“End the gridlock,” Rod Parsley Chastises Congress From Border

Rod Parsley

Following a tour of America’s largest border patrol facility last Friday, pastor and TV host Rod Parsley says three decades of lawmakers’ inaction must end. Parsley led a delegation of pastors from his City Harvest Network and the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC) on a visit to McAllen, Texas, speaking afterward about the “vast humanitarian crisis” along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Saying he was “humbled, hurt, outraged,” Parsley directed his anger at “three decades of inaction from Washington, D.C.” While lawmakers are on vacation, he says, dedicated border patrol agents “serve this great nation” in extreme heat. “It’s time for the United States Congress and the Administration to end the gridlock. Fix this crisis.”

Rod Parsley Commends Facility Conditions, Affirms Detainees’ Dignity

Parsley, founder and senior pastor of World Harvest Church in Columbus, Ohio, and Elkhart, Indiana, also founded the missions relief organization Bridge of Hope. He says he’s responded to many emergencies and visited many prison facilities but has “never seen a better facility” than McAllen’s. The detainees the group spoke with indicate they’re happy, treated well, fed, clothed, and safe, Parsley says. “What you’ve heard is not true,” he adds, referring to reports of dangerous, unsanitary conditions, especially for children at the border facilities.

The pastor notes, however, that many immigrants “are in desperate need of care in facilities that are obviously, sincerely struggling to cope with the scale of this humanitarian crisis.” These individuals “have inherent value, and they need our help,” Parsley says. “Jesus calls us all to love, to serve our neighbor, all our neighbors, wherever they’re from.”

Parsley, who’s considered by many to be one of the prosperity gospel preachers, admits he doesn’t have all the answers to the complex, polarizing issue of immigration reform. But he demands that elected officials step up to find solutions—and reminds them God is watching. “I don’t understand why no one in Washington, D.C., is heartbroken,” he says. “Maybe you’re heartless.”

Hold Lawmakers Accountable, Say Hispanic Leaders

Leaders of the NHCLC, co-sponsor of the visit to McAllen, also expressed frustration about immigration. Pastor Samuel Rodriguez, the group’s president, says, “It is ultimately only members of Congress who can fix the broken system they created…an immoral, dysfunctional system that incentivizes human trafficking and denies dignity to those who deserve it the most.”

Rodriguez calls out lawmakers for “deflecting their responsibility to the White House,” saying that “includes members of Congress who are neglecting their legislative responsibilities in order to run for president.”

NHCLC has more than 40,000 certified member churches in the United States plus chapters in Latin America. Executive Vice President Tony Suarez says the immigration crisis isn’t the fault of Donald Trump or Barack Obama but is due to “a failed Congress and Senate that fails to act.”

“We The People that have elected them to be our surrogates, to be our voices, need to hold them accountable,” Suarez adds. “If they will not respect and reflect the values of We The People, then they should no longer serve We The People.”

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Stephanie Martin
Stephanie Martin, a freelance journalist, has worked in Christian publishing for 26 years. She’s active at her church in Lakewood, Colorado, where she lives with her husband and two teenage daughters.