Quoting the Book of Deuteronomy to the gathered group of pastors and activists, Obama called on Americans to see themselves and their ancestors in the face of present-day immigrants. “Love ye therefore the stranger: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt,” Obama said.
America, the president said, “is a nation of immigrants and a nation of laws,” and he acknowledged that simply enforcing the law of the land when it comes to immigration “may mean inflicting pain on families.”
Obama asked the group to “keep preaching, keep persuading” their communities to build “a widespread movement for reform.”
When it comes to building consensus within the country’s Hispanic population, faith-based groups are good place to start.
A 2007 study by the Pew Hispanic Center and Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life found a high degree of religiosity among Hispanics.
“More than two-thirds (68 percent) of Hispanics are Roman Catholics. The next largest category, at 15 percent, is made up of born-again or evangelical Protestants,” the survey found.
The survey also noted that “two-thirds of Hispanics say that their religious beliefs are an important influence on their political thinking,” and found a “three-to-one advantage among Latino Catholics who are eligible to vote” for the Democratic party: 48 percent Democratic vs. 17 percent for Republicans.