Evangelicals Split With GOP On Immigration

Earlier this week some of the nation’s most influential evangelical groups pushed for solutions to undocumented immigration that challenges the current rhetoric of the Republican party.

Lead by Tom Minnery of Focus on the Family, the group called on a reversal of the policy of “self-deportation” which Mitt Romney and the Republican leadership supports. “Self-deportation” may sound ridiculous, but it is the name for the climate created by harsh immigration laws like those in Alabama and Arizona. The goal of that legislation is to make living conditions so intolerable to immigrant workers that they simply leave the country.

As evangelical ranks swell with Hispanic members, and as the christian right comes under additional scrutiny for specifically non-christian behavior, violent actions and rhetoric targeting the lgbt community and women, the church leaders are doing what they must to remain relevant and viable in the conservative movement.

“This is the tipping point to finally convince Republican operatives that they must redeem the narrative on immigration reform in order to be a viable party in America’s political landscape in the 21st century,” said the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference.

So far there is no indication the Republican leadership is interested in moderating its anti-immigrant stance. Mr. Romney’s strategists argue that he need not change his positions because Latino voters will cast ballots in November based on the economy, not immigration.

“Governor Romney believes that legal immigration is a source of strength for America and that to protect legal immigration we must address illegal immigration in a civil but resolute manner,” said Alberto Martinez, an adviser to Mr. Romney in Florida.

This leaves Romney all alone on immigration reform after the Obama administration announced it would halt deportation of DREAMers today. The decision drew wide praise from all political sectors except the racist corners of the hard right.

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Photo from tschloss via flickr.

29 comments

Karina Morales
Karina Morales3 years ago

Paula M.- You see, that's the problem. NOTHING has been done about the immigration problem because some people think that all illegals should be deported when clearly that is not the answer and it's very unrealistic to believe that it will ever happen. In order to fix the immigration problem we have to first secure our borders so that more people don't come here illegally, we have to create a pathway to legalization for the immigrants who are already in the states and can prove that they can be good citizens of this nation, and we have to change our immigration laws so that it isn't nearly impossible for people from latin America to come here legally. The problem is that there are too many people who are not willing to negotiate a reasonable solution, they just want to send them all back as if that's ever going to happen.

Abbe A.
Azaima A.3 years ago

thanks

Kevin Brown
Kevin Brown3 years ago

Albert H.-Are you seriously comparing a person who comes here illegally, desperate to make money to feed his hungry family, to a meth or crack dealer?

Karina Morales
Karina Morales3 years ago

Albert H.- I'm sorry but Germany and Italy are not third world countries where women and children are getting kidnapped and mutilated every single day. It must've been very nice for your parents to be able to get their visas and pay for all of the fees coming from a well established country. You cannot compare your parents situation with the situation of people coming from countries like Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and other third world countries from latin America. The only people from those countries who can actually get a visa are the rich people or the ones who have family here in the U.S. Your comparison is simply not fair.

Winn Adams
Winnie Adams3 years ago

The GOP never has now nor ever will care about people whom then deem "less than themselves".

Albert Hoffman
Albert Hoffman3 years ago

I am liberal on most things. The paternal side of my family came from Germany and my maternal side from Italy. When they came to the US they did so using the front door of Ellis Island. They went through the procedures to become citizens. They did not use the back door tactics used my most undocumented people in our country. If you are not here by legal means, please see your way out until you follow the laws that are set out. We are sure not giving this same regard to others breaking the laws we have in place. How many crack and meth dealers are we going to pardon? I bet not a single one.

Kevin Brown
Kevin Brown3 years ago

Albert H.-The problem is that we do not have a reasonable immigration policy. I have friends who are Mexican national and they say that getting the proper paperwork to come to America is like winning the lottery. It is a byzantine maze of rules and regulations that usually result in rejection. On the other hand (despite the attempts by the "nationalists" who opposed immigration) at the turn of the century (the "Ellis Island" time you speak of) we were willing to take in millions of immigrants to fuel the factories of the industrial revolution. Letting those immigrants in made us stronger, why are we keeping this generation of immigrants out?

Albert Hoffman
Albert Hoffman3 years ago

I am liberal on most things. The paternal side of my family came from Germany and my maternal side from Italy. When they came to the US they did so using the front door of Ellis Island. They went through the procedures to become citizens. They did not use the back door tactics used my most undocumented people in our country. If you are not here by legal means, please see your way out until you follow the laws that are set out. We are sure not giving this same regard to others breaking the laws we have in place. How many crack and meth dealers are we going to pardon? I bet not a single one.

Jen Matheson
Past Member 3 years ago

Good for them! Maybe this will lead toward a more open and inclusive Evangelical faith.

Andy Anderson
Andy Anderson3 years ago

So WHEN will the GOP make a SERIOUS proposal for dismantling of the Statue of Liberty?? ... and changing E Pluribus Unum to ..... [suggestions welcome] or, at the very least, chisel off the words "Give me your tired, your poor ... yearning to be free... etc." ????