Posted on March 3, 2024

Half of Evangelicals See Immigrants as Drain on Resources, New Poll Shows

Mark A. Kellner, Washington Times, February 29, 2024

Half of U.S. evangelicals said recent immigrants are a “drain on economic resources,” while 37% said immigrants are a threat to “law and order” in a new survey.

The results mark increases in negative views about immigration among evangelicals since a 2022 survey in which 33% said immigrants are a drain on resources and 30% said they are a threat to law and order.

The evangelical research group Lifeway Resources conducted the survey for several sponsors, including the Evangelical Immigration Table, a coalition providing discipleship resources focused on immigration from a biblical and missional perspective, and World Relief, a global Christian humanitarian organization.

Also in the survey:

• 55% of evangelicals said Christians have a responsibility to care for immigrants, even those here illegally.

• 75% said there should be a path to citizenship for those already here who are interested and meet certain qualifications.

“It’s quite notable that this data includes 72% of White evangelicals, along with 80% of Black evangelicals and 87% of Hispanic evangelicals,” said Walter Kim, president of the National Association of Evangelicals, who participated in an online news conference Wednesday.

Evangelicals were divided on immigrants’ value to the nation: 26% said the new arrivals improve America’s cultural diversity, while 28% said they are “a threat to traditional American customs and culture.”

Additionally, 39% of evangelicals said the recent influx is an opportunity to “show love” to immigrants and 40% said it’s a chance to “introduce them to Jesus Christ.” Fourteen percent said immigrants would “boost entrepreneurial activity.”