Faith

Evangelical leaders love Trump's immigration plan. Here's why.

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump attends a worship service at the International Church of Las Vegas October 30, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump has taken heat from critics on both the left and the right for his immigration proposal, but among many evangelical Christians, the president is striking just the right balance, RealClearPolitics reports.

The White House immigration proposal, released Thursday, calls for $25 million in border wall funding as well as a 10-to-12 year path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children.

The proposal also includes an end to the visa lottery system and limits on chain migration to include only spouses and minor children.

What evangelical leaders are saying

“It’s a tough issue to sell among conservatives, but among evangelicals there’s a teaching in our faith that we are to show compassion to the alien, and kindness to the sojourner or the stranger,” said Ralph Reed, president of the Faith and Freedom Coalition.

“A majority of the American people and a majority of evangelicals want to deal compassionately with DACA [recipients], but they don’t want an additional flood [of undocumented immigrants],” said Richard Land, president of the Southern Evangelical Seminary. “Support for a wall and a path to, at the very least, permanent legal status — for me it’s not a trade-off. … I want both and I have always wanted both.”

“What I find is that evangelicals are concerned about this primarily because we have so many Dreamers in our congregations, so these are real people who are our brothers and sisters in Christ,” said Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. “Breaking up families and sending people to countries they’ve never known is not just.”

An important group

Trump won the 2016 election partially due to overwhelming support from the evangelical community; particularly white evangelicals.

Much of that support stems from Trump’s stances on abortion, religious freedom, and Israel.

Even after the Pew Research Center reported a 17 percent drop in Trump’s approval rating among white evangelical protestants, that still left his approval rating in that group at 61 percent.

One last thing…
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