Atlanta-area evangelical leaders to call for immigration overhaul

A group of 10 Atlanta-area evangelical leaders is preparing to publicly urge Congress on Thursday to vote on immigration overhaul legislation.

Consisting of Baptist and Methodist pastors and other faith leaders from across the region, the group is connected to an organization calling itself the Evangelical Immigration Table, which has endorsed Senate Bill 744. The legislation — which would create a pathway to citizenship for millions of immigrants living illegally in the U.S. — is now stalled in the Republican-controlled House.

A press conference is set for 11 a.m. Thursday at First Baptist Church of Tucker. The pastors and others also plan to discuss an upcoming trip to Washington, where they plan to press congressmen to act.

Evangelicals are sharply divided over the topic. Another movement — Evangelicals for Biblical Immigration — has issued an open letter calling on Congress to scrap the legislation and start over, saying it is “flawed to the point of being unworkable.”

The two sides — who help form a key part of the Republican conservative base — differ in their interpretations of the Bible and have been relying on church sermons, prayers and letter-writing campaigns to make their cases.

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