Ashland welcoming immigration reform experts for topical presentation on Oct. 11

ASHLAND, Ohio – Immigration reform experts Steven Eng, Matthew Soerens and Christy Staats will be joined by moderator Carlos Campo, president of Ashland University, for an informative, lively, and very topical conversation, “A Biblical Approach to Immigration and Poverty: Advocating for Vulnerable Families in Ohio.” The event, which is free and open to the public, takes place on Monday, Oct. 11, at Ashland’s Miller Chapel, from 7-8:30 p.m. Masks are required.

Through brief presentations and dialogue, the panelists will outline biblical foundations of poverty and immigration advocacy, share updates on current poverty and immigration policy developments, discuss how engaging in civic affairs are expressions of love for thy neighbor, and demonstrate to those who are not believers how the Christian vision can contribute to the common good and help alleviate struggles in our society today.

Eng is the advocacy director with the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE). An ordained pastor with The Evangelical Covenant Church, Eng has served congregations in New York, the Pacific Northwest and Minnesota for more than 30 years. He also ministers to returning citizens and those in recovery and transition as recovery director at Autumn Ridge Church in Rochester, Minn., and in private practice as a professional leadership coach.

Soerens serves as the U.S. Director of Church Mobilization and Advocacy for World Relief and as the National Coordinator for the Evangelical Immigration Table, a coalition that advocates for immigration reforms consistent with biblical values. He previously was a Department of Justice-accredited immigration legal counselor for World Relief’s local office in suburban Chicago. Soerens is the co-author of two books, “Seeking Refuge: On the Shores of the Global Refugee Crisis” and “Welcoming the Stranger: Justice, Compassion, and Truth in Immigration Debate.”

Staats is a Midwest mobilizer with the National Immigration Forum, which advocates for immigration reform with faith, law enforcement and business leaders. She spent 15 years with Cru, 11 of which were in the United Kingdom, and still serves as an affiliate staff member. Staats is also part of the Evangelical Immigration Table, a broad coalition of Christian denominations and organizations focused on encouraging distinctly biblical responses to the challenges and opportunities of immigration in the U.S.

Ashland University is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University ( values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students.