May 10th, 2010
12:15 PM ET
10 years ago

New force for broad immigration reform: Evangelicals

(CNN) - Tea Party activists and other conservatives are planning rallies next month in support of Arizona's tough new immigration law, which has come under attack from Democrats, Latino groups and some maverick Republicans.

But a growing chorus of conservative evangelical leaders has broken with their traditional political allies on the right. They're calling the Arizona law misguided and are attempting to use its passage to push for federal immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants.

The group, which includes influential political activists such as Richard Land, head of the Southern Baptist Convention's public policy wing, and Mathew Staver, dean of the Liberty University School of Law, will soon begin lobbying Republican leaders in Washington to support comprehensive immigration reform under President Obama.

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Filed under: Arizona • Immigration • Popular Posts • Tea Party movement
soundoff (66 Responses)
  1. gt

    let there me a few more law enforcement or farmers get killed on the boarder.. then see how much they protest... ,,,,pathedic...

    May 10, 2010 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  2. Lets expose Rush Limbaughs staff.

    Good, the rightwing wall is crumbling fast.

    May 10, 2010 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  3. Jim in St. Johns, FL

    Listen, the people who live, work, pay taxes are under siege from the influx of ILLEGALS while the President, Presidents before this one and Congress fiddles.

    When the Federal Government fails in its responsibility to protect the people, the government of the State of Arizona has every right to take steps to try to improve protections.

    All that we have seen out of the Obama administration is a desire to legitimize the hordes of ILLEGALS (for obvious political gain) and move to have the Arizona law declared unconstitutional after gearing the jack booted media machine to criticize the law and spread lies about the law. Even Obama didn't know the Arizona law but that did not stop hime from commenting (incorrectly several times) on the content of the law.


    Sad, indeed.

    May 10, 2010 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  4. Maria H-Miami

    I'm a U.S. Citizen(came from Europe). I think the Arizona Law should have been extended to include White skin illegal aliens, not just Brown skin or Mexicans.

    Everyone, including American locals, should have to show proof to a Police Officer during a traffic violation of their legal right to be in the USA, which is why I think that everyone should have their American Birth Certificate turned into an ID card with a Photo and have to show it with the Driver's License and U.S. Citizens like me turn my Citizenship Certificate into an ID Card with my picture and show it along with my Driver's License.

    Anything to protect our country from illegal aliens.

    May 10, 2010 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  5. Mike in NYC

    More proof that Christinsanity makes you stupid. Would Moslems do this kind of thing to their own nations?

    Then again, if they're more concerned with growing their congregations than the safety and future of their own country, it makes sense.

    May 10, 2010 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  6. Limbaugh is Liberal

    Republicans want to suppress all talk of immigration reform before the midterm elections... especially the revelations that it was THEY who were previously in support of Bush's 'guest worker' and 'accelerated path to citizenship' agenda, just ask McCain! Yeah, people hypocritically like to blame it on democrats, when in fact this misguided amnesty was a republican idea to begin with!

    May 10, 2010 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  7. Albert R. Killackey

    This is not a “tough new immigration law” but rather the same old Republican corporatists razzle-dazzle aimed at white swing-voters who might consider redirecting their anger about the economic mess Republican corporate greed created and be satisfied by expressing hate against Gays, Mexican Americans and other so called “minorities.” The Party of Corporatism and Congregations who want to compel all to live their way knows well that it can only win elections with a campaign of divide and conquer. With corporate corruption at an all time high following the Bush years, and the Supreme Court pagan decision making corporations “persons” (golden calves for their money worship game of bribes to Congress) protected by the First Amendment as "free speech", the issue this election year will be which candidates support the American Creed of Individualism, as proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence, and demand the Constitution be Amended to reverse the opinion of the Supreme Court Clowns vs. those who are Global Corporatists. The Republican ploy of turning Americans against Americans will no longer work, but they don’t understand that. They still don’t see why they lost in 2008; they are now the minority!

    May 10, 2010 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  8. Dano

    "Discussion of immigration and government immigration policy must begin with the truth that every human being is made in the image of God," the National Association of Evangelicals said in a recent resolution backing comprehensive immigration reform. "... Jesus exemplifies respect toward others who are different in his treatment of the Samaritans."

    If Christians actually believed AND practiced the teachings of Jesus, America would be a much better place for everyone. Unfortunately, the most vocal conservative Christians preach racial, sexual, and religious intolerance at every opportunity. They have become almost militant in their condemnation of beliefs and lifestyles that differ from what THEY believe God meant for humanity, and anyone who disagrees with them is labeled as unAmerican of referred to as "the enemy"!

