WASHINGTON (AP) â€” Evangelical leaders say they will support a path to citizenship as part of immigration legislation, the first time they’ve taken an affirmative stance on the contentious issue.
Jim Wallis, head of the Christian social justice group Sojourners, says it’s part of a “sea change” in the evangelical community. He says evangelical leaders have concluded that there shouldn’t be a second-class status for people willing to follow an earned path to citizenship.
Sojourners is part of a coalition of evangelical groups that has been lobbying for an immigration overhaul to bring the nation’s 11 million illegal immigrants into legal status. Before Monday the groups had stopped short of advocating for citizenship but they told reporters on a conference call that they’ve now concluded it’s appropriate as religious leaders to support citizenship.