Christian leaders weigh immigration stance

Jan. 14, 2007 at 11:16 AM

WASHINGTON, Jan. 14 (UPI) -- A group of conservative Christians wrote to U.S. President George W. Bush seeking strict immigration policies from the White House.

The letter asked for tough border restrictions and amnesty for immigrants related to U.S. citizens, the Washington Times said Sunday.

Evangelical Christians are caught between their religious loyalties and their loyalty to U.S. law, the Washington Times reported Sunday. Their religion tells them to proselytize, but they do not want to welcome illegal immigrants who are breaking the law.

"Some evangelicals say, 'We're in favor of stricter law enforcement, but we're not going to turn in people in our community,'" Richard Cizik of the National Association of Evangelicals told the newspaper.

That group, based in Wheaton, Ill., amended its charter in October 2006 to reflect the immigration question, demanding "immigration reform that reflects human dignity, compassion and justice."

Many immigrants turn to religion for inspiration and guidance, making it difficult for churches to turn their back on fervent supporters, the Times reported.

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