Woodside, CA, June 05, 2013 --(PR.com
)-- According to a new survey released by the Center for the Study of American Culture and Faith, seven out of ten of the pastors (70%) said they would prefer to “allow illegal immigrants to remain in the country and eventually qualify for U.S. citizenship, but only if they meet certain requirements like paying back taxes, learning English, and passing a background check.” Much smaller proportions of the pastors said they would rather institute “a guest worker program that allows immigrants to remain in the United States to work, but only for a limited amount of time” (supported by 14%) or to simply instruct the government to “send all illegal immigrants back to their home country” (5%). Another 5% had different preferences, and just 7% said they were uncertain about what they believe on the issue.
The views of registered voters concerning immigration policy generally mirror those of theologically-conservative pastors, with one revealing difference. Overall, two-thirds of voters (66%) would choose to help illegal immigrants qualify for citizenship, and 13% favor a guest worker program. However, 17% of registered voters favored sending illegal immigrants back to their home country, which was three times the percentage of conservative pastors (5%) who held that view.
“Immigration policy is a challenging issue for spiritual leaders,” commented Bill Dallas, who leads the Center for the Study of American Culture and Faith. “On the one hand, they want to support just enforcement and obedience to laws. On the other hand, they want to be hospitable, encouraging, and loving toward people in need. Finding the right balance is difficult. Because pastors are in the business of forgiveness, it may not be surprising that they lean toward giving illegal immigrants a chance to satisfy the law and become productive members of society.”
The survey data comparison between registered voters and theologically-conservative Protestant pastors is based on national surveys conducted in a similar timeframe. Those studies included the following research projects:
The telephone survey of theologically-conservative pastors of Protestant churches was conducted by The Center for the Study of American Culture and Faith during February 2013 among a nationally representative sample of 401 theologically-conservative pastors. The estimated maximum amount of sampling error associated with that sample is +5.0 percentage points.
The data describing the views of registered voters in general comes from a nationally representative telephone survey conducted for the Fox News Poll in January 2013 among 1,008 people 18 or older who are registered to vote. The estimated maximum amount of sampling error associated with that survey is+3.2 percentage points.
The same questions were asked of respondents in both surveys to provide an accurate comparison of opinions.
About the Center for the Study of American Culture and Faith
The Center for the Study of American Culture and Faith regularly conducts surveys on issues of national importance to educate the public about the impact that culture and faith have on elections and public policy.
The Center for the Study of American Culture and Faith is a division of United in Purpose Education, a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote traditional Judeo-Christian principles in American society through values education, research, voter outreach, marketing strategies, and technology tools.
More information about the Center for the Study of American Culture and Faith and its work can be found at www.culturefaith.com