The call by the groups represents a recognition that in one bedrock element of the conservative movement — evangelical Christians — the demography of their followers is changing, becoming more Hispanic, and that Republican leaders risk being out of step with their hawkish talk of border fences and immigration crackdowns like those in Arizona. …

The evangelical leaders expressed opposition to such notions as “self-deportation,” which Mr. Romney favored in a Republican debate and which urges strict enforcement of laws to encourage illegal immigrant workers to leave the country. …

He noted that Hispanics, who account for about 7.5 million of the 82 million evangelicals in the country, are the fastest-growing segment. Hispanic evangelicals are more likely than other Hispanics to identify as conservative and Republican.