Evangelical leaders are urging Congress to overhaul the immigration system and are urging their fellow Conservatives to tone down their hawkish rhetoric on illegal immigration.
Republican leaders in the country have passed what many consider as draconian laws, such as Arizona’s illegal immigration measure which is currently being reviewed by the Supreme Court. Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney once suggested that those, who are here illegally, should self-deport themselves and make an effort to enter the country by legal means. Other conservative leaders want tougher border controls, more deportations, and have defeated any efforts to reform the immigration system like the DREAM Act.
But this line of conversation is alienating a growing constituency for the modern Evangelical movement, Latinos.
As any immigration attorney can attest, getting American citizenship isn’t an easy thing to do. Although millions of work visas are issued to immigrants every year, naturalization is a much harder endeavor and many applications are denied.
Speaking to a crowd in Washington, Evangelical leader, Tom Minnery, senior vice president for Focus on Family said that the millions of illegal immigrants in the country should be able to “come out of the shadows” and begin the “process of restitution” leading to a legal presence.
Minnery has urged lawmakers to push immigration reform, calling for “fair” and “responsible” treatment of the nation’s immigrant population. Focus of Family has proposed that the system be overhauled by allowing a person to obtain a visa, pay a fine and be given a pathway to citizenship, made simpler with the guidance of an immigration lawyer.
Minnery’s reform proposal sounds very much like the DREAM Act, which was rejected by conservative lawmakers, because it gave amnesty to people who broke the law when they entered the country illegally
An immigration attorney can make the pathway to citizenship less difficult. With their help person wishing to migrate can obtain a HB-1 or other visa, and after satisfying their residency requirements can apply for naturalization.