New pro-immigrant movements are seeking to educate and activate evangelical clergy and voters by emphasizing themes of love, justice, and welcome for the stranger that resound throughout the Hebrew Bible and New Testament.
Another factor that explains increasing awareness of immigrant issues is simple math.
Much like the nation, evangelicalism is becoming more ethnically diverse. According to the Pew Hispanic Center, 13 percent of Hispanic Americans describe themselves as evangelical Protestants. Immigrant churches are growing rapidly, and many denominations have created new structures and leadership posts designed to serve Hispanic congregants. Immigration – including illegal immigration – touches the lives of many in the pews, and church leaders want to help.
Also, greater numbers of Evangelicals are worshiping alongside documented and undocumented immigrants, getting to know them and listening to their stories.
Perhaps the strongest sign of Evangelicals' advocacy is the emergence of new organizations and coalitions focusing on the issue.
In October 2011, Cedarville University, a conservative Christian college in Ohio, hosted the "G92" immigration conference. Taking its name from the Hebrew word for immigrant, , which appears 92 times in the Hebrew Bible, the conference has spawned a new movement designed to mobilize Christian college students to advocate on behalf of all immigrants. Leaders are planning half a dozen events across the country in 2013.