COMMENT: There are some very troubling statements in this article. Using the political characteristics of illegals aliens as a justification for giving them amnesty seems to me to be compromising the law for political gain. This isn't about whether some of these people would support conservative policies, it is about the LAW! It is about being a nation of laws and enforcing those laws equally across the board. Wanting our laws ENFORCED does not make us anti-immigration reform or anti-Latino.
What other crime would those quoted in the article agree that the guilty perpetrators should receive no real penalty for committing? Why should those who have already broken the law be allowed to jump in front of those who are trying to come here legally??
This whole dialog doesn't even address the OTMs (Other Than Mexicans -- like Muslims, etc.) that are coming across our porous borders.
FIRST: Build the fence and enforce the laws passed by our duly elected representatives including the laws against employing illegals. (Amnesty supporters frequently state, as Richard Land did on a radio program on Saturday, that we don't have the political will to deport 12 million people. No one serious is suggesting deportation. However if jobs aren't available many of the illegals will probably leave of their own accord as they have been doing to some extent as our economy has tanked.)
THEN: Calmly look at the whole immigration/worker issue (NOT based on which party can leverage their votes) including a conversation about streamlining the process to come here legally.
Frankly, I don't see ANY Scripture that suggests that lawbreakers should be given special rights. I do not interpret "treat the stranger as you would yourself" as a blank check for those who break the law. Does anyone really believe that the 'stranger' here is someone who has broken the law to be where they are? And besides that, enforcing the law is not mistreatment of anyone and should apply to citizen and 'stranger' alike. Remember, "Justice" has a blindfold on!!
In the spirit of full disclosure, I have been an active Southern Baptist since 1947.
Obama Wins Unlikely Allies in Immigration
At a time when the prospects for immigration overhaul seem most dim, supporters have unleashed a secret weapon: a group of influential evangelical Christian leaders.
Normally on the opposite side of political issues backed by the Obama White House, these leaders are aligning with the president to support an overhaul that would include some path to legalization for illegal immigrants already here. They are preaching from pulpits, conducting conference calls with pastors and testifying in Washington — as they did last Wednesday.
“I am a Christian and I am a conservative and I am a Republican, in that order,” said Matthew D. Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, a conservative religious law firm. “There is very little I agree with regarding President Barack Obama. On the other hand, I’m not going to let politicized rhetoric or party affiliation trump my values, and if he’s right on this issue, I will support him on this issue.”
When President Obama gave a major address pushing immigration overhaul this month, he was introduced by a prominent evangelical, the Rev. Bill Hybels of Willow Creek Community Church in Illinois. Three other evangelical pastors were in the audience, front and center.
Their presence was a testament, in part, to the work of politically active Hispanic evangelical pastors, who have forged friendships with non-Hispanic pastors in recent years while working in coalitions to oppose abortion and same-sex marriage. The Hispanics made a concerted effort to convince their brethren that immigration reform should be a moral and practical priority.
Hispanic storefront churches are popping up in strip malls, and Spanish-speaking congregations are renting space in other churches. Some pastors, like Mr. Hybels, lead churches that include growing numbers of Hispanics. Several evangelical leaders said they were convinced that Hispanics are the key to growth not only for the evangelical movement, but also for the social conservative movement.
“Hispanics are religious, family-oriented, pro-life, entrepreneurial,” said the Rev. Richard D. Land, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, the Southern Baptist Convention’s public policy arm. “They are hard-wired social conservatives, unless they’re driven away.
“I’ve had some older conservative leaders say: ‘Richard, stop this. You’re going to split the conservative coalition,’ ” Dr. Land continued. “I say it might split the old conservative coalition, but it won’t split the new one. And if the new one is going to be a governing coalition, it’s going to have to have a lot of Hispanics in it. And you don’t get a lot of Hispanics in your coalition by engaging in anti-Hispanic anti-immigration rhetoric.”
Congress is unlikely to pass an immigration law this year. Republicans and Democrats who face re-election in November are skittish about the issue, given the broad public support for Arizona’s new law aiming to crack down on illegal immigration.
The support of evangelical leaders is not yet enough to change the equation. But they could mobilize a potentially large constituency of religious conservatives, an important part of the Republican base better known for lobbying against abortion and same-sex marriage. They already threaten the party’s near unity on immigration.
“These cross-cutting clusters are just splinter groups, so far,” said Larry J. Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia. “Support for the Arizona law is so strong within the G.O.P. that it will be difficult for the comprehensive-immigration-reform evangelicals to have much short-term impact.”
But some evangelical leaders said their latest strategy was to push a handful of lame-duck Republicans to join Democrats — probably after the midterms — to pass an immigration bill on the ground that it is morally right.
Although other religious leaders have long favored immigration overhaul — including Roman Catholics, mainline Protestants, Jews and Muslims — the evangelicals are crucial because they have the relationships and the pull with Republicans.
“My message to Republican leaders,” said the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, the president of the evangelical National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference and one of the leaders who engaged his non-Hispanic peers, “is if you’re anti-immigration reform, you’re anti-Latino, and if you’re anti-Latino, you are anti-Christian church in America, and you are anti-evangelical.”
About 70 percent of Hispanics in the United States are Catholic, but some 15 percent are evangelicals, and they are far more likely than the Catholics to identify themselves as conservative and Republican.
Evangelicals at the grass-roots level are divided on immigration, just as the nation is. But among the leaders, recent interviews suggest that those in favor of an immigration overhaul are far more vocal and more organized than those who oppose it. Read more here.