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. Marc

    Again people, the problem with the immigration reform is that it has not been dealt with, discussed or analyzed for far too long!
    You don't want a reform? Show us your reasons.
    You want a reform? Show us your reasons.
    And by 'reasons' I don't mean 'fringe pointless and baseless talking points', I mean 'arguments' of the kind that you can talk about with enough data to back you up for hours.

    May 10, 2010 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  2. Why Does God Hate Red States?

    gt @ 12:22 (another victim of home schooling)
    "boarder" – is that the person staying in your house?
    "let there me"? Are you that excitable or did you drop your Cheetos?

    May 10, 2010 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  3. Average American

    Thank you conservative evangelicals for behaving like Christians!

    May 10, 2010 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  4. Steve (the real one)

    Mike in NYC May 10th, 2010 12:44 pm ET

    More proof that Christinsanity makes you stupid. Would Moslems do this kind of thing to their own nations?
    Sorry Marc, While I agree ILLEGAL means ILLEGAL, Christianity does not make one stupid. There is room for legit debate and disagreement. I for one, disagree with their stance but what this does is destroy the liberal theories that we all march in lockstep and the claims that there is no diversity on the right! While liberals point to this as a meltdown, what they fail to mention is how their ridiculous theories have been melted!

    May 10, 2010 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  5. IKHAN

    let me say this.
    Along with immigration reforms we need a law banning & prohibiting 'dual loyalty'.
    There are many among our politicians in the administration & up on the Hill who secretly or even publicly harbor loyalty to countries other than America supposedly our 'allies'.
    This has done great harm to the national interests of USA. Pushing us into wars which we do not want, playing havoc with our foreign policies & even on the domestic economic figures. Why has this happened over decades without our even being aware? I do not know. But this is a reality.
    There should be one loyalty only to America & American people – period.
    I'm sure no American would want it another way.
    God Bless US of A.

    May 10, 2010 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  6. RECR

    This is good news for all those workers who came here looking for a dream, like those immigrants who came aboard the Mayflower a few hundred years ago also without papers. If you are for American values and for the American dream you defend and celebrate that regardless previous nationality or color of skin.

    May 10, 2010 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  7. Average American

    I didn't know Jim in St. Johns, FL really really wanted a low paying, back-breaking manual labor job with no health benefits. Under seige??? Really?!?! I live in a very diverse area where some people may be illegal immigrants (never asked), and I don't feel they are attacking me at all.

    True, if someone commits a crime, they should be punished by going to jail or being sent back to their country. BUT, I have no interest in hunting down a mom who has been in this country over 10 years, works two or three low-paying jobs that most Americans wouldn't take it offered to them on a silver platter, and has American citizen children to send her back to a country where she and her children have even less opportunity to make a life. WWJD???

    May 10, 2010 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  8. ...

    "The conservative evangelicals pushing comprehensive immigration reform say that undocumented workers should have to pay fines, clear background checks, learn English and take a civics class before being granted citizenship."

    thats what shoould hapen ^^^^^

    and the AZ law should be removed. It IS going to lead to racism.

    Its dumb how we will get fined if we do not carry registration. I wont.

    and illegal immigrants are not taking your jobs. they are simply taking jobs that you lazy americans wont do because it pays really really little and the working conditions are terrble. if you really are complaning try working as hard as they do in the same jobs. Haters.

    May 10, 2010 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  9. Bobby

    It is a sad day in America when other US citizens want to allow illegals and paper holders who are not US citizens decide how our laws should be structured. There is already a path to citizenship. What is this saying to those that have braved that path to become legal citizens? You wasted your time? You should have just stayed illegal? If you are not in this country legally, you are a criminal and deserve to be caught and deported. End of story.

    May 10, 2010 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  10. Michael from Ventura

    Who says the age of Miracles is over?

    May 10, 2010 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  11. Steve in North Carolina

    Evangelical leaders are just like politicians....just trying to add more to their flock no matter what the cost to American taxpayers. Go Arizona!

    May 10, 2010 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  12. ME

    Has anyone actually read the bill? Educated yourselfs people. An uninformed public is what the politians want! Get smart and then speak! And yes, I have read the bill.

    May 10, 2010 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  13. Bobert

    Maria, your ignorance of the law that they just passed is suprising considering it sounds like you are in favor of it. First of all, the law does extend to "white" people as well as "brown skins". When a person gets picked up by the police, they almost always check for IDs. A Arizona driver's license is a legal form of proof of citizenship, mainly for the fact that it takes a birth certificate and other forms of identification (passport for me in MT) to even get a driver's license.

    If a white person who doesn't have a valid ID or proof they are here (in the US legally) they can get hauled to jail and held until they can verify legality in the country. Now, are more "brown skins" going to be picked up? Likely, considering they border Mexico. Does that mean they're going to target Mexicans? No.

