With the 2024 Presidential race a both a year and a half out and having already started, it’s been interesting to watch Big Eva posture for the heat Republican Party primary. Figures like Franklin Graham have publicly supported (not endorsed) Mike Pence for president. John Hagee has touted his support for Nikki Haley and was at her announcement. While it’s hard to imagine Big Eva lining up to support Trump in the primary, so called Christian media is taking pot shots at Ron DeSantis.
RNS is a notoriously liberal outlet, and Church Leaders is Ed Stetzer’s online rag and it’s a mouthpiece for his megachurch growth strategies and liberalism. They recently ran the same piece insinuating that Hispanic Evangelicals in Florida are mobilized against DeSantis recently announce tough on immigration policies. The DeSantis proposal is to crack down on illegal immigration by expanding e-verify, increasing punishments for human traffickers, and removing the taxpayer benefits to illegal immigrants.
Alejandra Molina, a Californian appears to have an interest in Florida politics, and has written numerous pieces urging liberal policies in Florida, including a stay of execution for a convicted murderer Donald David Dillbeck. Many of these pieces read like press releases for a special interest groups. In Christian media, ie Christian Post, publishing press releases as news is par for the course. The problem, other than the lack of disclosure, is that Church Leaders is trying to make a special interest group seem representative of the views of Hispanic Evangelicals to advance a liberal agenda.
In the Church Leaders article, illegal immigrants/aliens are called “unauthorized immigrants” which might be the latest euphemism because “undocumented immigrants” went out of style.
They argue that foster homes should be allowed to harbor illegal immigrant children, both keeping them from their homeland and depriving native Floridians of resources.
After Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered state regulators to deny licenses or renewals to those sheltering unaccompanied migrant children, more than 200 faith leaders and evangelical pastors of Spanish-speaking churches made their way to downtown Tallahassee last year in February to protest the governor for preventing them from doing the “work that God has called us do.”
Many of those shelters were housed in local Latino evangelical churches, according to the faith leaders who also demonstrated against a law that now forbids state and local governments from contracting with transportation companies that knowingly bring undocumented immigrants.
Now, as DeSantis prepares for a possible 2024 presidential bid and as he’s unveiled an immigration package that seeks to impose stiffer penalties for Floridians who “knowingly transport, conceal, or harbor” unauthorized immigrants, some Latino evangelical leaders say they’re willing to break the law if it’s enacted and are mobilizing their flocks — this time in larger numbers — to “fight against DeSantis.”
As part of his immigration proposal, the governor wants to prohibit local governments from issuing ID cards to unauthorized immigrants, mandate hospitals to collect data on the immigration status of patients, reverse legislation granting out-of-state tuition waivers for eligible “Dreamers” and require all employers in Florida to use E-Verify to determine employment eligibility.
This is pretty standard rule of law stuff. As illegal immigrants are invaders, those who traffic and aid them are too in violation of the law. But this is largely a press release for Evangélicos For Justice and or Fraternity of Councils and Evangelical Entities (FRACEEV) two woke organizations that serve Hispanic faith communities.
The groups threaten to undo Ron DeSantis’ Hispanic voter base because cracking down on illegal immigration threatens their values. The problem with this is the same problem with organizations like the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, they don’t represent anybody but themselves.
As Big Eva media takes aim at Ron DeSantis, it likely reasons that they will opt for a Mike Pence in the primary, claiming his supposedly Christian bone fides as justification.