Conservative Leaders Rally, Show Support for Immigration Reform

Communications Associate

October 23, 2015

Daily Caller Highlights Openness among Some Freedom Caucus Members

WASHINGTON, D.C. — As House Republicans proceed toward choosing their next speaker, conservative leaders across the country are leaving no doubt about their support for immigration reform.

And as Matt Lewis points out in a must-read Daily Caller piece this morning, “the [House] Freedom Caucus has a lot of members who are (or have been) open to some type of [immigration] reform.” These conservative voices include Reps. Mick Mulvaney (South Carolina), Justin Amash (Michigan), Thomas Massie (Kentucky), Jeff Duncan (South Carolina), Mark Meadows (North Carolina), Daniel Webster (Florida) and Raul Labrador (Idaho).

Conservative leaders across the country support this openness and are encouraging conservative members of Congress to move forward on immigration reform:

“Republicans cannot just be the ‘party of no’ on immigration. We need conservative leadership from Congress to approach immigration in a way that is based on the rule of law and the acknowledgment that immigration reform is good for our economy, for keeping America competitive, and for our country overall,” said Alfonso Aguilar, Executive Director of the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles. “The American people expect Congress to show leadership on this issue. It’s time for them to act.”

“The Bible commands us to love immigrants. It’s time to hear more Biblical love in what politicians say about fixing our broken immigration system,” said Leith Anderson, President of the National Association of Evangelicals.

“As a pastor who serves immigrants and citizens alike, I pray that Congress will receive the courage to act on meaningful reform of our immigration laws,” said Rev. Randy Buursma, Pastor of First Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Mich. “It is a value of all Christians —whether conservative or liberal — to show compassion to those who are suffering, to keep families together, and to have a fair and accessible process. I’ve heard Rep. Amash say many times that he is a supporter of immigration reform, for which I am grateful. May he find the courage to be outspoken about the importance of this issue.”

“As conservatives, if we have any hope of expanding our base, we need to stop demonizing immigrants and recognize their important economic and cultural contributions,” said Linda Chavez, conservative commentator, president of the Becoming American Institute and Chairman of the Center for Equal Opportunity. “We need congressional leadership that approaches immigration from a practical, responsible, conservative standpoint and aims to do well by our nation’s people — foreign-born and native-born alike. Our party’s and our country’s futures depend on it.”

“There should not be a litmus test against a national leader who supports immigration reform.   There is consensus among the American people of all political persuasions that reform needs to happen,” said Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, auxiliary bishop of Seattle and chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Migration. “From the Catholic perspective, making the immigration system more just and humane is a pro-life position, as it ensures that the dignity, rights, and, yes, the lives of human beings are protected.”

“We need congressional leadership that has a conservative, compassionate approach to immigration reform, not impractical and unrealistic designs that propose to deport 11 million people,” said Daniel Garza, Executive Director of The LIBRE Initiative. “Opponents to immigration reform, who would undermine our economy and split apart millions of families, do not reflect the vast conservative movement.”

“I’m hopeful that conservative leaders in Congress begin to represent the broad Christian community that believes that being pro-life also means being pro-immigrant,” said Rev. Adam Lipscomb, Pastor of City Life Church in Grand Rapids, Mich. “We need to fix the laws that are deporting moms and dads, limiting the potential of young people, and forcing people to live in the shadows. I support Rep. Amash’s consistent message that our immigration system is broken and needs reform. It’s Congress’s job to fix this broken system.”

“It is time for the House of Representatives — under the leadership of a new Speaker — to face the challenges of immigration reform and how it can enhance public safety in the United States,” said James Lopez, Division Chief (Retired), Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. “As a retired law enforcement executive and a conservative Republican, I believe Washington must end the divisive rhetoric and impractical ideas of mass deportations and begin with proposals that all can agree upon. Law enforcement needs the trust of all its residents — both immigrants and citizens — to keep our communities safe. Immigration reform will enhance law enforcement’s ability to accomplish our most important goal.”

“As an evangelical Christian, I believe immigration policy is not foremost about ‘issues’ or ‘culture wars’ but about persons made in the image of God,” said Russell Moore, President, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. “There’s nothing more conservative or more pro-life than recognizing the inherent human dignity of our neighbors. Our need is immigration reform that is compassionate and convictional, not nativist or naive. By supporting humane immigration reform, conservatives can consistently carry out their principles of life, liberty, and human flourishing.”

“Now more than ever, we need strong congressional leadership to forge solutions to our immigration crisis,” said Tom Nassif, President and CEO of the Western Growers Association. “Conservatives can and must promote a vision of reform that both respects the rule of law and recognizes the moral and economic failure that an enforcement only approach would deliver. We need a bipartisan approach that protects our internal security, American jobs, and treats foreign workers with the respect they deserve for making it possible to feed our nation and the world. Conservative leaders have supported such solutions, and farmers across the United States and everyone that benefits from a strong American food system demand such action.”

“We need Congress to lead the way on immigration reform centered on conservative values and compassion for all of God’s children,” said Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference. “We do not need the mass deportation of millions of people seeking a better life for their families. Anti-immigrant rhetoric that villainizes hardworking families does not represent the conservative or evangelical communities who seek to welcome the stranger in our midst. Let us not allow our party to be on the wrong side of history.”

“I grow weary of hearing we need to secure the borders before we have immigration reform,” said Robert Stephan, Republican Former Attorney General of Kansas. “Talk, talk, talk, and nothing gets done. It is a good way to avoid doing what is right. It is absurd to think we are going to deport 11 or 12 million illegal immigrants. The humane thing to do is allow a path to citizenship and at the same time secure the border. You don’t have to do one thing before doing the other.”

Conservative leaders are available for interviews. To follow up, please contact Cathleen Farrell, 202-403-4190.