    May 10, 2010 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  9. a reasonable individual

    Wow, Jim in FL, seems like you have a serious axe to grind with "illegals". Who cleans your house for minimum wage? Who makes your fast food for minimum wage? Who mows your over watered lawn for minimum wage?
    You need to think before you condemn all of immigration otherwise you will be scrubbing your toilet yourself, and when you go to your retirement home it will be tough to find a nurse.

    May 10, 2010 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  10. Peter E

    Can YOU prove you're a US citizen? Or that you're in this country legally? I don't mind immigration enforcement, but Arizona is really pushing the federal government into issuing nationa IDs, fingerprinting and bioscanning every citizen, just to prove they are in this country legally. And at the end of the day, who gets called a repressive tyranny? The federal government. But hey, you wanted to be secure! You asked for this! So YOU too must prove you're not a security threat!

    May 10, 2010 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  11. sonny chapman

    The Creator is smiling. The message that His Son brought to Earth over 2,000 yrs. ago is finally getting through to some of his self-proclaimed followers.

    May 10, 2010 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  12. Deborah/Kansas City

    What is so wrong with having a guest worker visa? I don't understand why it has to be so black and white. Either arrest them all and kick them out, or amnesty? If workers are coming here to pick produce, be nannys, other legitimate jobs, why can't they obtain a guest worker visa? Then we would know who they are and they would pay taxes and many would go back home when the season is over?

    May 10, 2010 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  13. richard in Montana

    If these people would have their way, slavery would be back and the civil war would have never happened and we would all have our heads stuck in the sand. Tea Baggers and Born Againers are the new American Taliban!

    May 10, 2010 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  14. Capt. Snarky

    "Common Sense Immigration Reform", or "Immigration Reform for Dummies":

    Step 1) Secure Our Borders

    The days of open borders and free crossings are done. Put the Border Patrol ON the border with constant sweeps to monitor activity. Arrest, detain and deport anyone trying to cross outside of specified checkpoints and without proper paperwork. Buttress these patrols with National Guard troops, if necessary, due to drug trafficking activity.

    Step 2) Legal Immigrants

    Anyone currently "in process" for Immigration and Naturalization will recieve "A" immigration status. This would require that they are current on their paperwork, are paying our taxes and obeying our laws.

    Step 3) Illegal Immigrants

    A) Impose E-verify as law of the land, with penalties for those individuals/business who knowingly hire illegal aliens for work. I'm sure that there's an accountant out there who can figure out an approximate cost to the governement that an illegal incurs on a yearly basis – double that number as the fine for hiring an illegal.

    B) Eliminate all Governement financing of the costs of care for illegals – no social services, education, medical, etc. If they've no job prospects, and no welfare, going home is going to be more attractive. They are NOT U.S. citizens, so stop treating them as such. Let their home country finance them.

    C) Offer free deportation and transportation to their home country. The caveat here is that they must register as an illegal prior to leaving, putting them to the "bottom of the list". If they have no records on file with our government as having recieved governmental assistance for the U.S. (welfare), These people will get "B" immigration status – that is, they will be able to apply for visa's from their home country. If they do have financial obligations to the U.S., these persons will recieve "C" Immigration status, and will have to repay those costs incurrd, prior to being eligible to recieve a Visa or green card.

    D) Any Illegal Alien with a criminal record that is not incacerated will recieve "R" Immigrations status, and will be denied any Visa to visit or work in the U.S. – no exceptions.

    E) Any Illegal Alien who does not cooperate with the the above regulations will automatically recieve "R" status and deported.

    Step 4) Anchor Babies

    Currently, our laws grant anyone who is born in the U.S. citizenship. This will stay this way, with caveats.

    Caveat 1) If you are in the U.S. legally, and going through the Immigration process, any child born to you during that time frame will recieve citizenship provided you follow through with and complete the process and become a Naturalized Citizen. If you drop out, are arrested, or fail to complete the Immigration process, your childs citizenship shall mirror your own. If you are deported, so will your child.

    Caveat 2) For those children already born to Illegal Immigrants, and therefore "grandfathered in", they will retain their citizenship. However, if their parents are not legally following the Immigration "pathway", when you will be deported once your child is no longer a minor. If you've broken no other laws, and in good faith, you may re-enter the Immigration process as "B" or "C" candidates as denoted above.

    Step 5) Seasonal Workers

    Anyone entering the U.S. for work purposes without any intentions of becoming U.S. Citizens may do so provided:

    1) They can prove that they posses a clean criminal record

    2) They provide documentation to the effect that they are seeking temporary work only.

    3) They leave when their work is done or the "season" has ended.

    4) They are aware that seasonal or temporary work conditions are transitory and that they are prepapred to deal with the loss of income. If their work dries up prior to the time alloted (or before the season ends), they may find other work to fill out that time slot. However, no Governmental assistance will be provided to fill this gap.

    Alright. There you have it. All issues covered. Tough, but fair. Feel free to send this to your Senators and Representatives.

