President Obama at the White House Wednesday hosted faith leaders who “offered prayers that we as a nation would achieve” comprehensive immigration reform, hoping to pressure Republicans to act on the stalled legislation.
The White House has reached out to religious groups, business interests and other Republican-aligned backers, trying to paint the House GOP as outside the mainstream on the issue of immigration.
“The president commended the faith leaders for their tireless efforts in sharing their stories with Congress,” the White House said in a readout of the meeting. “He noted there is no reason for House Republicans to continue to delay action on this issue that has garnered bipartisan support.”
As the White House pushed the Senate-passed immigration bill, however, Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, announced Wednesday that the lower chamber would not take the Senate plan to conference.
Vice President Biden, senior adviser Valerie Jarrett and Cecilia Muñoz, director of the White House’s Domestic Policy Council, also attended the meeting.
Faith leaders who attended the meeting included:
• Leith Anderson, president, National Association of Evangelicals
• Eusebio Elizondo, auxiliary bishop, Archdiocese of Seattle
• Joel Hunter, senior pastor, Northland Church, Orlando, Fla.
• Hyepin Im, president and CEO, Korean Churches for Community Development, Los Angeles, Calif.
• Mike McClenahan, senior pastor, Solana Beach Presbyterian Church, Solana Beach, Calif.
• Russell Moore, president, Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, Nashville, Tenn.
• Rev. Gabriel Salguero, president, National Latino Evangelical Coalition
• Jim Wallis, president and CEO, Sojourners