Rev. Luis Cortes, Jr. Calls for Calm
“Violence is counter-productive.”
“Follow our faith and follow our country’s long tradition of peaceful protests.”
PHILADELPHIA, April 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Today Reverend Luis Cortes, Jr., Esperanza president, called for people across America to stand down and think twice before peaceful protests turn violent.
“We are all angry at Arizona politicians — especially Arizona Gov. Brewer — for enacting legislation so extreme that driving while Hispanic is now a stoppable offense.
“But let’s remember why we’re all here — why our fathers and grandmothers and great-grandparents first came to America. We are here because we love this country. We are so angry with Arizona because we trust and believe in America’s fairness and equal opportunities.
“The Arizona law is going to court. Attorney General Holder announced he may file suit. MALDEF has hired the attorney that overthrew California’s Prop 187. We will prevail in the courts.
“Swastikas and rock-throwing have no place in this debate. I am shocked and disappointed. Actions like these reduce us all.
“We denounce violence. Violent acts will only reinforce anti-immigrant beliefs. I ask all our people — especially our youth — to channel their energy into non-violent protests. Remember, ultimately, it is Congress who has the power and Congress who has the responsibility to permanently fix our broken immigration system.
“Freedom is worth fighting for — but fight so it counts. Pick up your phone, call your Congressman, call your Senator and tell them to fix this mess: (202) 224-3121. Join Esperanza for America (esperanzaforamerica.com; esperanzaparaamerica.com).
“This weekend there will be protests all across the country. We will follow our faith and our country’s long tradition of peaceful protests. We will get arrested praying. We will get arrested carrying American flags.
“And we will prevail because right is on our side.”
Esperanza is the largest Hispanic faith-based network in the country. With a national network of over 12,000 Hispanic congregations, faith- and community-based agencies, Esperanza is a leading voice for Hispanics in America. Esperanza for America is a national grassroots immigration campaign.