National Evangelical Leaders Applaud Republican Immigration Standards

Major Commitment from House Leadership Propels Reform Forward

WASHINGTON, D.C. — This afternoon House Republicans released standards for immigration reform, which discuss ways to reform our broken immigration system in a way that secures our nation’s borders, meets the needs of employers and addresses legalization, including citizenship for DREAMers.

Citing the moral imperatives for immigration reform, national evangelical leaders expressed their support for this important step forward and called for congressional action this year.

The following are quotes from Evangelical Immigration Table leaders:

Leith Anderson, President, National Association of Evangelicals:
“America has waited a long time for Republicans and Democrats to get together on long overdue reform of our immigration laws. Let’s pray that they’ll do the right thing in 2014.”

Stephan Bauman, President and CEO, World Relief:
“We are encouraged that the House leadership has released a set of standards that will provide a good framework for reforming our immigration laws. We believe there is a moral urgency in ensuring immigrant families remain together, and these principles provide a good first step to help the House move this important issue forward.”

David Beckmann, President, Bread for the World:
“The House GOP’s statement will hopefully re-start a meaningful, bipartisan and comprehensive reform of our broken immigration system. While the final outcome of this effort will unlikely satisfy everyone, immigration reform is long overdue and is badly needed.”

Noel Castellanos, CEO, Christian Community Development Association:
“It is with great anticipation that many of us in the immigrant and faith communities have been waiting for the House GOP leadership to provide a framework that will finally result in the construction of a new immigration policy for our nation. This new policy of opportunity and responsibility is what all Americans need to move forward together with the task of building a land of liberty, justice and flourishing for all.”

Dr. Russell D. Moore, President, Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission:
“I am encouraged by the House’s standards. While much work must be done to turn them into laws, they lay out a clear path forward on all the principal components of reform. I applaud the House for their clear expression and look forward to working with them to finally fix our nation’s broken immigration system and offer opportunity to the millions of hard-working undocumented immigrants living peacefully and productively in our nation.”

Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, President, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference:
“As Evangelicals and the spiritual heirs to Billy Graham’s message and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s march for justice, we affirm our conviction that this is the time to reconcile border security with the security of our values; values that include faith and family. We commend the leadership of the House of Representatives for capturing the essence of what Dr. King described as the ‘fierce urgency of now.’ Now is the time for comprehensive, convicted and compassionate reform.”

Rev. Gabriel Salguero, President, National Latino Evangelical Coalition:
“As an evangelical leader I remain hopeful that we will be able to move forward on immigration reform. We are hopeful that the comments by the President at the State of the Union together with the GOP standards on immigration will catapult a renewed bi-partisan commitment to real reform this year.”

Mathew Staver, Founder and Chairman, Liberty Counsel:
“The road to immigration reform has been a long one and well overdue. The system is broken and needs to be reformed. We need a system that works. I look forward to seeing the proposals from the GOP leadership in the House of Representatives. I am hopeful that we can move forward as a nation on this most important issue.”

Jim Wallis, President and Founder, Sojourners:
“Our broken immigration system has created a moral crisis that must be urgently addressed. That is why evangelical leaders have united in advocating for common sense immigration reform that reflects the biblical call to ‘welcome the stranger.’ The standards released by House Republicans are an encouraging step in the right direction. Now we must all work together to ensure the opportunity for citizenship exists for everyone ready to earn it. With so much at stake for our nation’s families, it is critical that the House act soon.”

The Evangelical Immigration Table is a broad coalition of evangelical organizations and leaders advocating for immigration reform consistent with biblical values.