NewsNation | February 06, 2013
>>> immigration reform has an unlikely new ally. the christian right. they write christian conservatives who stayed on the sidelines or oppose reform out right sprung into action for the cause. they changed the dynamics so much so that republicans anxious to vote yes on a deal might have the political cover to do it. at the top of the hour, we told you about what seems to be the appearance of a divide among the top house leaders. splitting with eric kantor support for a pathway to full citizenship for children of un undocumented imgrants. 49% of americans approve of the president's handling of immigration, an 11-point boost from july. joining me is anna palmer, the writer of the article. thank you so much for joining us.
>> thank you for having me.
>> explain why the christian right now especially those who are silent and sat on the sidelines while the debate went on and watched the primary deal with the issue, why now?
>> it's two-fold. one is an interesting thing. the religious right has a very big agreeing footprint of hispanics and latinos who are a future of that church. when they look to how to grow the membership, they see the spanish and latino immigrants as a driver for that. the other thing is you see a real education that has gone on by some of the group to try to get more people on board and the big names like focus on the family and freedom and faith coalition came out in support of it. you will get the big names that come out and try to get it across the finish line.
>> you can't see the bottom of our screen, but the what would jesus do. i feel the need to explain it. some of these people who are pastors have even told their congregation to go to the bible and read scriptures related to jesus and immigration.
>> it's gone beyond just the people behind the pulpit. the pastors are taking it to the pews and they have a 40-day prayer where they are asking the parishioners to read about the immigrant as part of the bible. it's called i'm a strangerer. there is a definite education curve and they focus on states like arizona, california, colorado that could give cover to members who would potentially be nervous about-facing an up tick against them if they support immigration reform .
>> it's interesting because the bible hasn't changed for a very, very long time. these are people saying go to the bible as a difference point on how to treat people who are in this country illegally. do they feel that the voices would be drowned out in the last election in the last primary? why do they feel the courage now. the bible has not changed.
>> i focus on the family . one group that never waded into this before. they focus on gay marriage and family and those issues. they said to me that the reason why they are going so vocally about this and speaking to the broadcast, millions of evangelical, the dynamic is different and they feel like they can make a push on this and they want to put their full weight behind it.
>> with the idea that then the people in the south or wherever they will put pressure on i'm assuming house republicans and those who are still resistant to any immigration reform or who see it as amnesty whether it's a tactical move or divide. a different warn coming from boehner and kantor.
>> i spoke with the pastors up here. they want to have as many calls or more coming into these offices, supportive of immigration reform so that republicans in the south that are on the fence on these issues can say hey, i'm hearing for many of my constituents that are in support of this and not hear from the imagainst immigration.
>> a great article. thank you