Thou shalt ignore word ‘illegal’ in immigration debate
A vocal minority within evangelical circles is driving a wedge on the issue of immigration, often by muddying the debate over illegal aliens and borders.
According to a Pew poll, only 25 percent of Evangelicals believe the United States has a responsibility to accept refugees.
The Washington Post, not known for being kind to Evangelicals, trumpeted the survey with the May 24 headline, “The group least likely to think the U.S. has a responsibility to accept refugees? Evangelicals.”
The story went on to scold Evangelicals for such views – and for supporting Donald Trump.
Such a lopsided survey result may be one reason why groups such as National Immigration Forum and the Evangelical Immigraton Table, and a cadre of liberal evangelicals that support them, are up in arms over the issue.
Russell Moore, the controversial Southern Baptist leader of the ERLC, lectured pro-lifers at the annual March for Life that being pro-life means caring for the “invisible” among us, and he included refugees among his “holistic” approach to expanding the movement.
Mark Tooley of the Institute on Religion and Democracy says such groups offer only one perspective on the immigration agent, one that is far more to the left than he is comfortable with.
“It inclines toward open borders,” he advises, “and some kind of eventual amnesty for all illegals who are currently in the country.”
Tooley is more conservative on the issue, putting him alongside some Evangelicals that were polled by Lifeway Research three years ago. That survey found that 8 out of 10 evangelicals wanted immigration reform to honor people’s God-given dignity and keep families together while also respecting the rule of law and protecting national borders.
Tooley says liberal Evangelicals are asking the wrong question. The real immigration debate in this country, he says, is illegal immigration, a word which Tooley says has been carelessly or purposefully left out of the conversation.
“The Christian conversation on this topic over the last month, I think,” he tells OneNewsNow, “has been very hyperbolic and over the top, and too often not very interested in examining plausible solutions.”
Even though the issue of illegal immigration is the ongoing topic of debate, OneNewsNow reported in a July 6 story that the NIF failed to use the word “illegal” in a pro-immigration ad it published in The New York Times timed for the July 4th holiday.
A search of the NIF website found that the group describes illegal aliens as “migrants” even when it’s criticizing the U.S. Border Patrol, which is arresting illegal aliens – not migrants – on the U.S.-Mexico border.
The U.S. already has the most generous immigration policy in the world – at about a million legal immigrants every year – and no other nation comes close, Tooley tells OneNewsNow.
“And yet, somehow,” says Tooley, “the U.S. is portrayed as uniquely sinister and restrictive on the issue of immigration.”
And it’s a portrayal, he adds, that certain evangelical leaders know isn’t true.
Copyright OneNewsNow.com. Reprinted with permission.