Religious leaders, followers call for immigration reform

Chicago-CIR-gatheringBy Francine Knowles, Chicago Sun-Times
Inside a government building in Broadview, Elena Segura was focused on comforting and counseling people. Within the hour, their loved ones -- illegal immigrants -- were going to be shackled and deported.

Outside, dozens of religious leaders and congregants from various faiths called on a higher power for change.

From Evangelicals making $250,000 ad buys, to praying protesters outside U.S. deportation facilities, to Muslim leaders and other interfaith groups holding press conferences calling out politicians, religious leaders and their flock have been vocal and active in pushing for compassionate comprehensive immigration reform.

Some represent religious institutions with significant numbers of members who are undocumented or have family or friends who are, but others have few if any such congregants. The need for reform is a religious, moral and family issue, the leaders say. ...

Ahmed Rehab, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations-Chicago, has given more than 100 speeches on the issue in the past few years.

"Families are broken; individuals are devastated," he said. "They're just human beings trying to make it. They're arrested and deported without any account for who they leave behind or how their lives are affected.

"Social justice is a core belief in the Islamic faith, especially for those in a position of weakness. We're encouraged to stand by them."

But are leaders' views in line with most of their flock? Ahmed says for Muslims, he believes they are. (Read the full article)