Evangelicals Could Make or Break Immigration Deal

Immigration reform is picking up steam in Congress Thursday, but there are still plenty of potholes ahead.

In the next few months, Americans should have a better idea of whether millions of illegal immigrants will get an eventual pathway to citizenship. But first, there's an 844-page bill to go through.

"Our staff has been working for days to try and decipher this gobbledygook," Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., charged.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., one of the bill's key sponsors, conceded there are kinks that need to be worked out.

"It's not ideal," he said. "But it's tough, it's fair and it's enforceable."

The recent climate change on immigration has been propelled largely by the faith community. Polls show 60 percent of white evangelical Christians support a pathway to citizenship as long as there are some requirements in the bill.

"Initially evangelicals were way behind. What we see now is that evangelical leadership is walking in tandem, is walking at the rhythm of the beat of immigration reform," Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, head of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, said.

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David Brody
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