The Common Good

Pro-Immigration Conservatives Seek Moral High Ground

Date: December 5, 2012

As pro-immigration reform groups try to court conservatives and Republicans to their cause, they are deploying an unusual pitch: stating a moral belief that immigration reform is "the right thing to do."

On Tuesday, the National Immigration Forum kicked off a two-day confab that included 250 leaders from law enforcement, business, and faith groups from more than 26 states to strategize and meet with lawmakers and White House officials. And the pitch that conservatives made was more often than not based on moral reasoning in addition to economics.

"Fair and just immigration reform is first and foremost a moral issue," Dr. Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty, said at a press conference to kick off the event. "God has definite opinions about how we treat the stranger in our midst."

Rev. Samuel Rodriguez of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference said that he hopes "the party of Lincoln remembers that the movement was founded upon a justice mandate" when considering the immigration issue. He even compared evangelical support for immigration reform as to Christians taking up the mantle of "Martin Luther King's march."