More than 150 leaders of major evangelical Christian groups have signed a statement urging Congress to step up efforts to pass comprehensive immigration reform, a significant break away from the conservative party's typically harsh stance on the issue.
As the face of America changes, so does the evangelical cohort, which is now faced with reconciling its traditionally conservative political viewpoint with a congregation that is increasingly filled with Hispanic followers.
Together, the leaders have formed the "Evangelical Immigration Table," a coalition that is calling for a faith-based approach to immigration reform, specifically by allowing illegal immigrants a path to legal status while being mindful of national security and fairness to American taxpayers, the Baptist Press reports.
The coalition comes on the heels of an increasingly partisan election season, in which Latino evangelicals have become torn, writes Maribel Hastings, a senior adviser at America's Voice Education Fund and a National Journal/The Next America contributor.
Latino evangelicals don't agree with President Obama's stance on same-sex marriage or his administration's deportation record. They also aren't enthused by Republican contender Mitt Romney's campaign thus far, including his "self-deportation" gaffe and strong opposition to the Dream Act.