Evangelicals and Immigration – National Review

October 24, 2013
By Betsy Woodruff

Now that the government is back up and running, advocates of comprehensive immigration reform are ramping up their efforts, with Evangelical Christians taking center stage. The Evangelical Immigration Table has been particularly active, organizing a “Pray4Reform” campaign that (per the National Immigration Forum) has had more than 400 “prayer events and gatherings” in the last fortnight. And on October 21, the group sent a highly publicized letter to members of Congress praising them for their success thus far in moving toward reform and admonishing them to keep fighting the good fight.

So Evangelical Christians must have all gotten together and decided the Gang of 8’s bill is peachy keen, right? Not exactly. Evangelical Christians’ perspectives on immigration reform are of Byzantine complexity. But that in and of itself is an important fact to bear in mind as the debate heats up again over the coming weeks, and as various groups jostle for authority to speak for the movement. Given Evangelicals’ clout in the GOP, their perspective on the issue is, shall we say, just a little important. And that makes the complexity of their take especially noteworthy.

Dan Patrick, for instance, is a Texas state senator and a prominent Evangelical in the state. He is also a former radio host, and is one of three primary challengers to Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst.

“As a Christian, it bothers me that people die because of the politics,” Patrick says. “And as a state senator in Texas, it bothers me that because of politics we are having a large criminal element and potentially some terrorists come into our country. Washington is literally fiddling while Texas and our southern border burns.”

He describes the influx of illegal immigrants across the border as “an invasion,” and holds that the number of people who die trying to cross into the United States means that Christians have a responsibility to make that trek less appealing.

Read the full article here.