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updated: 3/25/2013 4:01 PM

White House to honor Glen Ellyn man for immigration work

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  • Matthew Soerens of Glen Ellyn prays in February 2010 after making a presentation in Naperville before church pastors and laymen on the topic of biblical perspectives on immigration.

      Matthew Soerens of Glen Ellyn prays in February 2010 after making a presentation in Naperville before church pastors and laymen on the topic of biblical perspectives on immigration.
    AP 2010 Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

 
Daily Herald report

A Glen Ellyn man who has advocated for immigration reform will be honored Tuesday by the White House.

Matthew Soerens is among 11 people being designated Cesar Chavez Champions of Change.

The honorees "embody the spirit" of the civil-rights activist's legacy and "commit themselves to working in their communities to advocate and organize around immigration-related issues," a news release said.

"These 11 individuals exemplify the core decency and generosity of Americans by welcoming and giving voice to those that come to our shore," Valerie Jarrett, senior adviser to the president, said in a statement Monday.

Soerens, a Wheaton College alumnus, is the U.S. church training specialist for World Relief, the humanitarian arm of the National Association of Evangelicals. Officials said he's counseled immigrants on legal appeals in Wheaton and in Nicaragua, and is co-author of "Welcoming the Stranger: Justice, Compassion & Truth in the Immigration Debate."

To watch a live broadcast of Tuesday's 9 a.m. (CST) ceremony, visit www.whitehouse.gov/live. For more information on the Champions of Change program, visit www.whitehouse.gov/champions.

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