FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Fraternidad de Concilios y Entidades Evangélicas (FRACEEV).
January 26, 2022
Contact: Agustín Quiles
FRACEEV, the Florida Fellowship of Hispanic Bishops and Evangelical Institutions oppose Governor Ron DeSantis’ Executive Order and SB1808 Against Migrant Children.
Orlando-FL. The Florida Fellowship of Hispanic Bishops and Evangelical Institutions (FRACEEV) , a coalition of Latino evangelical bishops and pastors who represent approximately 2,500 churches in Florida, sent letters to Governor Ron DeSantis and Florida state legislators to state their position in regards to migrant children.
Bishop Angel Marcial, President of FRACEEV states in the letter sent to Governor De Santis, a great concern that the State of Florida is adopting policies that send the message that migrant children are not welcome here. The cornerstone of caring for children is based on the biblical mandate in Proverbs 22:6.
“Our churches focus on children for good reason. The morality of our society is judged by how we care for children. Instruct a child in his career; even when he grows old, he will not depart from it.” Bishop Angel Marcial, President of FRACEEV
The Rev. Nino Gonzalez, Vice-president of FRACEEV commented that the recent executive order by Governor DeSantis on “unauthorized aliens” prohibits unaccompanied children under federal protection from being admitted and protected in our state.
“The pending legislation SB 1808, would potentially prohibit much of the immigrant and refugee ministries we participate in, either directly or through the agencies we support, by prohibiting the transportation of such persons by common carrier.” Rev. Nino Gonzalez Vice-president of FRACEEV
The Rev. David Rivera, Senior Pastor of Iglesia De Dios Pentecostal M.I., a congregation of about 1,000 members in Tampa and who runs a shelter for migrant children says:
“The children in our program have gone through a traumatic experience when they cross the border. They don’t know why they are here and they don’t know what they are coming for. Many arrive crying and suffering from separation from their families. It breaks our hearts when they express their gratitude that in the church, they have a family and feel safe, protected from the coyotes (criminals) who threaten to kill them and their families.” Rev. David Rivera, Senior Pastor of Iglesia De Dios Pentecostal M.I.
The Rev. Illean Caraballo, President of the Central Florida Ministers Association which makes up about 500 churches and FRACEEV executive board member is concerned that SB 1808/HB 1355 introduced by Senator Bean and Representative Snyder includes an immigration proposal that would hurt local governments by dictating their municipal contracts and forcing law enforcement agencies to waste taxpayer money to enter into federal immigration agreements.
“This bill will also reduce travel to our state, further hurting our economy and harm immigrant children by preventing them from being reunited with their families residing in Florida.” The Rev. Illean Caraballo, President of the Central Florida Ministers Association
Mr. Agustin Quiles, FRACEEV’s Government & Community Affairs Director, concludes that their organization will continue to monitor these and other important bills and are prepared to mobilize hundreds of pastors and church leaders to write letters, make phone calls and meet face-to-face with their legislators in Tallahassee.
“It is time for the moral, ethical and prophetic voice of evangelicals in our state to be heard at the highest spheres. FRACEEV’s large statewide coalition has the ability to influence and impact policies that affect our communities in ways that national organizations are unable to do. We are ready to mobilize our pastors for change.” Agustin Quiles, FRACEEV’s Government & Community Affairs Director