The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC) accomplished something incredible in recent weeks: They've managed to influence both President Donald Trump and Speaker Nancy Pelosi on matters of immigration.
CBN's David Brody reports that about three weeks ago, Pelosi called top leaders at NHCLC to discuss her concerns with the Trump administration's planned raids on illegal immigrants. Multiple news reports indicated that millions of people would be deported and families would be separated.
CBN reports that Pelosi's plea to NHCLC worked:
A source with knowledge of the immigration discussions between House leadership and the Hispanic evangelical community tells CBN News that the Pelosi phone call was to top leaders at the NHCLC with a desperate plea to have them convince the White House to pull back on the impending raids, which at the time was reported to involve millions of deportations. The NHCLC did indeed pick up the phone and dialed 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. A source close to the White House acknowledges that the NHCLC discussed the impending raids with administration officials and they were assured that the activity by Immigration and Customs Enforcement would be limited in scope, targeting a few thousand illegal immigrants who had defied court orders to deport, not millions.
The raids officially began Sunday and will continue throughout the next few weeks, according to reports. But they are focused on illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. recently and missed their orders to appear in court.
Pelosi attributed Trump's decision to tone down the initial raids to NHCLC's intervention.
"They were very concerned that this goes too far because these raids were not what they signed up for with President Trump. And I think their calls to the president made a difference," Politico reports Pelosi saying. "Hopefully the president will think again about it or these groups will weigh in once again."
NHCLC has long espoused a compassionate approach to immigration that still honors the rule of law. Several months ago, the evangelical organization published a proposal for immigration reform:
Illegal immigration has been festering for decades. Much of the blame rests on our political leaders who have refused to enforce the law. But we now have a chance to fix it. Millions of employers of immigrants, as well as the Hispanic community and Christians, will rally around a plan that combines rule of law, decency and common sense.
To speak in biblical language, the immigration cause no longer resides in the Egypt of political apathy or the desert of expediency. Today, this just cause stands before the Jordan called reform. With prophetic courage, spiritual fortitude and political will, we can cross into the promise land of "Just Integration." This will protect our values, our borders and the American dream for future generations.
As Christians, we believe it is time to reconcile border security with the security of our values—values that include faith and family.
NHCLC President Samuel Rodriguez has long had an influential relationship with Trump. He prayed at Trump's inauguration and says he made sure to do so in "the most transformative name in all of the universe—the name of Jesus."
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