Evangelicals push Congress to pass immigration plan comment (0)
June 28, 2012
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 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 is 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, recent polls show jobs and the economy are voters’ top issues influencing their vote for president.