Evangelicals press Congress on immigration

WASHINGTON — Evangelical activists are pressing Congress to pass a comprehensive immigration reform plan — a tricky election-year issue that … Continued

WASHINGTON — Evangelical activists are pressing Congress to pass a comprehensive immigration reform plan — a tricky election-year issue that conservatives’ GOP allies have been reluctant to take up.

The so-called “Evangelical Immigration Table,” which includes evangelicals Jim Wallis on the left and Richard Land on the right, unveiled its plan Tuesday (June 12) on Capitol Hill.

Citing a biblical call to protect the stranger living in a foreign land, the statement on immigration reform signed by 140 evangelical leaders urges respect for immigrants’ humanity while obeying the rule of law and providing for national security.

Though the group is reaching out to evangelicals, Congress, and the president, there’s not yet a specific framework in place.

“Much, much work remains to be done on the specifics,” admitted Tom Minnery, senior vice president of Focus on the Family. “As difficult as it was getting all these signers together, the next step, getting politicians together, is a much greater task.”

Wallis, president and CEO of the social justice organization Sojourners, said change will depend on evangelicals uniting together for the cause. “Big things don’t change in Washington first. They change in the nation’s capital last,” he said. “Together we will create a national groundswell for comprehensive immigration reform.”

Evangelicals could comprise a huge voting bloc, representing 26.3 percent of all Americans. However, immigration may not be an important election issue: Recent polls show jobs and the economy are voters’ top issues influencing their vote for president.

Despite being in the U.S. illegally, many of the estimated 11.5 million unauthorized immigrants have become an integral part of American society, the faith leaders argued. At the same time, immigration often tears families apart as individuals are deported. The faith leaders called for a faith-based solution for a moral, economic, and political issue.

When asked how evangelical voters might square immigration with other hot-button issues such as abortion and gay marriage, Land, who heads the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, said it’s a matter of individual conscience.

“That’s a decision that each individual person has to make,” he said. “We tell people they need to vote their values, their beliefs, and their convictions. When they’re faced with a choice where they agree on some and not on others, they need to prayerfully decide for themselves what their hierarchy of issues are.”

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  • Norma Flores

    And whose going to pay $$$$$$$$ for the new benefits illegal aliens will be eligible for??? You guest it. You

    When This happens Ill go into Business inventing a bumper sticker that says:


    Because the Just As California Fiscal Collapse is being brought by an overwhelming amount of illegal Immigration it will now be coming to a Federal Budget Near You!

    Let me explain:

    California has been a santuary state now for forty and years and price of this is comming home to roost.

    Thats because Californias budget cannot keep up with the growth in services that illegal aliens demand.

    This tax exhaustion by Californians is due to the elimination of the “moral hazard” of illegals coming to California and it’s become worse. Where still encourging this by making our state a “sacturary state” by bailing out the millions of illegal aliens for 40 years now.(Effectly granting psedo Amnesty to illegals in california and letting them use entitlements they never paid for)

    Now Imagine a Federal Law Granting Blanket Amnesty(ooops I ment earn path to citizenship) adding 20 million plus low skilled, low wages former illegal alliens to the already Broken Entitlement System(I.e Medicaid, medicare, social security) will break this country’s Fisical Back. You thought that GW Bush engaged in stupid fisical funding errors (tax cuts for the rich, 2 wars, drug prescription benefits ect.) You ain’t seen nothing Yet! KISS YOUR RETIREMENT FUTURES GOOD BYE because the New Sucking sound of formarly illegal aliens who are now legal when Amnesty passes will make those entitlements go poof! And dont tell me they’ll be paying more into the system than they are going to take out either. They have not been paying taxes on their wages for 40 years. Do you think they’ll agree to a $40,000 surcharge to get legal? No way Jose. This country is headed towards total Budget Collapse If Amnesty passes Period!

  • magyart1

    Pls remember to vote AGAINST the politicians that support ILLEGAL migrants, over LEGAL residents.

    This is a vote for improving the economy and lowering unemployment.

  • wigglwagon

    Precisely right, Norma.