Letter 19 To President Obama – Immigration Reform Now!

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Pope Francis on Thursday with Cardinal Santos Abril of Spain, left, and Cardinal Agostino Vallini, the Vicar General of Rome. (Reuters image)
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Mar. 15, 2013: Dear Mr. President,
Now that you have congratulated the new Holy See and the first Latin American pope, former Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina and son of Italian immigrants, Pope Francis, it’s time to invite him to the United States to help in the battle for immigration reform.

There is no denying that the pontiff may be able soften the hearts of many, including those Tea Party right wingers who still feel there should be no help for the poor struggling 11.2 million who need legal status in this country.

And now that leading evangelicals, who want to overhaul the nation’s immigration laws have launched a new ad campaign on 15 Christian radio stations, and Clergy United to Save and Heal, a Caribbean Clergy Faith Based Network of over 100 churches, announced a pro-immigration rally on D.C. on March 20th, it is the perfect moment to use Faith Power!

The power of three different networks of faiths combined cannot be underestimated.

With over 500 million in the Americas, including North, South, Central and the Caribbean, the Catholic Church’s power is boundless. Catholics also comprise about 29% of those members of the House and Senate, or about a quarter.

And the Church has long supported immigration reform in the U.S. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has argued consistently against “enforcement only” immigration policies and instead for comprehensive immigration reform.

So it’s likely that under Pope Francis, this position will not change, since former Cardinal Bergoglio has been an advocate of the poor for most of his service in the Church and his adoption of the name of St. Francis of Assisi strongly indicates the future he wants to bring to the faithful. This means that the poor undocumented immigrants who are desperate for reform in the United States, will not go unnoticed by the pontiff.

Evangelicals total 50,013,107 in the U.S. and can sway the ear of Republicans in the Bible Belt, including in Southern states like South Carolina, where the pro immigration reform ads are being run. More than 25 percent of Congress is made up of Evangelical Christians and The Tea Party is made up of more Evangelicals than the rest of the House. About 45 percent of the Tea Party caucus attends an Evangelical church, compared to 13 percent of others in the House. Another 30 percent are mainline Protestants, mostly of a largely Southern variety.

The Caribbean Clergy Faith-Based Network represents over a million or so nationwide.

That’s a lot of votes and a lot of power! Great faith-filled power! Now it’s time to harness this divine power if you really are serious about making reform a reality by the spring or at least, June and let’s get to work to ensure those House votes match those in the Senate and the bill passes and can become law!


Felicia Persaud

The writer is founder of NewsAmericasNow, CaribPR Wire and Hard Beat Communications.