Immigration Reform: “A Moral Imperative”

Watch excerpts from President Obama’s May 12 speech at the National Hispanic Prayer Breakfast, along with comments by Rev. Luis Cortes Jr., president of Esperanza, a national faith-based network of Hispanic churches and ministries, and Bishop Orlando Findlayter, chairman of Churches United to Save and Heal, a coalition of churches in Brooklyn.


  • JonBouye

    We are currently allowing over 1 million immigrants into the US yearly now. The call for immigration reform is no more than a call for amensty for illegal immigrates to obtain US citizenship. As presented here and in other speaches I have heard the President and these ministers deliver the views they are espousing will do more harm than good to our national security, economy and the rule of law.

  • Barbara No California

    My only encounter with (possibly undocumented) Latinos has been in the hospitality industry, the majority have been friendly and industrious, some more then others as normal. However, I was surprised by the attitude of the men and women I met and their reluctance to assilimate into America’s way of life.
    Two different employers paid for English-language classes and paid employees to attend class, yet they refused to speak English but continued to speak Spanish while at work; as a manager it was very frustrating because they would appear or pretend not to understand specific direction. I knew that many of these individuals had lived in America for 10-15 years while raising families and buying homes here.
    Actually I believe, employers brought these problems on themselves by ignoring the obvious, as an excuse to pay them less and/or paying them under the table.
    In the mean time Latino children attend American schools and their families have access to free medical services; it really makes me wonder what message America is sending

  • Ted Jones

    The President did well to quote Deuteronomy, a taproot for Jews, Christians, and Muslims in embracing and protecting the strangers among us. Christians in particular are directed by Jesus of Nazareth to take the matter of embracing and protecting strangers further however: ” for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me. I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.” Asked when such hospitality had ever been extended to him Jesus astounded his listeners–as he still does readers of this passage–saying: “I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” The hospitality to strangers that God calls for from the people of the synagogue, church, and mosque is very radical: receive strangers as you would receive Me! And in Matthew 25:34 and 46 the capacity to so see God in strangers is what separates blessed communities from failing ones.
    Our nation once prided itself on being “the golden door” for those “tired and huddled masses yearning to breath free.” Now some press our Congress to “shut the door” against the poor from our closest neighbor states. Worse we hear voices from within urging us to “throw out through the door” the chiefly Hispanic poor of Central America who have taken up residence among us in search of the American dream. Surely we are a better people than that. Maintaining just and wise immigration laws over time is a complex business. Securing borders is a matter of shifting interpretations over time. However, the prospect of “rounding up” 100s of 1000s” of refugees we dub as illegal “aliens” with the intent of deporting “them” out of our consciousness into the oblivion of “where they came from” must become an intolerable outrage to the peoples of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The very act of contemplating such a course is, indeed, an offense against God and humanity.

  • Thos J Trotter 3rd

    Mr. Jones, I have news for you, our nation still is “the golden door”. We welcome LEGALLY into this country over
    a million people every year, and before you go espousing religious and christian principles about how we should
    enforce the law in our country, have a little consideration for those who have lost loved ones due to actions of
    illegal fugitives who have committed serious crimes and then fled back to their own countries. In my area alone we have had several brutal murders and traffic accidants caused by illegal immigrants who not only fled but did`nt even have a drivers license. Further, if these refugees as you so lovingly describe them, put as much effort in changing things in their own country as they put into trying to change our laws to accomodate them, they might
    not have to leave their homeland. A country has not only a duty, but a right to secure it`s borders and protect it`s
    citizens. There are people all over the world who would like to come here and they have to wait years and go through a process. Lets face it, be honest. This is all about economics, cheap labor and support of the church
    that is realing from lawsuits and in many cases in bankruptcy. The corruption and drug cartels that they routinely
    blame us for in Mexico is a failure of it`s own people from a long time ago to take control of their country. The
    problem is, it is spilling over into this country, and if we don`t do something soon, we too will loose control. Try entering Mexico illegally and see what happens to you. Nine years in jail to start with. The law is the law and if it
    dosent mean anything and we are not to enforce it, where dose it end and what kind of lawless society are you
    going to wind up with? One like Mexico`s? This is a Nation of laws and we intend to keep it that way.

  • Thomas J. Trotter 3rd

    Our nation still is the “golden door”. This is all bout economics and Obama is looking for votes. We have an immigration policy and we are the most welcoming country in the world bringing in over a million LEGAL citizens a year. There are thousands and thousands of people around the world that are waiting years to enter this country
    and they do it LEGALLY. This is a Nation of laws and as a Nation it has every right in the world to secure it`s borders, protect it`s citizens and allow in who they deem to be not to be fugitives. If hispanics put as much effort into changing the circumstances that caused them to flee their homeland as they do trying to change our laws to
    accomodate their illegal entry into our country, they would`nt have to flee. The corruption and drug cartels that
    they like to blame us for, is a result of loosing control of their own country and it is spilling into our country. Try entering Mexico illegally and see where it gets you. Nine years in jail, to start with. This is about cheap labor having to pay no benefits and corporate greed. The American dream is available to those who do it the right
    way, just like our ancesters did. This is a Nation of laws and we don`t change them to accomodate illegal actions.

  • Marileeza

    The prior two comments are discussing the comparison of “apples and oranges.” The speech, commentary and legislation refer to naturalization of children of illegal immigrants as a birthright after they have been assimilated and educated in this country. That should be the right of every individual born in the United States simply by virtue of their birth. The morality of individuals who are foreign is just as important as the morality of the American citizen. Acts of violence occur for those of all nationalities at various points in time. While I relate to and sympathize with those who live in close proximity with border jumper communities and disdain the illegal actions of drug cartels, etc. as well as criminal minds south of the border, that is quite a different matter indeed and one worthy of confrontation. However, they are two separate matters that should not be confused. Our moral fiber and religious conviction should compel us to acknowledge our responsible action to those innocents in need within the confines of our borders. Children should not be required to suffer for the errors of their parents. All nationalities make up the components of this country and must be treated fairly. Neither should extermination apply as the European has done to the indigenous inhabitants of this country. This is a crime toward humanity that American eventually must pay for. It behooves us all to work toward the goal of total assimilation.