November 20, 2014. The Reverend Luis Cortes was in Washington D.C. today as a guest at the White House, where he joined a small group of leaders from around the country in a private meeting with President Obama prior to the impending announcement about executive action on immigration reform.
About the meeting with the President, Reverend Cortes states:
“I had the opportunity to meet at the White House to discuss the President’s impending executive action on immigration and to pray for the future of our nation on this issue, together with the President and a small group of faith and civic leaders gathered in the Roosevelt Room. White House staff shared with us the President’s concern that this would be interpreted as a ‘unilateral action,’ but he assured us that both his legal counsel and national legal experts all concur that he is correct in moving this forward. He is also clear that this executive action is in the tradition of Presidents Eisenhower, Reagan and Bush; and that it is being done to secure our nation’s borders, and to enhance both our security and economy, as we will have better controls over who is in this country and their responsibility to pay taxes. This will also allow us to focus our nation’s resources on catching those who are crossing our borders illegally, and it is estimated to raise nearly $45 billion in the next six years in tax revenues from those who have been working in an underground economy. The President stated several times that ‘…this is the first step, and I am hopeful Congress will focus on completing the job;’ he noted that only Congress can finish the job. Let’s hope our Congress will finish this; after fourteen years of waiting for reform, I am hopeful we can unite as Americans, discuss the issue, find areas of agreement, and move immigration reform off our national to-do list.”
The Reverend Cortes and Esperanza have been active advocates for sensible, compassionate, and just immigration reform for nearly two decades, tirelessly encouraging our elected officials to pass legislation that will fix our country’s broken immigration system. We believe a solution is within our reach that both respects the rule of law and treats immigrants with dignity, while also keeping families together and recognizing the impact of immigration on our country’s economy. We are hopeful that the President’s action will serve as just the first step toward long-term solutions, and we urge our Congress to also move forward with reform that will lead us toward a stronger, more unified, and more prosperous nation.
Esperanza will not only continue to push for systemic reform, but also stands ready to support immigrants once new laws are passed. We will work with the Hispanic clergy and church community around the country to help immigrants with any new process they must follow as a result of changes to the system. We also invite you to join the dialogue about immigration reform at the National Hispanic Prayer Breakfast and Conference in Washington D.C. from June 16-18, 2015. Visit our website at www.esperanza.us for more information.
Esperanza, the premiere Hispanic Evangelical faith-based network in the country, was founded in 1987 by the Reverend Luis Cortés Jr. and the Hispanic Clergy of Philadelphia and Vicinity. With a national network of over 13,000 Hispanic congregations, faith and community based agencies, Esperanza is a leading voice for Hispanics in America. To read more, please visit www.esperanza.us.