Jump directly to the content

NAE President Wades Carefully into Immigration Debate

The president of the National Association of Evangelicals took a rare step into the immigration debate Tuesday, saying that the long waiting period for citizenship must be

shortened.

"There are inconsistencies and many outdated aspects of immigration laws, and I think they are therefore unjust and unfair," said Leith Anderson, president of the National Association of Evangelicals.

The NAE consists of 79 different member denominations, which is one of the reasons Anderson said he is hesitant to make strong statements on immigration. The NAE is drafting a resolution on this issue, and Anderson said the first draft found support at a board meeting in March.

"There was a very positive response that this was an important issue, and I think that makes sense because so many of our evangelical denominations have significant growth through the Hispanic community, and the Hispanic community is increasingly a major part of the evangelical movement through the United States so of course we care about that," Anderson said.

Anderson, a megachurch pastor in Eden Prairie, Minn., acknowledged the economic challenges facing lawmakers, but said government leaders can begin with the most obvious issues – one of them being the long waiting period to gain citizenship.

"Immigration policy in the United States has changed a lot of times throughout our history, and it is time for immigration policy to change again," Anderson said, "and in terms of what that means, it means fairness, it means family, and it means finances."

Don Golden, senior vice president of the NAE's Baltimore-based humanitarian arm, World Relief, said his agency has seen the consequences of a broken immigration system. Although he supports border security, Golden also said he supports further legal means of attaining citizenship, including an expedited family reunification policy.

"Earned legalization will allow our immigrant brothers and sisters to come out of the shadows toward restoration and full integration, lessening the fear many immigrants feel in communities across the nation," Golden said.

Related Topics:Politics
Posted:April 1, 2009 at 4:43PM
Gleanings aggregates what others are reporting. Learn more.
Recent Posts
Family Christian Stores Lives On, For Now
Court approval needed for sale to Family Christian subsidiary.
Family Christian Risks Shutdown of 266 Stores after Bankruptcy Auction
Four bidders—three of them liquidators—are bidding for the nation's largest Christian bookstore chain today.
Evangelicals Denounce Payday Lending, Join Fight for New Regulations
Unusual faith coalition calls on Congress to limit payday loans.
Josh Duggar of '19 Kids and Counting' Apologizes, Resigns after Reports of Molesting 5 Young Girls
Police investigated sexual assaults in 2006, but no charges were brought against Duggar. TLC pulls program from its lineup.
Christianity Today
NAE President Wades Carefully into Immigration Debate