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Conservative evangelicals made a big splash in the immigration debate this week, as some of the movement’s foremost leaders joined some continued champions to call for immediate action on bipartisan immigration reform. Evangelical leaders including Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention, Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel and the Liberty University School of Law and Bill Hybels of Willow Creek Community Church (a national figure in the Evangelical movement) signed a full-page ad in Thursday’s edition of Roll Call titled “An Evangelical Call for Bipartisan Immigration Reform.” The ad calls on Democrats and Republicans alike to protect “the unity of the immediate family” and establish
“a path toward legal status and/or citizenship for those who qualify and who wish to become permanent residents.”
Several of these leaders, including Land and Staver, also released a statement on Tuesday expanding on these points. The statement affirms:
The time to forge a rational consensus is now. America is a country of immigrants, a melting pot of individuals from various ethnicities and cultures. It is based on the rich heritage of immigration on which this country was established, and, in accordance with a just immigration policy, this country will continue to thrive. America deserves a just immigration policy; one that begins with securing, not closing, our borders, one that provides a temporary guest-worker program, and one that offers a pathway for earned legal citizenship or temporary residency.