National evangelicals missing from DREAM Act Jericho walk

Liz Goodwin

Immigration activists are on the second day of a "Jericho march," where supporters walk around the Capitol building for an hour each day in a reenactment of the biblical march on Jericho. The activists want to convince senators to support the DREAM Act, which would provide a path to legalization for young immigrants who want to join the military or attend college.

As the Old Testament story goes, the Israeli army marched around Jericho blaring trumpets for six days until the walls fell down.

"We see it as symbolic--breaking down all the barriers that are obstructing our path to reaching our dreams," Lucy Martinez, a 19-year-old University of Texas student who was brought the country illegally as a young child, tells the Lookout. Martinez ended her weeks-long hunger strike last week, after the House narrowly passed the DREAM Act. She says about 50 people marched today.

Tomorrow, several faith leaders in Texas and a few other states are joining the students in their march and will then attempt to meet with senators from their state to encourage them to pass the legislation.

But many national evangelical leaders, like Dr. Richard Land and Rev. Sammy Rodriguez, who have outspokenly advocated for comprehensive immigration reform in the past, will not attend the march. The spokesman for the National Association of Evangelicals, Galen Carey, tells The Lookout leaders of his organization are instead "working behind the scenes" and urging constituents to call their senators and tell them to support the bill.

Kristen Ford, a spokeswoman for the Faith in Public Life strategy firm that is organizing the march, said she reached out to some of the evangelical leaders, but that the point of the event is to elevate the voices of lesser-known religious figures in states like Texas, where senators are seen as swing votes on the issue.

The bill faces a tough road in the Senate, where a super majority of 60 votes is needed to prevent a filibuster, but conservative commentator Michelle Malkin and others who say the bill is amnesty are encouraging opponents to call swing senators just in case.

(Pro-DREAM Act protesters hold a candlelight vigil in L.A.: AP.)