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New Lifeway Research Polling Shows Increased Evangelical Support for Immigration Reform Ahead of Election Season

Today (Feb. 28, 2024), the Evangelical Immigration Table hosted a virtual press conference on polling released today by Lifeway Research highlighting growing support for immigration reform among evangelicals, 77% of whom want Congress to act this year. A recording of the call is available here

“Whether they are at the border or in our communities, every immigrant was made in the image of God with inherent dignity — and as a nation, our policies should reflect that,” said Matthew Soerens, National Coordinator of the Evangelical Immigration Table and Vice President for Advocacy and Policy at World Relief, “These polling results show that evangelicals across the country want Congress to do just that by passing real immigration reform solutions this year, not deferring action until after the elections.”

“Because of the growing diversity of the evangelical community representing a lot of immigrant communities, this is not merely a political issue but one about the vibrancy of our communities and the vitality of our churches,” said Walter Kim, President of the National Association of Evangelicals. “It’s easy to caricaturize evangelical views, but in fact there is an incredible amount of nuance. There is a desire for border security but also to keep families together and to find compassionate solutions forward.”

The polling results found strong evangelical support for a number of immigration policy priorities advocated by the Evangelical Immigration Table, including affirming support for ensuring secure borders (91%), of policies that respect family unity (91%), of refugee resettlement (71%) and of solutions for opportunities for immigrants in the country unlawfully to pursue U.S. citizenship (75%). This year, 78% of evangelicals support policies that pair improvements to border security with an earned path to citizenship for individuals in the country unlawfully. Sixty-five percent report that they would be more likely to vote for a candidate who supports these priorities in this election cycle, while just 12% would be less likely to support a candidate who supported these positions.

“This research underscores the reality that committed evangelical Christians affirm both a need for a strong, secure U.S. border and for a common sense immigration system,” said Daniel Darling, Director of the Land Center for Cultural Engagement at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. “A clear majority of evangelicals for a common-sense bipartisan fix to a broken immigration system. This is a clarion call to both parties to stop playing politics with this important issue and reform the system to both uphold the rule of law and respect the imago dei of immigrants.”

“I know from my time working on Capitol Hill that immigration issues can draw strong passions, from both sides of the aisle. What this survey makes clear is that evangelical Christians actually want nuanced solutions on immigration that both invest in border security and make our system more humane and compassionate. Lawmakers should seriously consider the findings of this polling, and recommit to finding bipartisan solutions,” said Chelsea Sobolik, Director of Government Relations for World Relief. 

“More and more evangelicals are looking to Scripture and what it has to say about the immigrant, the refugee and the stranger,” said Gabriel Salguero, President of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition, “This polling shows that evangelicals want to move beyond just political talking points and be discipled on immigration reform.”

Along with broadening support for immigration reform, evangelicals are increasingly viewing the Bible as the most important influence on their thinking on immigration, with 

4 out of 5 indicating that they would like to hear a biblically-focused sermon on immigration from the pulpit. 

For the full polling results, please visit:

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