Evangelical leaders hail Trump for backing citizenship path for Dreamers
Some evangelical leaders are haling President Trump’s decision to support a path to citizenship for 1.8 million “Dreamers.”
Prominent Southern Baptist preacher Russell Moore, who has been critical of Trump, praised the move, tweeting that he was “encouraged” by the decision.
Encouraged to see the White House framework for Dreamers. I’m especially glad it outlines a path to citizenship. This is a good starting point for Congress to get to work and pass a permanent solution.
— Russell Moore (@drmoore) January 25, 2018
National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC) President Samuel Rodriguez referred to the decision as “a fulfillment of everything this administration has promised us since President Trump’s inauguration.”
Rodriguez urged Congress to reach a compromise on a path to citizenship following the move.
“In the spirit of compromise, with so many lives and families hanging in the balance, I strongly urge Congress to not let this historic opportunity slip away, but instead embrace a compromise that history will record as a righteous victory for our nation,” he said, according to Christianity Today.
NHCLC Vice President Tony Suarez also voiced his praise for Trump’s decision, tweeting that immigration advocates should be happy with the progress.
If you have been an advocate of immigration reform you ought to be celebrating @POTUS & the framework he has laid out. If Congress passes this it will be the largest immigration deal passed in three decades. President Trump is about to do what 4 other administrations couldn’t do!
— Tony Suarez-NHCLC VP (@revtonysuarez) January 25, 2018
The White House announced on Thursday it will endorse permitting 1.8 million immigrants who came to the U.S. as children to seek citizenship. The idea will be included in an immigration plan that will be released next week.
The president will look to get billions of dollars for his southern border wall in exchange for the policy.
While Trump enjoys widespread popularity among evangelicals, his decision last year to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program sparked a rift in the community.
Rodriguez and Suarez, who both serve on Trump’s evangelical advisory board, pressed him to protect Dreamers prior to his decision to end the Obama-era program.
The pair appeared with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) last week to make a public show of support for the preservation of DACA.
The immigration debate has rocked Washington this month.
Senate Republicans and Democrats failed to reach a deal to fund the government last week after the Republican funding measure did not include a DACA fix.
Trump and Republican lawmakers have said they would support protections for DACA recipients if they are tied to strict border security measures, including border wall funding.