While Donald Trump still has many conservative Christians in his pocket, more of them are speaking out against his immigration policies, demanding that the administration be more welcoming to refugees. That includes leaders of the largest Protestant groups in the nation.
Starting now: faith leaders have organized a vigil outside the @WhiteHouse calling on the administration to #Welcome75K pic.twitter.com/nwH2Teb5WV
— CWS (@CWS_global) September 12, 2018
Emily McFarlan Miller writes for Religion News Service:
For evangelicals in particular, the refugee crisis brings together a number of key concerns, according to Galen Carey, vice president of government relations for the National Association of Evangelicals. That includes religious freedom, human rights, sanctity of life, peace, protecting children and families and care for the poor and vulnerable, Carey said.
The New York Times has reported Trump is considering lowering the refugee ceiling to 25,000 people in the coming fiscal year, and Nathan Bult, director of government affairs for Bethany Christian Services, said during the call he’s heard numbers as low as 5,000 and interest from members of Congress in placing it as high as 100,000.
Trump slashed that number dramatically when he set it at 45,000 his first year in office — the lowest presidential determination in history, according to Bult — and the U.S. is on track to admit a fraction of that number in the ending fiscal year. Since last October, it has received fewer than 20,000 refugees — a number not likely to top 22,000 in the few weeks before the fiscal year ends.
You could argue that, at this point, these measures are too little, too late. But it’s still encouraging to see movements like these picking up steam just before the midterm elections, which will determine the future of the GOP’s stronghold on American politics. If conservative Christians are pushing for immigration reform and acts of humanity toward refugees, only to have Trump refuse to help those who are struggling while expanding the powers of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), maybe they’ll finally realize he’s more interested in their votes than their beliefs.