The evangelical slide on immigration reform

For one thing, people seem to be more supportive of giving immigrants legal residency rather than full citizenship. Some parts of “the community are willing to accept legalization as an intermediary path … so it doesn’t kill immigration reform,” said Gabriel Salguero, a New York City pastor and president of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition. He sees the change as a sign of pragmatism in the face of Washington’s stagnation. “I think all American evangelicals are frustrated with the lack of movement in Congress,” he said.

Robert P. Jones, the CEO of the Public Religion Research Institute and one of the authors of the survey, agreed. “What the data shows over the last year is that there is a permeable boundary between these two categories for some evangelicals,” he said. “There’s slippage from supporting paths to citizenship to something a little bit less than that.”

Although this trend of slippage is happening most among white evangelicals, closely followed by minority evangelicals, it’s actually true of all religious Americans. This table shows the drop-off in support for citizenship for illegal immigrants across denominations…