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Evangelicals Lobby Congress for Immigration Reform

Bill Hybels, Richard Land among church leaders participating in today's day of prayer and lobbying in Washington.

While the majority of Americans favor a pathway to legal status for undocumented immigrants, support is noticeably lower among Republicans.

"The results are yet another reminder that Republican lawmakers face a fractured base," Washington Post reports.

Meanwhile, evangelicals are attempting to demonstrate that they are anything but fractured on the issue of immigration.

The Evangelical Immigration Table (EIT) declared April 17 to be the Evangelical Day of Prayer and Action for Immigration Reform, offering a "unified evangelical voice [to] echo through the halls of Congress proclaiming a biblical vision for immigration reform that respects the rule of law, reunites families and upholds human dignity."

EIT's day of lobbying comes just as the Senate "Gang of Eight" reveals its highly anticipated comprehensive immigration reform bill. The new bill is the most extensive immigration reform bill to be proposed since 2008, and is the work of an eight-member, bipartisan group including Sens. Marco Rubio, John McCain, Charles Schumer, and Richard Durbin, among others. The Washington Post reports that the new bill "aims to stem the flow of undocumented immigrants into the country by creating tens of thousands of new visas for foreign workers in low-skilled jobs."

It also would "give provisional legal status to an estimated 11 million illegal immigrants and put them on a pathway to citizenship, but only after several criteria for securing the U.S.-Mexico border are met," according to The Hill.

The Evangelical Immigration Table marks the nation's largest-ever immigration reform effort by evangelicals. Last month, President Barack Obama affirmed "evangelical" immigration principles and said he was optimistic that Congress would approve an immigration reform bill.

Christianity Today weighed in on the issue of immigration reform in an 2006 editorial entitled, "Blessed Are the Courageous." CT Editor Mark Galli responded in a column several days later.

Related Topics:Latinos and Hispanics
Posted:April 17, 2013 at 10:57AM
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