Template:TOCnestleft Joel Hunter
Jim Wallis, president of Sojourners, a progressive Christian social justice group, said that the meeting did not dwell on the specifics of the political challenges facing reform, but rather was the result of the president's curiosity on how the issue had been discussed within the faith community.
"It was a conversation with President Obama about immigration reform and how this has really united the faith community across our boundaries," Wallis told The Christian Post.
According to a White House press release, Obama "and the leaders discussed their shared commitment to raise the moral imperative for immigration reform and said they will continue keeping the pressure on Congress so they can swiftly pass commonsense reform."
Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, who was also present at the meeting, praised Obama for "taking time to listen and dialogue on an issue of concern to many of us" and said that immigration seemed to be one of the few issues that transcended the politically divided United States.
"My message to the president is that there are many things that divide us as a country, but on this issue we have a remarkable consensus that the system is broken and the government isn't doing its job to keep the border secure, to shore up the economic health of the country, and to keep track of who is and isn't legally here," said Moore in a statement from the Evangelical Immigration Table.
Gabriel Salguero, president of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition, was grateful that the president had created space for leaders to "express the urgency the evangelical community feels around immigration reform."
"It was important to express our ongoing commitment to a bipartisan solution. We hope that our legislators continue to hear our prayers and listen to their constituents, who overwhelmingly favor commonsense immigration reform," said Salguero in a statement.
Other Christian leaders at the meeting were Hyepin Im, president and CEO of the California-based Korean Churches for Community Development, Eusebio Elizondo, auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Seattle, Leith Anderson, president of the National Association of Evangelicals, Joel Hunter, a Florida senior pastor at Northland and an Obama advisor, and Mike McClenahan, a California senior pastor at Solana Beach Presbyterian Church.
Obama's Faith Council
As at March 15, 2010, President Obama's White House Advisory Council on Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships included Hunter.