On April 2, 2014, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service hosted the third annual Lutheran Immigration Leadership Summit. A total of 42 participants from around the US attended the summit to help them become better leaders within their communities.
“Our broken immigration laws have torn families apart, detained hard-working mothers and fathers, and held back aspiring young adults,” said Linda Hartke, LIRS President and CEO. This Leadership Summit is one way that faith-filled leaders are putting their faith into action by boldly standing for welcome.
Leaders came from around the US and represented the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and Lutheran ministry organizations.
During the summit, 42 Lutheran leaders visited lawmakers on Capitol Hill and the White House calling for compassionate immigration reform. These leaders had conversations with more than 20 members of Congress, including House and Senate leadership and members of Congress who themselves are Lutheran.
Additionally, a group of ten leaders met with the President’s Domestic Policy Council and the Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships at the White House. A letter signed by 37 of the leaders was delivered to President Obama. The letter thanked President Obama for his leadership on immigration reform, but also asked him to “ease the pain caused by unnecessarily high rates of detention and deportation.”
Bishop Gordy, of the Southeastern Synod, ELCA reflected, “One way we live out our faith is by advocating for justice for all people. We are a nation of immigrants. We are an immigrant church. Our current immigration policy belies this heritage and denies us the energy of newcomers.”
We are grateful to these leaders for representing the faith community who are committed to advocating for immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship, humane enforcement of immigration laws, and protects family unity, vulnerable migrants, and workers.