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Groups hold prayer vigil for immigration reform

Published June 3, 2013 11:30 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

"Today is the day we move out of darkness and into God's light," the Rev. Steve Klemz from Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church told a modest but engaged crowd of Latinos on Thursday who had assembled for a "pray for citizenship" rally in front of the federal building offices of Sens. Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee.

Just before rush hour, a crowd of roughly 30 gathered at the immigration rally waving citizenship signs before reciting the rosary aloud in Spanish.

Klemz said he was pleased to see Hatch endorse a comprehensive immigration reform bill in committee but noted the bill calling for a path to citizenship still faces uncertain odds.

"He's a hinge because I believe Senator Hatch casts a long shadow," Klemz said. "We're hopeful as it moves to the Senate floor. There are too many people living in fear — too many people living in detention."

Utah faith leaders from Orem to Kearns, joined by DREAM Act students, gathered to pray for a fair, inclusive and direct road map to citizenship for the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. The group argues a path to full citizenship is the only response to the broken patchwork of immigration laws that is consistent with the American values of freedom, fairness and family.