The U.S. Senate's bipartisan "gang of eight" unveiled the immigration reform bill they had been working on for months at a Thursday press conference.
"Our immigration system is broken and it is time for a national conversation about how to fix it," the senators said in a joint statement. "We believe common sense immigration reform is vital in order to secure America's borders, advance our economic growth, and provide fuller access to the American dream."
The gang of eight includes four Republicans – Jeff Flake (Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (S.C.), John McCain (Ariz.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) – and four Democrats – Michael Bennet (Colo.), Dick Durbin (Ill.), Robert Menendez (N.J.) and Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) more >>
WASHINGTON – Pastor Bill Hybels told hundreds of fellow evangelicals gathered in Washington, D.C., Wednesday that he was praying a "Philippians 4-style" prayer to advocate for immigration reform.
"How should we pray?" asked Hybels, senior pastor at Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Ill. Should his prayer be a "cover thou's backside" type of prayer, a "do what we tell You to do" prayer, or a Philippians 4 type of prayer?
The service, at Church of the Reformation just a few blocks from the U.S. Capitol in Washington, was part of an all-day event, billed as the "Evangelical Day of Prayer and Action for Immigration Reform," organized by the Evangelical Immigration Table that also included meetings with members of Congress. The worship music was led by OneVoice Gospel Choir of Cedarville University, Cedarville, Ohio. more >>
A group of evangelical Christian leaders challenged claims on Wednesday that a recent bill filed by a bipartisan group of senators on immigration reform constitutes amnesty for illegal immigrants.
The bipartisan group of four Republican and four Democrat senators formally filed the bill that if accepted into law would constitute the most significant overhaul of immigration laws in at least 26 years. The bill's hallmark feature is the inclusion of a 13-year pathway to citizenship for almost 11 million undocumented immigrants in America.
Critics of the bill, cited mainly as Republicans, have argued that the pathway to citizenship in the bill is its "fatal flaw" and constituted amnesty. more >>
WASHINGTON – Over 300 evangelicals representing 25 states gathered in the nation's capitol Wednesday for worship, prayer and meetings with members of Congress in an effort to bring about comprehensive immigration reform.
The events, organized by the Evangelical Immigration Table (EIT), began with a press conference in front of the Capitol, followed by a praise and worship service a few blocks away at Church of the Reformation, a prayer walk, and over 80 meetings with senators and representatives.
"We're here to say that immigration reform has strong evangelical support," said the Rev. Gabriel Salguero, president of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition. more >>
Senator Marco Rubio of Florida appeared on a series of talk shows this Sunday to promote the new immigration reform bill, which took months of crafting among bipartisan politicians and will be presented on Tuesday at the earliest.
Rubio has persistently stressed that this upcoming immigration reform bill will not simply "award" citizenship to those who have lived in the U.S. illegally, but rather provide a fair opportunity for them to pursue a path to citizenship.
While many evangelical pastors and leaders have been active in promoting immigration reform through the Evangelical Immigration Table, recent polls suggest that white evangelicals fall behind the rest of the nation in their support of immigrants and immigration reform.
A recent poll conducted by Public Religion Research Institute and The Brookings Institution, and a recent poll conducted by Pew Research Center, both show that white evangelicals are the least supportive, among the combined religious and race/ethnic groups studied, of creating a path to citizenship for unauthorized immigrants.
In the PRRI survey, 56 percent of white evangelicals favored a path to citizenship, compared to 63 percent of all Americans. In the Pew survey, 62 percent of white evangelicals said unauthorized immigrants should be allowed to stay legally (compared to 71 percent for all Americans), with 20 percent saying they should be able to apply for permanent residency and 40 percent saying they should be able to apply for citizenship. more >>