A prominent United States-based Latino evangelical coalition and its leader, Samuel Rodriguez, are calling for an end to the government shutdown that will see both funding for President Donald Trump’s border wall and protection for Dreamers.
Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference and pastor of New Season Church in Sacramento, issued a statement Monday night calling on members of Congress to “fund the wall” and “give us DACA [Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals].”
DACA was an Obama-era program to give legal status to unauthorized immigrants who were brought to the United States as minors.
Rodriguez’s statement comes as several federal agencies are in a weeks long partial federal government shutdown that began on Dec. 22.
As Trump continues to holdout for additional border wall funding, some speculate that protections for certain immigrants brought into the United States illegally could be a potential “political tradeoff” that could end the shutdown.
“As week three of the current government shutdown drags on, we at the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC) believe now is the time to come together as a nation, and we must do so quickly,” Rodriguez’s statement reads. “We can and we must seize upon one of the great debates of our time, and chisel from the hard stone of division just the sort of compromise which has built the foundations of our national unity so many times before.”
Rodriguez is calling on Americans “stop oversimplifying” the immigration debate and to stop making it an issue of “right and wrong” and “us versus them.”
“We are unified as a nation not when we agree on specific policies, but rather when we hold fast to the same civic rules on how to reach conclusions to our most difficult questions,” Rodriguez asserted.
He added that people on both sides of the debate think they know what is best for the country.
“In that spirit, and in joining with millions of Hispanic Americans all across the country, the NHCLC urgently calls upon both Democrats and Republicans to end our current impasse,” Rodriguez said. “We urge Democrats to fund the president’s calls for increased border security, and we likewise call on Republicans to provide a permanent solution for Dreamers.”
The Washington Post reports that the Trump White House sent a letter Sunday maintaining its demand for upwards of $5.7 billion for the construction of about 234 miles of barriers on the southern border.
Russell T. Vought, acting director of the Office of Management and Budget, wrote in the letter that the barriers are “central to any strategy.”
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith