As The New York Times and Big Government reported earlier, the leaders of several evangelical groups have recently called for bipartisan immigration reform. The call for reform is part of a larger effort known as the Evangelical Immigration Table, which has issued the "Evangelical Statement of Principles for Immigration Reform."
The heart of the statement reads as follows:
Our national immigration laws have created a moral, economic and political crisis in America. Initiatives to remedy this crisis have led to polarization and name calling in which opponents have misrepresented each other’s positions as open borders and amnesty versus deportations of millions. This false choice has led to an unacceptable political stalemate at the federal level at a tragic human cost.
As evangelical Christian leaders, we call for a bipartisan solution on immigration that:
- Respects the God-given dignity of every person
- Protects the unity of the immediate family
- Respects the rule of law
- Guarantees secure national borders
- Ensures fairness to taxpayers
- Establishes a path toward legal status and/or citizenship for those who qualify and who wish to become permanent residents
We urge our nation’s leaders to work together with the American people to pass immigration reform that embodies these key principles and that will make our nation proud.
The statement is an attempt by some evangelical leaders to find a practical solution to a broken* immigration system that causes problems for members of their congregation and the communities they serve. While the intent may be admirable, I believe the effort is misguided and wrong. I also believe it is a leftist trap designed to advance the re-election of President Obama.
First, the Evangelical Immigration Table is a coalition of groups from both the left and the right. To bring the two sides together, the "Evangelical Statement of Principles for Immigration Reform" had to be kept intentionally vague to the point of becoming almost meaningless. Many of the points are contradictory and the interpretation of those points will almost certainly cause future division.
Second, the coalition of "evangelicals" is not really a coalition of "evangelicals" in the traditional sense of the word. The term "evangelical" first appeared during the Protestant Reformation and referred to those individuals who held Scripture to be the final authority on truth. The evangelical coalition behind the Evangelical Immigration Table contains groups like Sojourners led by Jim Wallis. Wallis, for those unfamiliar with his record, is a leftist who subordinates Scripture to his own leftist ideology.
Third, the presence of Wallis and other leftist groups in the coalition leads me to suspect that the group will be used as a stalking horse for President Obama in an effort to undermine the Romney campaign. Wallis has served as an Obama stooge for years and provides him with religious cover when needed. It is not a coincidence that he serves in a leadership position in the Evangelical Immigration Table. Furthermore, the fact that the Evangelical Immigration Table plans to run ads calling for immigration reform in key political swing states like Florida is a huge indicator as to its real intent.
Many solid conservatives have signed on to the "Evangelical Statement of Principles for Immigration Reform." I do not believe that these conservatives - many of them with years of experience battling for conservative causes - have suddenly become big government statists. Many continue to be critics of the Obama administration. Richard Land, President of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberties Commission, recently lost his national radio program for condemning Obama as a race hustler for his actions in the Trayvon Martin case. Others have sacrificed just as much.
Many of these signatories have simply been duped into a political issue that the Obama administration will use to further his re-election. These evangelical leaders do not speak for all social conservatives. They certainly do not speak for me. I urge everyone involved in or connected to these evangelical organization to contact their leadership and express their displeasure with their decision to sign onto such an obvious political ploy.
Hat Tip to mbecker908 for raising the issue on Wednesday.
*I use the term broken in a general sense. The system may very well be broken because the President refuses to do his duty and uphold current law.