The Common Good

Christians Wrestle with Immigration Reform

Source: First Things
Date: May 13, 2013

A dozen Christian leaders have warned against adding recognition of same-sex partners to any immigration bill. “If your or any other proposal includes [same-sex] provisions, most, if not all of us, would have to oppose it, preventing us from mobilizing our extensive networks on behalf of the bill,” they told Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) in a May 1 letter. “We urge you not to tie our hands as we work together to reform our nation’s broken immigration system.”

Leahy reportedly has prepared amendments that would recognize same-sex companions. The letter from these church leaders pledged they would be “strongly opposed by many in our communities who would be otherwise sympathetic or even enthusiastic about the benefits of immigration reform.”


Jim Wallis, for example, likely agrees with the United Methodists on virtually every point about immigration. His unvarnished rhetoric of twenty-five years ago sounded very much like theirs, if not more radical. But he has carefully aligned himself with strategically more important Evangelicals for more than a decade. And his public endorsement of same-sex marriage so far has not significantly estranged him from Evangelical allies; witness his inclusion in the largely Evangelical media conference call aimed at Leahy.