Many evangelicals won’t let partisan divides keep them from rallying for immigration reform, particularly the urgent push for congressional action to allow Dreamers—who entered the US as kids—to remain in America.
Several pastors and members of Trump’s evangelical advisory board met Thursday with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who they cheered for her defense of young immigrants fighting for legal status.
A prominent Democrat in Congress, Pelosi also happens to rank among evangelicals most-disliked politicians; more than half (55%) of self-identified evangelicals had an unfavorable view of her in a recent Politico/Morning Consult poll.
Yet Trump adviser and National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC) president Samuel Rodriguez (also a CT board member) told Pelosi today that “America is a better place because of your prophetic leadership” on immigration.
Two more evangelical advisers—Maryland pastor Harry Jackson and Southern Baptist minister Jay Strack—as well as two other NHCLC leaders also participated in the meeting in Washington with Pelosi, fellow religious leaders, and Dreamers themselves.
“We’re joined together in the spirit of bipartisanship, compelled by our faith, to protect our Dreamers,” the minority leader said in a press conference streamed on Facebook Live.
Currently, nearly 70 percent of evangelicals believe Dreamers should be allowed to stay in the country, with 49 percent supporting a path to citizenship and 20 percent believing they should become legal residents but not citizens, Politico/Morning Consult found. (Overall, 75 percent of registered voters want the Dreamers to stay.)
For weeks, there have been talks of immigration reform from Congress and the White House. But as plans for bipartisan immigration overhaul have stalled, advocates have become desperate for a fix for Dreamers, once protected by deportation from the program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Since the Trump administration rescinded DACA, an estimated 800,000 young adults could lose their status and risk deportation as early as March 5.
Johnnie Moore, a fellow adviser to Trump and an evangelical consultant, helped organize the gathering and holds out hope that Congress will bring legislative protection for Dreamers. He tweeted:
Most Christian leaders I know, all Democrats & nearly every Republican, as well as @POTUS himself, believe this is the just thing to do.
It is the job of Congress to make laws & not according to their opinions but the opinions of their constituents. Our system demands compromise. We encourage & pray for a #DACADeal.
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Source: Christianity Today