During an hour-long meeting on Friday, President Barack Obama told religious leaders that he hopes Congress will approve a comprehensive immigration reform bill within the next several months.
The meeting itself, which took place in the White House, is testament to the growing voice of religious leaders in the immigration reform conversation, especially among Republicans. The 14 religious leaders, which included National Association of Evangelicals president Leith Anderson, World Relief president and CEO Stephan Bauman, and National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference president Samuel Rodriguez, among others, affirmed the importance of "respect [for] the dignity of individuals and focus on family reunification," principles for which evangelicals have long advocated.
Obama also told the meeting's participants that he was optimistic about the bipartisan effort in the Senate.
"I walked out of that meeting with a greater sense of optimism, with the strong chance of passing comprehensive immigration reform this year," he said.
CT previously has reported on immigration, past attempts at reform, and Christian views on how to reform immigration policy. In January, CT noted a new video campaign by the Evangelical Immigration Table.