The “Bibles, Badges and Business” campaign, made up of diverse faith groups as well as law enforcement and business groups, is planning about 50 events nationwide, including roundtables, speeches and town hall visits. The Evangelical Immigration Table, a coalition made of up many of the same evangelical organizations, aims to target about 80 congressional districts with in-person visits, phone calls and op-eds, according to Jim Wallis, founder of Sojourners, a national Christian organization focused on social and racial justice.
“When a pastor with 5,000 members calls his member of Congress, he answers the phone,” Wallis said.
The alliances between different religious groups – not always on the same page on other issues like sexual morality, war and the economy – also allow the pro-reform coalition to offer a consistent message to people of faith from born-again Christians and Mormons, who have supported Republicans overwhelmingly in past presidential elections, to Catholics and mainline Protestants, who are more evenly split between the two parties.
“The future of the churches, all of them – Catholic, Southern Baptist, evangelical, mainline – the future of our churches are immigrants,” Wallis says. “They are our future.”