If you happened upon the front page of the Wall Street Journal [today] you saw the headline, “Evangelicals Push Immigration Path.” It’s one of several recent articles focused on white evangelicals’ changing tune when it comes to legal paths to citizenship. Megachurch pastors are willing to lose members over the issue. The National Association of Evangelicals is organizing a campaign to educate and prod congregations to political action.
If the current bipartisan push leads to serious immigration reform, we'll all be the better for it. But what constitutes serious reform?
Newt Gingrich has suggested that undocumented immigrants who are family-loving, hardworking, tax-paying, churchgoing and deeply rooted should stay here. This is pretty much the typical immigrant.
My ancestors wanted to own land and prosper on it, to see their children and their children's children thrive. They knew that they were loved by a God who does not see national boundaries.
Although nearly everyone agrees that U.S. immigration policy is inadequate, different critics focus on different elements of the problem. The most comprehensive proposal comes from Representative Luis Gutierrez (D., Ill.), a native Chicagoan of Puerto Rican ancestry who has criticized President Obama’s reluctance to address the issue. Gutierrez’s bill is heartily endorsed by most immigrants’ rights groups, but it is not likely to pass in its current form. Jen Smyers of Church World Service calls it “a marker bill,” since it stakes out a clear position. It has no Republican supporters.