What Does the New Statement on Immigration Reform Actually Mean?
What Does the New Statement on Immigration Reform Actually Mean?

More than 100 evangelical leaders, including Focus on the Family's Jim Daly, signed a statement listing the values that they say should guide immigration policy. The Evangelical Statement of Principles for Immigration Reform is not a policy proposal with specific recommendations, however. Instead, the statement lays out broad parameters that the signers believe should guide the debate over immigration reform.

The statement calls for a bipartisan solution to immigration reform that meets six criteria:

  1. Respects the God-given dignity of every person
  2. Protects the unity of the immediate family
  3. Respects the rule of law
  4. Guarantees secure national borders
  5. Ensures fairness to taxpayers
  6. Establishes a path toward legal status and/or citizenship for those who qualify and who wish to become permanent residents

Of these, only the sixth—the path to citizenship—is likely to touch on anything controversial. The other five principles represent values that the vast majority of Americans believe should drive immigration reform.

Third Way, a think tank that focuses on bipartisan policy solutions, studied their own polls on immigration to see what messages worked best on the public. Third Way's Richard Schmechel and Rachel Laser used the results to write a how-to memo on how advocates of immigration reform should frame their arguments.

"There is a tested message on immigration that works with the vast majority of Americans, including a strong majority of Hispanics. That message is tough, fair, and practical," Schmechel and Laser wrote. "Tough means being tough on border security and workplace enforcement; Fair means FAIR TO TAXPAYERS [sic]; [and] Practical means finding a realistic and lasting way to restore the rule of law."

These results ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

July/August
Subscribe to CT and get one year free.
Read These Next
Current IssueSpiritual Longing on the Silver Screen
Spiritual Longing on the Silver Screen Subscriber Access Only
How the makers (and watchers) of movies are engaged in a kind of prayer.
RecommendedUS Prepares to Deport Hundreds of Iraqi Christians
US Prepares to Deport Hundreds of Iraqi Christians
American veteran faces forced return to dangerous homeland that two-thirds of his fellow believers have fled.
TrendingKay Warren: 'We Were in Marital Hell'
Kay Warren: 'We Were in Marital Hell'
Through God's work in our lives, we've beaten the odds that divorce would be the outcome of our ill-advised union.
Editor's PickFinding My ‘True Self’ As a Same-Sex Attracted Woman
Finding My ‘True Self’ As a Same-Sex Attracted Woman
In my young-adult struggle with sexual identity, both legalistic condemnation and progressive license left me floundering.
Christianity Today
What Does the New Statement on Immigration Reform Actually Mean?
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

June 2012

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.