Obama's Secret Weapon on Immigration: Evangelicals

Pro-reform Hispanic evangelicals a growing political force
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 19, 2010 6:55 AM CDT
Juan Hernandez, l., of Conservatives for Comprehensive Immigration Reform, speaks with Samuel Rodriguez, president of National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference in Washington, June 9, 2010.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
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(Newser) – President Obama's push for immigration reform has brought him some allies he's not likely to partner with on many other issues: evangelical Christian leaders, many of whom embrace a path to legalization for illegal immigrants. Growing evangelical support for immigration reform reflects the recent work of politically active Hispanic pastors, who have convinced many across the evangelical movement that immigration reform is a moral imperative—and that Hispanic evangelicals are the future of the social conservative movement.

“My message to Republican leaders,” one prominent Hispanic evangelical minister told the New York Times, “is if you’re anti-immigration reform, you’re anti-Latino, and if you’re anti-Latino, you are anti-Christian church in America, and you are anti-evangelical.” One conservative Christian, however, warned of a looming problem in the Obama-evangelical alliance: If family reunification provisions in reform legislation include same-sex partners, "that would be a deal-breaker.”

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