Survey Finds Evangelicals Are Ready for Immigration Reform

immigration reform

When it comes to immigration reform, American evangelicals appear to have high expectations, a LifeWay Research study shows.

Nine out of 10 (86 percent) want more border security. Six in 10 (61 percent) support a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. More than two-thirds (68 percent) favor both. And they want Congress to take action soon.

Those are among the results of a new survey of evangelicals from Nashville-based evangelical research firm. The study, sponsored by the Evangelical Immigration Table and World Relief, found widespread support for immigration reform.

“Evangelicals are united in their desire for significant immigration reform,” Scott McConnell, vice-president of Lifeway Research, said.

A number of high profile evangelical groups have promoted immigration reform in recent years, including the National Association of Evangelicals and the National Latino Evangelical Coalition. Many evangelical pastors also support reform.

A November 2014 LifeWay Research study found many pastors want a mix of justice and mercy when it comes to immigration. More than half (54 percent) support a path to citizenship. Most (91 percent) evangelical pastors also say the government should stop illegal immigration.

In the February 2015 study, researchers found similar views among all evangelicals.

Nine out of 10 (88 percent) say reform should respect the rule of law and secure the national borders (86 percent).

They also want to protect the unity of immigrant families (72 percent) and to respect people’s God-given dignity (82 percent).

More than two-thirds (68 percent) of evangelicals say it is important for Congress to take action on immigration reform this year. And half (50 percent) are more likely to vote for a candidate who supports border security and citizenship.

“Evangelicals care about immigrants and want immigration reform,” said Leith Anderson, president of the National Association of Evangelicals. “We pray for Congress to stop waiting and start legislating.”

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SOURCE: Baptist Press
Bob Smietana