The Values Behind Support For Path to Citizenship for Illegal Immigrants


A new survey from PRRI and the Brookings Institution shows that majorities of Democrats, independents, and Republicans favor allowing illegal immigrants currently living in the U.S. to become citizens provided they meet certain requirements. But what values are inspiring this unusual political unity on a controversial issue? In my latest column for “Figuring Faith,” I explore the values that motivate different political groups to favor a path to citizenship:

It’s noteworthy that [the RNC’s recent] political reality check has motivated even some of the staunchest opponents of immigration reform to rethink not only policy but also values. For example, Tea Party standard-bearer Senator Rand Paul, in a remarkable shift, is replacing references to fences and helicopters and an emphasis on deportation with new appeals to the values of “prudence, compassion, and thrift” and at least a strong implication that these values point toward a path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants currently in the country.

To read the full column, head to “Figuring Faith,” my Washington Post blog.

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