Since I do research on the intersection of religion and immigration attitudes and policy, I am encouraged to see things like this coming out in the news:
Richard Land, the president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s policy arm, the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, said Tuesday at a news conference here that immigration was a “moral issue.” He warned Republicans that “if they want to be a contender for national leadership, they are going to have to change their ways on immigration reform.”
The Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, the president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, the largest organization of Latino evangelicals, portrayed the Republicans’ dilemma in biblical terms. “They must cross the proverbial Jordan of immigration reform,” he said, “if they want to step into the promised land of the Hispanic electorate.”
Former President George W. Bush weighed back in to the discussion on Tuesday by calling on policy makers in Washington to revamp the law “with a benevolent spirit” that recognized the contribution of those who moved here from other countries.
When a majority of Republicans in Congress are not on the same page as 1) national religious leaders, and 2) George W. Bush, it’s likely that something is going to eventually give somewhere. It will be interesting to see how this plays out in 2013. It might finally be the year that some progress is made on comprehensive immigration reform.