    May 10, 2010 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  15. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Maria H-Miami May 10th, 2010 12:42 pm ET
    I'm a U.S. Citizen(came from Europe). I think the Arizona Law should have been extended to include White skin illegal aliens, not just Brown skin or Mexicans
    I too am a U.S. citizen, and I concur wholeheartedly with you. The law as it stands, regardless of the obvious need for SOMETHING to be implemented, is very flawed and inherently discriminatory. EVERYONE that gets stopped should have to show proof of citizenship, no matter how much they look or sound like Bubba.

    May 10, 2010 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  16. Liz the First

    Nice to see some Christians acting in a true Christlike fashion. this new law brings true Naziism to our shores. and they call us Democrats Nazis.

    May 10, 2010 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  17. Stymie

    Maria H@12:42:

    I think you should read the bill before posting. You sound like obama, who hasn't read it either.

    May 10, 2010 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  18. Brig

    I don't think Mr. Land is going to find more than 50% of congregations support him but you never know. My friend belonged to a Baptist Church in Plano, Texas and they have a million square feet under roof and were still adding on – like the Beverly Hill Billies. That leads me to think they are all about the buildings and not the congregation.

    You know why you always take two Baptist fishings? If you take one he will drink all the beer...

    May 10, 2010 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  19. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Yup, the plate is going to suffer at collection time. We, as hispanics, generally speaking are churchgoers and contributors. We do share a number of the ideologies espoused by "conservative" religions. But it is the PLATE that's the driving force behind this 'involvement' from the pulpit. IMO.

    May 10, 2010 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  20. md

    Finally some sense from someone on the religious right...If conservatives are really serious about illegal aliens then they need to get to the heart of the issue and crack down on their precious 'private' businesses that are hiring these people. America should be ashamed of itself on this issue. Corporations in the United States go down to these poor countries and advertise how they will help get these people work if they hop the they come lured by the big businesses and we punish the poor people instead of the ones getting rich off of their exploitation and suffering. It's wrong and one day this evil will catch up with us so called "God fearing" Americans...

    May 10, 2010 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  21. The Other Micheal in Houston

    I have not chimed in on this issue as of yet so here it is. This whole big fuss over Arizona's new law is laughable. All they did was make the already federal law and formed it into a state law. But the problem with this new law is, they are not going to target the Itailian, Irish, British etc neighborhoods looking for undocumented immigrants, they will only target those that are brown, and when you do that, that is not enforcement, that is profiling. And no matter how much Arizona's law enforcement say they will not profile or target a specific race of people, they will, unless they can prove to us that they have deported white Canadians etc. (yes there is a significant population of undocumented Candians in Arizona, I happen to know a few). Now for those who are in favor of this, well let's call a spade a spade. This law has nothing to do with National Security (last time I checked 18 out of the 20 hijackers came through the Canadian border). this law has nothing to do with limiting the drug wars on the border, this war is ongoing for years, besides the war on drugs is the biggest fallacy ever created, this law has nothing to do with jobs being taken from American Workers (that is the employers fault not the person with job), it has EVERYTHING to do with the face of the major cities in the South are majority hispanic, and he who holds the majority holds the power, and frankly caucasions are bit afraid of that concept. Too bad and too late, might as well get use to it.

    May 10, 2010 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  22. larry

    To Maria and Jimbo in Florida and gt.
    You are so right. We must protect Americans from the hard working illegal immigrants. So we can identify them better, lets tattoo numbers on their arms and if they don't leave the US fast enough, we shoot them and have other illegals bury them in mass graves. People like you three are my heroes.
    Yours Truly,
    Adolph Shicklegruber.

    May 10, 2010 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  23. Michael Armstrong Sr.

    Who cares what those holy rolling Jesus freaks think evangelist are just a bunch of Jim Baker crooks who belong in prison from ripping off old people .

    May 10, 2010 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  24. Sniffit

    I've been saying this from the get-go: the majority of latinos crossing the border illegally are devout christians and, despite all the conspiracy garbage about the Dems simply looking to buynew voters with amnesty, the greater likelihood is that conservative nutjobs who think we're a "krischun nashun" and hate the separation of church and state are likely to win themselves no small number of supporters with respect to some of their social conservative agenda. Apparently, some of the bible-belters have finally started to realize this.

    May 10, 2010 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  25. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Arizona is spreading a lot of false propaganda in support of their immigration law. I challenge anyone who has never lived or visited Arizona to do so, what you hear and what you see first hand are entirely different. Lived in Arizona 40 years until 1999 and visit family every 3 months, every state has crimes and Arizona is very low on the crime list regardless of race. Immigration reform must and should be enacted at the federal level and Arizona's spread of false propaganda regarding this matter will backfire when people know the true facts.

    May 10, 2010 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
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