July 7, 2010
Evangelicals Push Response to Arizona's Immigration Law
Evangelical leaders participated in a conference call with Conservatives for Comprehensive Immigration Reform today as the Obama administration heads into a legal battle over Arizona's immigration law.
Today's group included Richard Land, President of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, Joel Hunter, pastor of Northland, A Church Distributed, and Samuel Rodriguez, president of The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference.
The Obama administration filed a federal lawsuit against Arizona's new immigration law that focuses on why federal immigration laws enforced by federal agencies should take precedence to laws passed by a state. Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Utah are all preparing measures similar to Arizona's law, according to The Washington Post.
Jay Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice will file an amicus brief in support of Arizona's law.
"It's troubling that the federal government, which has repeatedly failed to secure our nation's borders, is now attempting to punish the state of Arizona for doing just that," he said in a statement.
Dan Gilgoff reported on CNN which evangelicals attended President Obama's speech last week: Land, Rodriguez, the National Association of Evangelicals' Leith Anderson, and Willow Creek pastor Bill Hybels.
After Obama's speech, Land issued a statement praising the president. “In any marriage, you have to first have an initial proposal," he said. "The President proposed this morning. It’s up to the Congress to now accept that proposal or to construct its own proposal and to bring forth a bill that will consummate the marriage."
He discussed his support for immigration reform in an interview with NPR. "If the new conservative coalition is going to be a governing coalition, it's going to have to have a significant number of Hispanics in it," he said. "That's dictated by demographics, and you don't get large numbers of Hispanics to support you when you're engaged in anti-Hispanic immigration rhetoric."