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Wednesday, December 01, 2021

Advocates for immigration reform have one more thing to be thankful for this year. After many political ups and downs, President Barack Obama made an executive order on immigration reform. And just in time for the holidays.

Families have been separated from loved ones due to their illegal status. Growing up in a primarily immigrant Latino community, I have seen my friends, who were born in the U.S., lose their parents to deportation over a traffic violation. My parents have helped try to bring parents back to their children as pastors in the community. When immigrant parents are deported the children become, "American orphans that the government orphaned,” according to "The Stranger," a documentary by the Evangelical Immigration Table. 

The National Latino Evangelical Coalition (NaLEC) is a national coalition that advocates for immigration reform, education and against poverty based on biblical principles. This coalition strives to love people and pursue justice and has been a voice to the voiceless. NaLEC is moving forward to help immigrants become familiar with Obama’s new plan.

Obama said he believes the immigration system is broken. He proposed to grant a faster process for DREAMers, children who were brought here illegally by their parents, to gain citizenship by going to college or joining the Armed Forces for two years. The president wants to reunite families and create a provisional legal status for immigrants willing to comply with regulations, such as pass criminal background checks and pay a penalty. 

I'm glad Obama decided to make an executive decision on immigration reform. This has given hope to many undocumented immigrants who have been living in this country for more than 10 years. If you would like to advocate for immigration reform, join the cause at www.nalec.org.

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