Immigration reform can unite conservative Christians and liberals

Published: Friday, Aug. 23 2013 5:00 p.m. MDT

In this April 20, 2010 file photo, Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., is seen on Capitol Hill in Washington. Bachus spoke frankly to his constituents on Wednesday about how Christian faith fuels his support of immigration reform.

Charles Dharapak, Associated Press

Enlarge photo»

Washington Post blogger Greg Sargent dedicated an entire post Friday to deconstructing remarks Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., made earlier in the week about immigration reform.

Even though Sargent is an avowed liberal (his blog’s tagline is “Greg Sargent’s take from a liberal perspective”) and Bachus is a conservative Republican from a deep red district, Sargent praised Bachus for eschewing political rhetoric in favor of pragmatic Christian principles.

“GOP Rep. Spencer Bachus of Alabama delivered a long and remarkable speech to his constituents in which he … made a faith-based and compassionate argument for reform,” Sargent wrote. “Bachus represents a district that as of last year was the most Republican in the country. … What this shows — again — is that House Republicans, even conservative ones, could find a way to supporting comprehensive reform.”

Some quotable lines from the Bachus speech:

“Y’all may think I’m copping out, but with my Christian faith, it’s hard for me to say that I’m gonna divide these families up.”

“I’ll tell you this, as your Congressman, I am not gonna separate families or send them back.”

“Bring ‘em into our system. Give them legal status. They will pay Social Security. They’ll work hard.”

MSNBC blogger Steve Benen wrote, “The larger context is worth keeping in mind. Just last year, Bachus not only faced a primary opponent, he was challenged by the architect of Alabama's state-based anti-immigrant laws. And Bachus doesn't just represent a red district in a red state, he represents Alabama's 6th — which has a partisan-voting index rating of R+28, making it the fifth reddest district in the nation. But Bachus is nevertheless willing to take a constructive and compassionate line on immigration. … If Spencer Bachus can do this in redder-than-red Alabama, plenty of other nervous Republicans can do the same thing.”

Email: jaskar@desnews.com

Get The Deseret News Everywhere

Subscribe

Mobile

RSS