SACRAMENTO, Calif., Nov. 3, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- A record number of pledges have been proposed during this election season—from pro-life pledges to budget pledges—directed at social issues and fiscal policies. Immigration reform continues to be a heated topic for debate, especially between elected officials at all levels, positioning immigration reform as a prime issue for a pledge.
As immigration reform remains undefined at a Federal level and individual states continue to pass their own immigration laws; with the Justice Department stepping in as recently as this week by filing suit against South Carolina over a recently-passed state law meant to increase law enforcement efforts against undocumented immigrants--a distinctive and timely Immigration Rhetoric Pledge has been written by Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, President of The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, and Robert Gittleson, Co-Founder of Conservatives for Comprehensive Immigration Reform. This pledge calls on all candidates for elected office in local, state, and national races, particularly those running for President of the United States on both sides of the aisle, to commit to three basis points addressing the immigration reform issue confronting America.
Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the NHCLC, also known as the Hispanic Evangelical Association, the nation's largest Christian Hispanic organization, said, "I understand that the presidential candidates are against illegal immigration and amnesty. But I am asking them to sign this pledge that makes it clear they are for legal immigration and would be a president for Hispanic Americans--supporting a practical federal solution to our Nation's immigration problems that recognizes the importance of immigration to the past, present, and future of the United States." Rodriguez and Gittleson plan to meet with the candidates in person to obtain their signatures.
The points of the Pro-Hispanic American, Pro-Legal Immigration "Pledge", being presented for signature to Presidential candidates of both parties and people currently holding elected offices, concisely states (http://www.nhclc.org/news/immigration-reform-pledge): I will not engage in rhetoric that exacerbates or polarizes the current immigration debate in our country; I will advocate for positions that are pro–legal immigration and pro–Hispanic American. This does not dilute my commitment to secure our borders, but instead denounces damaging anti-immigrant rhetoric; I will support a practical federal solution to our Nation's immigration problems that recognizes the importance of immigration to the past, present, and future of the United States.
Co-Founder of Conservatives for Comprehensive Immigration Reform (www.conservativesforcir.org), Robert Gittleson, said, "Samuel Rodriguez and I share the mutual concern that the harsh rhetoric being propagated by certain conservatives through the Presidential debate process will have a lasting and negative effect not only on the election, but on the ability of fair-minded and morally principled people to discuss the issue of immigration reform in a clear and rational manner. Therefore, we have initiated this pledge in an effort to mitigate the potential damage that will be the byproduct of language that exacerbates or polarizes the current immigration debate in our country."
In a statement about the Pledge, Dr. Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (www.erlc.com) since 1988, said, "This pledge calls our nation's leaders to uphold our country's longstanding, honorable commitment to valuing every person as God's unique creation and worthy of respect and compassion." During his tenure as representative for the largest Protestant denomination in the country, Dr. Land has represented Southern Baptist and other Evangelicals' concerns in the halls of Congress, before U.S. Presidents, and in the media.
Mathew D. Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel (www.lc.org), said, "America is a land of immigrants. Other than Native Americans, every American citizen can trace their lineage to a foreign country. I appreciate Alabama's frustration with the failed national immigration program. But the answer is not to set aside the Constitution by usurping the federal government and stigmatizing the Latino community. The Latino community must not be painted with a broad brush and stigmatized because of the acts of others. We must work together to solve the immigration issue before it rends America in half. We must secure our borders, enforce our laws, and provide a fair and just opportunity for those living in the shadows to obtain legal status."
Conservatives for Comprehensive Immigration Reform state that as conservative leaders they call on Congress and the Administration to lead the nation toward a bipartisan solution on immigration that: respects the dignity of every person, protects the unity of the immediate family, respects the rule of law, guarantees secure national borders, ensures fairness to taxpayers, establishes a path toward legal status and/or citizenship for those who qualify and wish to become permanent residents.
The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference is the Hispanic Evangelical Association unifying, serving and representing the Hispanic Born Again Community via 34,200 member churches and 16 million constituents by reconciling the vertical and horizontal of the Christian message through the 7 Directives of Life, Family, Great Commission, Stewardship, Justice, Education and Youth.
SOURCE National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference