According to the New York Times, "immigration overhaul . . . supporters have unleashed a secret weapon: a group of influential evangelical Christian leaders." However, any such Christians will "jump ship" if the immigration bill includes national recognition of same-sex "marriage."
UPDATE 6/17/11: Southern Baptists back 'path to legal status' for undocumented immigrants
-- From "Obama Wins Unlikely Allies in Immigration" by Laurie Goodstein, New York Times 7/18/10
Normally on the opposite side of political issues backed by the Obama White House, these [evangelical] leaders are aligning with the president to support an overhaul that would include some path to legalization for illegal immigrants already here. They are preaching from pulpits, conducting conference calls with pastors and testifying in Washington — as they did last Wednesday.
When President Obama gave a major address pushing immigration overhaul this month, he was introduced by a prominent evangelical, the Rev. Bill Hybels of Willow Creek Community Church in Illinois. Three other evangelical pastors were in the audience, front and center.
Their presence was a testament, in part, to the work of politically active Hispanic evangelical pastors, who have forged friendships with non-Hispanic pastors in recent years while working in coalitions to oppose abortion and same-sex marriage. The Hispanics made a concerted effort to convince their brethren that immigration reform should be a moral and practical priority.
Hispanic storefront churches are popping up in strip malls, and Spanish-speaking congregations are renting space in other churches. Some pastors, like Mr. Hybels, lead churches that include growing numbers of Hispanics. Several evangelical leaders said they were convinced that Hispanics are the key to growth not only for the evangelical movement, but also for the social conservative movement.
Although other religious leaders have long favored immigration overhaul — including Roman Catholics, mainline Protestants, Jews and Muslims — the evangelicals are crucial because they have the relationships and the pull with Republicans.
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