Major religious groups show support for immigration reform

Federal lawmakers are being lobbied by a broad swath of constituents who want to see the nation’s immigration system fixed. And you can add religious groups to that collection, as leaders from both the Catholic and Evangelical Christian movements have started to weigh in with their support of comprehensive immigration reform.

Archbishop of New York joins the fray
Cardinal Timothy Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, has added his voice to the chorus of advocates who want to see the House of Representatives pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill before the end of the year. In a letter to House Speaker John Boehner, Dolan called the issue “a matter of great moral urgency,” further underlining the human costs of congressional inaction.

“As a moral matter … our nation cannot continue to receive the benefits of the work and contributions of undocumented immigrants without extending to them the protection of the law,” Dolan wrote. “Keeping these human beings as a permanent underclass of workers who are unable to assert their rights or enjoy the fruits of their labor is a stain on the soul of the nation.”

Evangelical organizations also pushing for reform
Catholic bishops aren’t the only religious group in the country who are throwing their support behind immigration reform.

Evangelical Christian organizations, including the National Association of Evangelicals and the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, have been strongly advocating for comprehensive changes to the nation’s immigration system, one of which would be a path to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented workers living in the U.S.

Even white evangelicals, the most skeptical religious group on the issue of reform, according to the Pew Research Center’s Religion and Public Life Project, have shown support for immigration reform. More than 60 percent of them now believe that undocumented workers should be allowed to stay in the country as long as there are certain conditions attached.