill this week, Rev. Cortes praised the bipartisan legislation introduced in mid-April in the U.S. Senate. The bill, written by eight U.S. senators, including John McCain (R-AZ), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Marco Rubio (R-FL) and others, would signify a massive overhaul of the U.S. immigration system.

Rev. Cortes also applauds President Obama's remarks during his press conference held Tuesday, April 30th, in which the President reiterated the major conditions that any legislation would need to meet in order for it to be considered a successful fix to our currently broken system. 

Rev. Cortes said: "This bill is a critically important step in the right direction – and I applaud Senators Chuck Schumer, Marco Rubio and others for moving the legislation through the U.S. Senate process. Millions of people have waited in the shadows for many years for the chance to become right with the law. When reform passes, they will have a reasonable path to legal status, while we also continue improving the security of our borders and streamlining the process for those who are trying to enter our country.  This bill certainly requires significant compromise from both sides of the aisle, but we are pleased with many of its measures.  I urge our nation's leadership to keep moving forward, and finding enough common ground to put this issue behind us.  We'll have plenty of work to do once legislation has passed."

Rev. Cortes, who participated on the immigration and general Hispanic advisory committees to both Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, is also the founder and president of the premier Hispanic faith-based organization in the nation.  As president of Esperanza, Rev. Cortes has provided testimony on three occasions at Senate and House Judiciary Committee hearings on the topic of immigration reform. He also regularly brings hundreds of Hispanic clergy members to Capitol Hill to meet with elected officials to discuss immigration reform and other issues of concern to the growing Latino population, through the National Hispanic Prayer Breakfast and Conference. Earlier this year, Rev. Cortes delivered the invocation prayer during President Barack Obama's 2013 Inaugural Luncheon on Capitol Hill.

The organization is a member of The Evangelical Immigration Table, a group of Christian leaders and pastors who have lobbied for an immigration reform package that includes a pathway to citizenship. Earlier this year, the group launched a radio campaign in four states that ran ads advocating for a "biblical approach" to the issue.

On June 18-20, 2013, Esperanza will host its National Hispanic Prayer Breakfast and Conference, one of the largest gatherings of Hispanic clergy and community leaders in the nation, in Washington, D.C. to discuss U.S. immigration policy and other topics. Invited guests include the President of the United States, Democratic and Republican elected officials, and corporate, academic, and faith leaders from across the nation, among others.

Confirmed speakers for this year's conference include: Chairman of the Republican National Committee, Reince Priebus; TV personality, Myrka Dellanos; Archbishop of San Juan, Robert Octavio Gonzalez Nieves; radio and TV host, Dr. Diaz Pabon; actor Tony Plana, education activist; Marcos Witt, five-time Latin Grammy Award-winning Christian singer (who will be the moderator for the National Prayer Breakfast), and many others.

Several invitations for speakers are pending including Democratic Party Chairman, Cong. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL). Past speakers include President Barack Obama; then-President George W. Bush; then-Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (NY), and others. The conference will also feature entertainment by multi-award winning gospel singers and musicians. To learn more or to register, visit:

SOURCE Esperanza