February 5, 2015
The Immigration Alliance joins with NaLEC to launch program to provide legal information to immigrants
Campaign to develop church-based legal information centers kicks off at upcoming NaLEC immigration rallies
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — February 5, 2015: The Immigration Alliance today announced a new national campaign in partnership with the National Latino Evangelical Coalition (NaLEC) to recruit and resource churches to serve as legal information centers for immigrants. This Ambassador Churches program is part of The Immigration Alliance’s mission to equip local churches across the country to provide immigration legal services to under-resourced immigrants.
There has never been a greater need for reliable immigration legal information and services following the President’s Executive Order. It is estimated that approximately five million non-citizen immigrants may be eligible to apply for benefits from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services following the President’s action.
In response, The Immigration Alliance and NaLEC are utilizing their expansive network to launch church-based legal information centers. Participating churches will work with local partners to provide access to information about the new immigration requirements and how to avoid fraud. In addition, pastors and volunteers will be trained to serve as immigration advocates in their communities.
“With misinformation circulating about immigration reform, immigrants are looking for a trustworthy place to turn for reliable information,” The Immigration Alliance Board Member and NaLEC President Rev. Dr. Gabriel Salguero said. “Evangelical churches have a long history of serving immigrants and have become a trusted source. Our new Ambassador Churches program will equip churches to help immigrants navigate the new immigration rules and processes.”
The campaign will launch in conjunction with a series of rallies on immigration reform executive action hosted by NaLEC and featuring Congressman Luis Gutierrez in some of the following cities:
- February 7: Lindale Assembly of God, Houston, Texas
- February 20/21: Stanford, Connecticut
- February 28: Iglesia de Dios M.I., Tampa, Florida
- March 1: El Calvario, Orlando, Florida
The rally tour will include public events, workshops and other activities to educate immigrants and the broader community about the President’s Executive Order on Immigration. The goal is to prepare families to apply for relief from deportation when applications become available later this year.
“The Immigration Alliance is equipping churches – large and small, urban and rural – to care for immigrants by providing reliable information and authorized legal services.” The Immigration Alliance incoming Executive Director Dr. Alejandro Mandes said. “For us this is the tangible part of the great commandment of showing the love of Christ to a neighbor in need.”
Churches who are interested in learning more about the campaign can also participate in upcoming national live-streaming trainings. The Immigration Alliance will be providing tools such as bi-lingual training videos, marketing materials and social media kits to participating Ambassador Churches. Additional campaign events and resources will be added to our website at www.theimmigrationalliance.org/events.
In addition to the new Ambassador Churches campaign, The Immigration Alliance is aiming to serve one million immigrants through its church-based legal service sites by 2020. These sites provide services to immigrants including: low-cost legal counsel on immigration-related matters; support determining eligibility for immigration benefits; and assistance in preparing applications for immigration legal status.
About The Immigration Alliance
Now a coalition of 17 evangelical church-based organizations, representing more than 30,000 churches, The Immigration Alliance was formed as part of the evangelical Christian community’s longstanding commitment to serving immigrants holistically, a philosophy that has been underway for more than 28 years. With 33 church-based immigrant legal services sites already in operation and many more in the pipeline, The Immigration Alliance dreams of serving 1,000,000 immigrants through as many as 1,000 church-based immigrant legal sites by 2020. This will only be possible by a movement of God working through many denominations and organizations.
For more information about The Immigration Alliance, visit www.theimmigrationalliance.org.