Most American evangelicals want immigration reform and more border security, according to a new Lifeway Research study sponsored by the Evangelical Immigration Table. 

“American evangelicals have complex perspectives on immigration and want a nuanced political response, but most want Congress to act soon,” Aaron Earls, the senior writer at Lifeway Research, writes. More than three-quarters of respondents (78%) believe Christians should care for immigrants and advocate for a path to citizenship for those who are already in the U.S. Eighty percent say legal immigration is “helpful.” Nearly 60% agree with the current number of approved legal immigrants. 

The study also found that half of self-identified evangelicals (50%) have a dim view of new immigrants coming to the U.S. Almost half (49%, up from 33% in 2022) of evangelicals surveyed believe they deplete the country’s profit-making resources. 

Nearly one in four (37%) respondents see increased immigration to the U.S. as a security threat to Americans (38%, up from 30% in 2022) and to law and order (37%, up from 30%). On the other hand, more than one-quarter of evangelicals surveyed (28%) see new immigrants as a threat to traditional American customs and culture.

Some evangelicals surveyed see the influx of immigrants as “an opportunity or even an improvement.” Forty percent of respondents see it as an opportunity to evangelize and to model the love of Jesus (39%, down from 46% in 2022). About one in four (26%, down from 33%) believe immigrants constitute “an improvement to America’s cultural diversity.” A small minority (14%, down from 18%) say new immigrants increase entrepreneurial activity.

“While many evangelicals fear that our nation is harmed by the volume of recent immigrants, more feel responsible to show compassion,” Scott McConnell, executive director of Lifeway Research, said. “The urgency continues to grow among evangelicals for Congress to act this year to improve laws around immigration.”

Read the full report here.

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