One of the most eyebrow-raising names to join a group of evangelical leaders to release an "Evangelical Statement of Principles for Immigration Reform" was Jim Daly, president of Focus on the Family. The group has usually shied away from the issue publicly, saying the organization is not an expert in the area. Last year, Christianity Today published a cover story on how the organization has taken a distinctly different tone and emphasis under Daly than it did under its founder, James Dobson. Previously, we have noted how evangelical groups were hesitant to take a stance on immigration, including Focus on the Family. For instance, the Family Research Council, which was founded by Dobson, does not have a representative on today's list.
However, several changes among leadership and priorities have paved the way for other leaders connected with evangelical institutions to take a stance. Other names included Max Lucado, Russell Moore, Margaret Feinberg, J.D. Greear, and Timothy George. Organizations included World Relief, Bread for the World, the Southern Baptist Covention's Ethics & Public Policy Center, Esperanza, the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, and the National Association of Evangelicals. Daly could not attend the gathering of several evangelical organizations on Tuesday, but longtime Focus staffer Tom Minnery will join the release. On Monday, Daly spoke with CT about why he signed the statement and what it means for the organization.
The statement you agreed to sign signals something new for Focus, is that right?
We've had a statement in the past but it's been for internal purposes mostly, and for people that have written us asking about our position. But it really said that we're not experts in immigration, ...