Today, Ohio Evangelical leaders came together to show their support for a talented young DREAM Act – eligible man currently at risk of deportation. His name is Bernard Pastor, and he has been in detention for weeks now, as members of his church, school, and community rally their voices to free him.
This is a message from Bernard read by his sister, Regina, on today’s media call:
“There is hope for me yet because God won’t forget all the plans he’s made for me. He’s not finished with me yet.”
This morning, evangelical leaders from across Ohio joined their voices in a unified call for the DREAM Act and stood in solidarity with 18-year-old Bernard Pastor, a star student and athlete from Reading, OH who was detained after a minor traffic accident and faces deportation to Guatemala, a country his family fled when he was only 3 years old.
The press call included a powerful statement written by Bernard from jail and read by his 22-year-old sister, as well as moving remarks from several members of the clergy.
Listen to comments from Rev. Troy Jackson:
Rev. Troy Jackson of University Christian Church in Cincinnati, who moderated the call and is a friend of FPL, has been an outspoken advocate for the DREAM Act and comprehensive immigration reform for a long time and sees Bernard’s story as the rallying cry our country needs to do the right thing.
Troy, a scholar of the Civil Rights movement as well as a pastor, noted that moments of clarity for our culture often come from seeing firsthand the ways a broken system harms children. Troy said that moment of clarity for civil rights came in 1963, when Bull Connor unleashed attack dogs and fire hoses on children, and that the injustice Bernard is facing is tantamount to the abuse those children faced in 1963.
Powerfully, Troy finished the call, saying:
“I know that certain members of Congress have threatened to hold up all legislation until tax cuts are enacted. To hold up an act that would free Bernard and rectify an unjust situation until tax cuts for the rich are passed, is the height of injustice, a dereliction of duty.”
You can support Bernard by pledging to join the nationwide prayer vigil for him this Saturday at PrayforBernard.org.
Keep reading for Bernard’s letter (from jail):