|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Thursday, October 24, 2013
As Obama Doubles Down on Immigration Reform, Arizona Families Commit to Full Week of Prayer for Boehner
As the House Speaker leaves Washington, Arizona families committed to immigration reform begin journey to Ohio to continue vigil for Boehner at home
WASHINGTON — Following a White House press conference in which President Obama urged Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform a group of more than 50 people who drove from Arizona to engage Speaker of the House John Boehner in a conversation about the urgent need for immigration reform that protects families, are preparing to follow Boehner to his district after he refused to meet with them as they held nearly a constant prayer vigil outside his office for the last two days. The group gathered at the White House this morning to hold vigil during the president’s address. Watch Video of Arizona Leaders En Route to Ohio http://youtu.be/6EzVFuTzsF4
“We are heartened by the president’s words today and we will continue to have faith that our families can be delivered from their suffering. We’ve had great success engaging other members of Congress, lifting them up in prayer, hoping that God will give them the strength to do right by the Arizona families that are suffering,” said Reyna Montoya, a DREAMer and an ASU graduate who has been separated by her family before. “When we got on that bus in Arizona we pledged to spend this whole week in prayer as a way to engage Speaker Boehner, so we are going to spend this whole week in prayer even if it means traveling to Ohio to continue our vigil.”
The families have reached out to other Members of Congress going door to door to their offices asking to pray with the member and with staff and calling on them to reach out to Boehner and ask him to bring immigration legislation to a vote. They met with Paul Ryan (R-WI), Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID), Rep. David Schweikert (R- AZ), Rep. Trent Franks (R- AZ), Rep. Steven Horsford (D- NV), Rep. Darrel Issa (R-CA), Rep. Joe Garcia (D-FL), Rep. Adam Smith (D- WA) and Rep. Julian Castro (D- TX).
Congressmen Ed Pastor (D-AZ), Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Rep. Juan Vargas (D-CA), Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ) prayed with the families outside of Boehner’s office. They also prayed with staff at dozens of offices, among them Rep. Cory Gardner (R-CO), Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA).
“Jesus told a parable that said we should be persistent in prayer and persistent, like the widow, in seeking justice,” said Mario Montoya, Reyna’s father who was detained for eight months until community action reunited him with his daughter. “We saw this week that our conversations were honest and respectful. Everywhere we went someone wanted to do something, but they all pointed their fingers to Boehner or blamed the other party. We are asking our Congressmen of both parties to listen to what is right, just by God and country.
“Our persistence has brought us to Washington from Arizona, it has held us outside the Speaker’s office in prayer for days and it will bring us to Ohio. We will never stop praying for our leaders to keep our families together and not continue to sanction their brutal separation by inaction.”
Media RSVP: These Arizona pilgrims are available to share their stories and their plans to travel to Boehner’s office in Ohio. Media should contact Michele Rudy, firstname.lastname@example.org, and (857) 919-3574