Some thirty evangelical pastors, seminary teachers and relatives of undocumented immigrants demonstrated yesterday in front of Imigration building in Los Angeles, California, to pray for a solution for “dreamers” and beneficiaries of the Temporary Protection System (TPS), thus initiating a fast of 36 hours during Holy Week.
The main objective of this demonstration, said the religious, was “to transform the hearts of the American rulers so that they solve the situation of millions of undocumented immigrants in the United States”, with special emphasis on those to whom the government of Donald Trump canceled them. TPS and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
“If with the prayer of Moses the Red Sea was opened so that the nation of Israel could be saved from the persecution of the Egyptians, because we have faith with our prayers,” said Melvin Valiente, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Maywood. , California, adding that “something is going to happen in favor of our immigrant brothers and sisters.”
“That is why today we began a day of fasting and prayer, for 36 hours, in front of the federal building of the Immigration and Citizenship Service (USCIS).” We will be joined by congregations in their churches to ask for immigration reform, “he said.
The protesters began fasting and praying with relay groups, to stay until tomorrow night in front of the building in the city of Los Angeles.
“God works in two ways: number one, he changes the hearts of the rulers, and if the rulers do not change, then change the rulers,” said Valiente.
“This is an evangelical movement at the national level led by pastors with influence in the government cabinet, and we are all asking for immigration reform,” he said.
Guillermo Torres, spokesman for the organization of Clerics and Lay People for Economic Justice (CLUE), told Efe that “Holy Week is a sacred time for all Christians in the world, that’s why (we do) our day of prayer and fasting in front of the migra building “.
Fasting participants sing chants of the Protestant Christian faith on the sidewalk, in front of government offices, and carry placards with messages such as “Una Voz Evangélica” and “Network of Pastors and Latino Leaders of Southern California.”
For her part, Pastor Ada Valiente, of the First Baptist Church of Maywood, said that in the evangelical temples they see “a lot of suffering due to the raids, deportations and the expiration of work permits that can no longer be renewed.”
“Prayer has the power to change nations and the only thing we have to do is pray and believe so God can do the work,” he concluded.
The beneficiaries of the DACA program, approved by President Barack Obama in 2012, number around 800,000.
People with work and stay permits carrying a TPS, according to USCIS figures, are 439,625, among which the largest group is Salvadorans, with 263,282 registered immigrants, but to whom the current Administration canceled such status in January. this year.
They are followed by Hondurans (86.1639), then Haitians (58.706) and Nicaraguans (5.349).