Church World Service and National Immigration Advocates to Congress: Act Now on Reform

Washington, DC—Humanitarian agency Church World Service President and CEO the Rev. John McCullough called on God to “grant us the political and moral courage to truly love and embrace one another, to honor each other’s humanity,” yesterday at a national rally in Washington, D.C. in support of immigration reform.

CWS supports immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship and that protects family unity for the some 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States.

McCullough was joined by civil rights, labor and faith community leaders, including NAACP President Benjamin Jealous, whose keynote address highlighted the similarities between civil rights and immigrant rights. Jealous reminded the audience of a similar rally 50 years ago when Dr. Martin Luther King, along with the NAACP, called for an end to segregation and, with it, the end of the whites-only immigration policy.

Jealous’ refrain was “no second class families”: He said, “Let us ensure that every child who grows up here, who graduates college here is able to stay here, work here and raise their family here and be citizens of this country because in this country there will be no second class families.”

The rally, which attracted a lively and engaged crowd of thousands people, immigration reform advocates, lawmakers, undocumented workers, faith leaders, labor leaders and celebrities, was a show of support for immigration reform.

It occurred even as the Senate is expected to soon unveil its own immigration reform proposal.

Flanked by Democratic representatives from around the country, Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) urged supporters to give lawmakers “no place to hide.” He implored people to “push us and together we will deliver immigration reform this year.

During his inaugural speech in January President Obama again called on Congress to pass immigration reform.

For many years CWS has pressed for immigration reform that prioritizes family unity and provides a pathway to citizenship for undocumented people living and working in the U.S. Rev. McCullough called members of the faith community “who feel passionately about this issue,” to the Wednesday rally in an April 5 appeal saying, “There are certain moments in life in which a more visible demonstration is instrumental to the quest for justice.”

The Wednesday rally was thought to be the largest immigration gathering in at least seven years.
Church World Service and McCullough have been out front in recent Washington events on the immigration reform agenda and related media coverage. CWS has long offered immigration services across the U.S. and is one of just nine organizations the government works with to resettle refugees within the U.S: .