Home Christian News American Evangelicals Want Balanced Approach to Immigration

American Evangelicals Want Balanced Approach to Immigration

National and personal responsibility

American evangelicals believe the U.S. has a moral responsibility to accept refugees and immigrants in a variety of circumstances and that Christians should be caring for them.

More than 3 in 5 evangelicals (70%) agree the U.S. has a moral obligation to accept refugees, which are legally defined as someone fleeing persecution due to specific factors such as their race, religion, or political opinion. Additionally, around 3 in 4 agree that a national moral obligation exists to accept refugees fleeing religious persecution (74%) and people fleeing natural disasters (73%). Smaller majorities of evangelicals agree there is a moral obligation for the U.S. to accept people from other countries seeking to be reunited with family members already in the U.S. legally (67%) and people from other countries fleeing poverty (60%).

Additionally, 69% say Christians have a responsibility to care sacrificially for refugees or other foreigners, and 58% say Christians should assist immigrants even if they are here illegally.

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“World Relief alone has partnered with thousands of churches and tens of thousands of volunteers to resettle refugees and serve other immigrants in the past decade, and of course, many churches have their own ministries to immigrants as well,” said Soerens, who also serves as the U.S. director of church mobilization and advocacy at World Relief. “Over the past year, the arrival of large numbers of Afghans and Ukrainians who were forced to flee their homelands has reminded many Christians of their biblical calling to love these uniquely vulnerable neighbors.”

In each area of national and personal responsibility, evangelicals by belief are more likely than self-identified evangelicals to strongly agree that a moral obligation exists.

Legislative solutions

Seven in 10 evangelicals (71%) say it is important that Congress pass new immigration legislation in 2022. When asked about specific types of emphases they would prefer in immigration policy, evangelicals want laws that provide citizenship opportunities for those who are here illegally and that also protect the U.S. border.

More than 3 in 4 evangelicals say they support potential legislation that ensures fairness to the taxpayer (94%), protects the unity of the immediate family (92%), respects the rule of law (92%), respects the God-given dignity of every person (90%), guarantees secure national borders (90%) and establishes a path toward citizenship for those who are here illegally, are interested and meet certain qualifications (78%).