Leaders from various evangelical organizations have sent letters
to the president and members of Congress demanding action for
the millions of illegal immigrants who have taken up residence in
The letter maps out moral principles for reform and explains
why evangelicals have called for reform in the first 92 days
of President Obama's second term.
"We are driven by a moral obligation rooted deeply in our faith
to address the needs of immigrants in our country," the letter
reads. "Compassionate and just treatment of immigrants is a
frequent topic in scripture. The Hebrew word for immigrant, 'ger,'
occurs 92 times throughout the Bible."
Dr. Richard Land, president of The Ethics & Religious
Liberty Commission (ERLC), says it seems evident that
immigration reform is "the right thing to do."
"There are lots of different opinions about this," he
acknowledges. "I believe it's the right thing to do. It's the moral
thing to do."
He asserts the letter calls for balanced immigration reform
that respects the God-given dignity of every person, guarantees
secure national borders, protects the unity of the immediate
family, ensures fairness to taxpayers, and respects the rule of
law. But it also establishes a path toward legal status and/or
citizenship for those who qualify and wish to become permanent
"If you want there to be a conservative majority in the country,
it's going to have to include large chunks of Hispanics," Dr.
Land points out. "You turn Hispanics away when you deny
in-state tuition for the children of undocumented workers and ...
tell undocumented workers -- some of whom have been
here ten or 15 years -- 'We've changed our mind. We
haven't been enforcing the law, but now we're going to, and you
have to go home.'"
Organized by the Evangelical Immigration Round Table, this
effort aims to develop legislative and campaign priorities. "We
stand ready to support legislation that reflects Christian values
and builds the common good," the letter concludes.