Lutheran leaders from across the country conducted more than 70 productive meetings on Capitol Hill and at the White House last Wednesday. Gathering for the annual Lutheran Immigration Leadership Summit, more than 40 leaders called for fair and virtuous immigration reform that reflects our values as Lutherans and as Americans. A letter to President Obama was ultimately signed, urging on him to take action.
The leaders had face-to-face conversations with more than 20 members of Congress and met with staff at more than 70 congressional offices.
Ten leaders also met with the President’s Domestic Policy Council and the Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships at the White House. A letter was delivered to President Obama after the meeting. Signed by 37 of the leaders, the letter thanked the President for his leadership on immigration reform, but also called on him to “ease the pain caused by unnecessarily high rates of detention and deportation.”
Throughout the day, the leaders shared stories with elected officials on how our nation’s broken immigration system creates a culture of fear in their communities. These stories, widespread across congregations, synods, and districts, surprised many of the congressional offices. Staff members in all offices said the stories were important to hear, they help elected officials decide how to vote. Staffers encouraged constituents to share their experiences through op-eds, letters to the editor, emails to their representatives and visiting their representatives’ local offices.
We are proud that as Lutherans and as part of the faith community, we continue to boldly advocate for immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship, humane enforcement of immigration laws, and protects family unity, vulnerable migrants, and workers.
We’ve written a press release on the visits and letter, which you can view here.