Michael Wear

Religious Groups Face Uphill Fight in House on Immigration Reform

Photo by RNS.

Sojourner staffers praying outside the Capitol building on behalf of the Evangelical Immigration Table in June. Photo by RNS.

Evangelical leaders pushing for comprehensive immigration reform will be back in Washington next week, praying and lobbying on Capitol Hill.

They’ll need all the help they can get — divine or otherwise — after the Senate’s immigration reform bill hit a brick wall of opposition in the Republican-controlled House.

Dozens of Catholic university presidents sent a letter Thursday to Catholic members of Congress urging them to act, declaring, “We are part of an immigrant church in an immigrant nation.”

Campaigns’ Faith Outreach Centers on Economy

RNS photo by Sally Morrow

Mark DeMoss, Sr. Advisor to the Romney campaign, speaks about faith outreach by both campaigns. RNS photo by Sally Morrow

BETHESDA, Md. — With voters focused intently on pocketbook issues, both Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama are framing their faith-outreach efforts around the economy as the presidential campaign enters its final weeks.

That marks a shift from previous election cycles, campaign advisers say.

“That’s a major difference between this election and the last. The economy is the single issue that transcends every demographic, every coalition, every interest group,” said Mark DeMoss, an evangelical who has led Romney’s efforts to rally conservative Christians  a key Republican voting bloc  around the GOP nominee, who is a Mormon.

“Evangelicals are no less interested in the unemployment rate and the cost of living than non-evangelicals,” DeMoss added.

Obama Campaign Taps Young Adviser, Michael Wear, for Faith Outreach


President Obama at a campaign event, MANDEL NGAN/AFP/GettyImages

President Obama's re-election campaign has tapped a 23-year-old executive assistant in the White House faith-based office to head up its outreach to religious communities.

Michael R. Wear, who has worked in the White House for the past three and half years, will move to Chicago to become the campaign's Faith Vote director next week, White House officials confirmed on Monday (May 14).

"It has been an honor working with Michael Wear to create positive faith-based and nonprofit partnerships to serve people in need," said Joshua DuBois, executive director of the Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Wear was DuBois' executive assistant.