Despite political rhetoric evangelicals support immigration reform
A majority of evangelical pastors in America favor immigration reform, including 80% of African-American pastors and 59% of white evangelical pastors, according to reports published by LifeWay Research last week.
The two largest evangelical denominations in the US, the Assemblies of God and the Southern Baptist Convention, have worked tirelessly to support immigration reform, and in 2009 the National Association of Evangelicals with 40 member denominations, adopted a resolution calling for congress to pass immigration reform.
“The solution to the political bickering is for Congress to pass immigration reform,” says Carl Nelson, President of Transform Minnesota, the states leading evangelical network. “Americans want our government to get things done. We call upon Congress and President Obama to move beyond political gamesmanship and pass commonsense immigration reform.”
Last June Transform Minnesota and the Minnesota Catholic Conference published a letter signed by more than 100 influential evangelical, Catholic and other protestant leaders explaining the Biblical case for immigration reform. Evangelicals were encouraged when the US Senate passed a comprehensive reform bill in 2013, and hopeful again in January 2014 when U.S. House Speaker John Boehner and the Republican House Caucus adopted a ‘Statement of Principles” for debate on reform. Unfortunately progress fell victim to political feet-dragging.
“We do not have a particular opinion about the President’s executive action,” says Nelson regarding Transform Minnesota’s response, “rather our primary concern is that Congress doesn’t use his actions as an excuse to not move forward on an immigration reform bill.”
Transform Minnesota’s statement supporting immigration reform can be found at www.transformmn.org/public-policy.
Other evangelical responses