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Immigration rally slated March 21 in Washington

Washington, February 12, 2010 -- As part of the faith community’s campaign for immigration reform -- and in coordination with Ecumenical Advocacy Days -- the National Council of Churches and its partner humanitarian agency Church World Service are urging members of ecumenical congregations to join a March for America: Change Takes Courage and Faith, at 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 21, in Washington, D.C.  

Tens of thousands of people will gather on the West Lawn of the Capitol Building to send a message to President Obama and to Congress: the time to fix our broken immigration system is now. 

“We hope to show the moral urgency of repairing America’s broken immigration system,” said David Leslie, chair of the NCC/CWS Task Force on Immigration.  “This will be demonstrated in a dramatic display of unity among supporters of comprehensive immigration reform – people of faith, immigrant rights groups, labor groups, and others from all across the United States,” Leslie said, noting that people of faith have been hosting prayer vigils and potluck suppers and meeting with members of Congress in their home districts for months.

“Help us keep this momentum by joining us for this great action in Washington,” he added.  Leslie is executive director of Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon, located in Portland. 

Wesley “Pat” Pattillo, NCC’s program director for Justice and Advocacy, asked the Council’s friends to “recruit as many people as you possibly can in your home communities to join us in  Washington on Sunday afternoon, March 21. Come make your voice heard in the White House and on Capitol Hill.  Let’s do all we can to win the enactment of just and humane immigration reform,” Pattillo said.  

The rally on the Capitol grounds will be one of the highlights of this year’s Ecumenical Advocacy Days, a weekend of seminars and addresses centered on the topic of “Migration.”  Up to 700 participants are expected for Advocacy Days, to be held March 19-22 at the Doubletree Hotel-Crystal City in Arlington, VA.   

For more information about EAD and the March for America on March 21, go to and  You also may contact National Grassroots Coordinator Yvette Schock at to learn about these and other opportunities to advocate for immigration reform.  Further general information and resources on immigration reform can be found on the NCC website at

NCC News contact:  Philip E. Jenks, 212-870-2228 (office), 646-853-4212 (cell) ,

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