The nation’s Protestant senior pastors want the U.S. government to mix justice with mercy when it comes to immigration reform.
Most say it’s the government’s job to stop people from entering the country illegally. They also support reform that includes a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants already in the country. And they believe Christians should help immigrants, no matter what their legal status.
Those are among the findings of a new survey of 1,000 Protestant senior pastors from Lifeway Research. The survey was conducted prior to the midterm elections.
Scott McConnell, vice president of Lifeway Research, said pastors don’t approve of illegal immigration. But they want to help illegal immigrants make things right.
“This is one of many cases in which Christians can look at those around them and say, ‘I don’t agree with what got you to this place in life, but I will love you while you are here,’” says McConnell.
Nearly 6 in 10 Protestant senior pastors (58 percent) agree with the statement: “I am in favor of immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship for those who are currently in the country illegally.” About a third (34 percent) disagree. Seven percent are not sure.
Other findings include:
- 79 percent agree with the statement: “Christians have a responsibility to assist immigrants, even if they are in the country illegally.”
- 87 percent agree with the statement: “The U.S. government has the responsibility to stop illegal immigration.”