    May 10, 2010 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  14. eddie

    illegal is illegal and Arizona is correct to try and stop the flow of illegal persons. Obama went to Mexico and gave our tax dollars to Mexico, then Mrs Obama went to Mexico on our tax dollars. What a waste of our tax dollars when we have so many unemployed here. NAFTA gave many jobs to Mexico and just who are the persons who repersent us not doing the job, but for Mexico like the Obamas. The Obamas appear to be against Americans and pro Mexico, Why ? Do they need the illegals vote to stay in office and White house to Party and fly all over the world being big shots???

    May 10, 2010 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  15. Robert Warner

    And the Tea Party admits to it's true nature- racists that believe all hispanics must keep their birth certificates with them at all times to avoid arrest when a government agent stops them on the street and demands "Show me your papers". Small government for whites, gestapo for all others.

    May 10, 2010 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |

    This mistake of a law is a good example of why we have to elect sensible people to office. Only Scalia, Thomas, Roberts, and that criminal Alito who are the extremists pn the Supreme Court would say this law is legal even though the Constitution says we are protected from illegal searches

    May 10, 2010 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  17. DIANA

    Funny how the party that wants less goverment is supporting something where the government has the right to question your citizenship. Oh, I forgot almost everyone if not everyone in the Tea Party movement is white. How about checking their status while they're there supporting the law.

    May 10, 2010 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  18. Dave Harris

    Christians trying to do good for their fellow man? What a novel idea! Republicans will never buy it. They'll call it 'socialism'.

    May 10, 2010 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  19. Agnes

    I for one do NOT want a single person in this country who would flout our laws. I do not want illegal aliens becoming citizens. They could have chosen the legal path of citizenship but instead chose to be a criminal. We are not talking about a few dozen but millions, millions who are taking services away from legal USA citizens. So, for example an illegal alien, ILLEGAL not legal, comes to work the harvest, or as domestic help, or as day laborers; their children must go to school so the money that would otherwise be spent on the children of legal citizens will now be spent on the illegal child. That same illegal may require medical/health assistance and the services are given to them. Where does the money come from? We the legal tax payers of course. How about the criminal impact of the illegal alien. Just go to the forestry department of a border state and ask how many hidden drug farms did they find last year on forestry land and what was the cost of clean up. How about the cost to society for the influx of criminals, the cost on the judicial system, and how about morals of society? What of the right of the citizen of the USA? Who will stand up for their rights?Since the federal government hasn't and our president is negligent in his duty... Arizona will.

    May 10, 2010 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  20. honestmistake

    Maria H-Miami, you haven't ready the law have you? Nowhere in it does is say this is Mexican citizen enforcement law. It gives local police the right to ask ANYONE they come in lawful contact with to show ID if they have a reasonable suspicion to do so. If during Snow Bird season, they pull over a Canadian for running a red light, that Canadian will have to produce ID and and likely a local address where they are staying. The officer will likely also ask them questions about their travel plans, how long they are staying in the country, etc.

    May 10, 2010 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  21. honestmistake

    Why don't the protesters take their act on the road to Seattle where real racist police officers are on the street. I bet the man who was kicked in the head and had racial slurs yelled at him by several officers in Seattle last week wish he had been in Arizona where the worst thing that would have happened if he had been near a crime in progress was an officer asking for his ID.

    May 10, 2010 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  22. Jilli

    Just more evidence that the majority has passed the tea baggers by. You can't time travel to the America they want back so badly. They either join the majority, or we'll just step over them.

    May 10, 2010 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  23. BeverlyNC

    A conservative acting like a real Christian??? The world must be coming to an end when Republican nutjobs actually practice what they preach.

    Maybe these "evangelicals" just haven't realized yet that these are non-white Latinos who are primarily Catholic. After all Republican Christians believe only they and their twisted beliefs are the "right" ones.

    May 10, 2010 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  24. RandyT

    Christianity does not make you stupid, perhaps in man's eye we are, but most of everything man does is foolishness in God's eyes.

    As for Muslems check out the Qur'an, Surahy:
    "SHAKIR: And serve Allah and do not associate any thing with Him and be good to the parents and to the near of kin and the orphans and the needy and the neighbor of (your) kin and the ALIEN neighbor, and the companion in a journey and the wayfarer and those whom your right hands possess; surely Allah does not love him who is proud, boastful; "

    Then the Jews and Christians have this instruction, among other teachings:
    "When an alien lives with you in your land, do not mistreat him. The alien living wtih you must be treated as one of your native born." Leviticus 19:33-34

    An interesting side note here is if one takes the time to look at the dates that NAFTA was put into motion one will also find a massive spike in what we are calling illegal aliens crossing the border. We did ship some of our jobs there, but we also killed their small farms and the village economies they supported – this has been well documented by articles in the Fort Worth Star while part of Knight-Ridder as well as other sources. NAFTA sucked good paying manufacturing jobs south, but it also sucked farming jobs north.

    May 10, 2010 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  25. Molly Weasley

    Don't you love how the tea party fools only support the Constitution when it suits their purposes?

    May 10, 2010 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
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