The Common Good

South Carolina becomes Republican's immigration reform 'test market'

Date: March 27, 2013

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham called South Carolina ground zero in the fight for immigration reform as evangelicals join Republicans in pushing for change.

Graham is one of the GOP’s leading voices on immigration reform, a position that five years ago damaged his political image at home and caused him to back off the issue. This time, the evangelicals have brought Graham key support that he had lacked.

Now, the evangelical community is putting its money and its political muscle into the debate. Ads are running on Christian radio stations, a website promotes Bible verses about immigration, and the Evangelical Immigration Table will send text messages to update subscribers. The evangelical campaign for immigration launched earlier this month with a news conference and conference calls with national media.

“As Christians we’re called to be more than just Republicans or conservatives,” said Hal Stevenson, owner of Grace outdoor advertising in Columbia and a board member of the conservative Palmetto Family Council. “We’re called to be thinkers and representatives of Christ in the marketplace.