Tags: Homeland Security | Immigration | Polls | poll | Evangelicals | secure borders | path to citizenship

Poll: 86 Percent of Evangelicals Want More Secure Borders

By    |   Friday, 13 March 2015 07:00 PM

Most of America's evangelicals want to see a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, but even more say they want it done with secure borders, fairness to taxpayers, and according to the rule of law.

But they are not basing their opinions on the Bible or on what they have heard in church.

A survey by LifeWay Research, sponsored by the Evangelical Immigration Table and World Relief, found that of nearly nine out of 10 evangelicals surveyed, or 88 percent, said they do not rely on scripture for their beliefs, and 68 percent say their churches have never encouraged them to reach out to immigrants.

While 61 percent are in favor of immigration reform leading to citizenship, 86 percent say they want greater border security and 88 percent say any immigration reform should uphold "the rule of law," the Christian Post reports.

Leith Anderson, president of the National Association of Evangelicals, told the Christian Post, "The sad part of this research on immigration is that American evangelicals are more influenced by the media than by their Bibles and their churches combined. We need to turn off our TVs and open up our Bibles."

Most evangelicals surveyed say they have never heard preaching in their churches about immigration, yet the same number say they would "value" such sermons, while 53 percent said they were already familiar with Biblical teachings on immigration, the Christian Post noted.

LifeWay surveyed 1,000 evangelicals, which included "those who consider themselves an evangelical, a born-again, or a fundamentalist Christian," the research group noted.

Nearly half of those surveyed, or 48 percent, said they believe recent immigrants to the U.S. to be a "drain on economic resources." Sixty-nine percent believe that it is important for Congress to pass significant new immigration legislation, which 72 percent believe should "protect the unity of the immediate family."

Some 90 percent believe any immigration reform enacted should insure fairness to taxpayers.

In the survey, 22 percent expressed fears that immigrants threaten law and order, while 20 percent believe they are a threat to "traditional American customs and culture."

As might be expected, when it comes to Hispanic evangelicals, more of them, 79 percent, support a path to citizenship than do white evangelicals: 54 percent.

Evangelicals seem to want it all, the study notes, with 68 percent approving an approach to immigration which would grant a path to citizenship when combined with strengthening the borders.

In fact, half of those surveyed said they would support a presidential candidate who favored both a path to citizenship for immigrants and increased border security.

Evangelicals fall below the average American when it comes to a pathway to citizenship, with 87 percent of those surveyed by Gallup last year saying they favor a "multifaceted pathway to citizenship that includes a long waiting period, taxes and a penalty, background checks and learning English," Gallup reported.

The Rev. Kevin McBride, pastor of the Raymond Baptist Church in Raymond, New Hampshire, told the Deseret News, "For me, it's an ongoing thing. It's a biblical mandate to take care of the poor and the oppressed, which is throughout scripture. As Christians, we're called to help."

Some 17 percent of evangelicals said they have been most influenced in their opinion by immigrants with whom they have interacted, followed by friends and family, the media and, finally, the Bible.

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Most of America's evangelicals want to see a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, but even more say they want it done with secure borders, fairness to taxpayers, and according to the rule of law.
poll, Evangelicals, secure borders, path to citizenship, illegals, immigrants, lawful, survey, legal, Lifeway Research
Friday, 13 March 2015 07:00 PM
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