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Evangelical Leaders Broadly Support Trump's Work on Immigration Reform

"Dreamers" react as they meet with relatives during the "Keep Our Dream Alive" binational meeting at a new section of the border wall on the U.S.-Mexico border in Sunland Park in December 2017. (Jose Luis Gonzalez/Reuters )
The White House has released a framework for immigration reform, which so far is receiving broad support from many evangelical leaders.

"I strongly urge Congress to not let this historic opportunity slip away, but instead embrace a compromise that history will record as a righteous victory for our nation," Rev. Sammy Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, said in a statement.

"Just last week, standing beside House Minority Leader Pelosi at a press conference convened on behalf of Dreamers, I had the privilege of expressing my confidence, and indeed my insistence, that a permanent deal for Dreamers must get passed through Congress. Only a few days later, news of President Trump's proposal to provide a pathway to citizenship for 1.8 million Dreamers is a complete affirmation of everything the NHCLC has worked for since the Bush Administration. It is also a fulfillment of everything this administration has promised us since President Trump's inauguration," Rodriguez continued.

"We stand at the precipice of achieving a permanent solution for Dreamers, and both sides of the immigration debate must be willing to make a compromise to get the job done. While there are certainly aspects of this proposal either party may disagree on, there is also much they can celebrate. Let us accomplish a bold and lasting solution for childhood arrivals, and yes, let us deliver enhanced border security too," he said.

The framework includes four parts:

  • $25 billion for a southern border wall
  • A path to citizenship for 1.8 million "Dreamers," illegal immigrants brought to the United States as children
  • An end to chain migration
  • The elimination of the visa lottery system

Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, reacted on Twitter.

"Encouraged to see the White House framework for Dreamers. I'm especially glad it outlines a path to citizenship. This is a good starting point for Congress to get to work and pass a permanent solution." 

Matt Soerens with World Relief also took to Twitter, praising President Trump and at the same time voicing his concerns.

"Personal opinion on limited details of immigration proposal: @realDonaldTrump should be applauded for supporting an earned path to citizenship for Dreamers, including both DACA recipients & those who meet qualifications for DACA but didn't apply. Thank you, Mr. President. But... Proposed cuts to legal immigration—especially for reunification of immediate family members—are very troubling." 

Soerens' hope is that this framework is a starting point, "not a final blueprint" for bipartisan negotiations to give "Dreamers" permanent protection.

Lawmakers have until Feb. 8 to reach a deal on immigration reform and the budget.

Reprinted with permission from Copyright The Christian Broadcasting Network, all rights reserved.

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