Immigration reform rally in LA today
LOS ANGELES (CNS) – Los Angeles religious leaders united today in an interfaith prayer service to call for immigration reform, with several saying immigrants need the support of all Americans.
The service featured representatives from the Catholic and Lutheran church and the Jewish and Islamic communities.
“Our public officials (need) to understand the issue of immigration,” Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez said. “It is not just an economic issue or a social issue or a political issue. It is a human issue.”
Brother Shakeel Syed, executive director of the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California, said he is the son of an immigrant.
“The president must continue the work in fixing the utterly broken immigration system by a pathway to citizenship for all of the 11 million brothers and sisters,” Syed said.
Bishop Guy Erwin of the Southwest California Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church said migrants and refugees deserve help and support.
“My church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America calls on the United States government for rapid action toward fair and compassionate immigration reform,” Erwin said.
Rabbi Mark Diamond, regional director of the American Jewish Committee, says his ancestors knew the pain and anguish of being unwelcome strangers in a strange land.
“We must never, ever do that to others,” Diamond said.
Activists have been pushing for immigration reform to become a topic of debate in Congress this year. Groups, including several in Los Angeles, have been decrying the Obama administration’s deportation policies.
President Barack Obama last month asked the Department of Homeland Security to review its immigration enforcement policies. Obama had contended that any action to reign in deportations would need to come from Congress.