May 1 2013 12:00 AM

Faith community challenges U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, Congress to fix immigration policies

Sam Inglot/City Pulse

Wednesday, May 1 — Members of the faith community today delivered a “Protection Notice” to U.S. Rep Mike Rogers, R-Brighton, which called for “comprehensive immigration reform.”

In the parking lot of the Union Missionary Baptist Church on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, the Rev. Fred Thelen, pastor at Cristo Rey Church, spoke to a crowd of roughly 60 people who were there to support immigration reform.

“Communities and congregations are being torn apart” by deportation and detention, Thelen said. “It’s a wound on our soul.”

Moises Andrade, 28, was brought to the U.S. when he was 7 years old by his parents who were undocumented immigrants. He’s in the process of filing for citizenship. He said the U.S. is the only home he’s known, having grown up here since third grade.

“I don’t ask for a free pass — I just want a fair pass,” he said to the crowd. “It’s hard being a second-class citizen. I’m speaking up for the people who have no voice.”

The group walked across MLK to Rogers’ office to deliver a message calling on him and other members of Congress “to be a champion of comprehensive immigration reform that includes a fair and reasonable path to citizenship and protects our immigrant families and children from the abuses of our broken system.”

Rogers was not in his office, but Thalen delivered the message to one of his staffers.

Here’s a video of Thelen reading the message in its entirety.

Gamaliel of Michigan, a faith-based, nonpartisan political action group, organized the event. There were church groups from all over the state, including Lansing, Detroit, Saginaw and Battle Creek.