Pew Research Data Shows Half of Hispanic Christians Worry About Deportation Under Trump

Even before President Donald Trump pledged to double down on policies against undocumented immigrants living in the United States, many Hispanics were already praying for protection.

Half of Latino Christians worry about themselves or someone close to them getting deported, according to Pew Research Center data provided to CT. And more than 4 in 10 have “serious concerns” about their place in America under Trump.

Hispanic Catholics (54%) and Protestants (47%) were more likely than the unaffiliated (38%) to say they worry “a lot” or “some” about the threat of deportation, Pew’s survey of Hispanic adults living in the US found. One in four Protestants worry a lot (25%), while Catholics are significantly most likely to worry a lot (37%).

The Trump administration announced Tuesday a plan to aggressively enforce current immigration laws, which is expected to result in more and quicker deportations for undocumented immigrants. Previous administrations had prioritized undocumented immigrants charged with severe crimes.

The orders from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) include provisions to protect children brought to the United States when their parents entered illegally. About a million of these “Dreamers” have been safeguarded by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, while Deferred Action for Parents of Americans applies to families of children born in the US.

“I ask the administration to enact and fulfill the promise President Trump made not to harm families and exclusively deport those involved in nefarious activities,” stated Samuel Rodriguez, one of Trump’s evangelical advisers and president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC). “Please, help us keep families together.”

A significant proportion of the country’s Latino population—57 million people and growing—have been grappling with their place in America under the new president, even though two-thirds were born here, according to Pew.

After Trump’s election, half of Hispanic Catholics (50%) said they now had “serious concerns about my place in America.” By comparison, 37 percent of Protestants and 38 percent of the unaffiliated felt the same.

Conversely, those two groups expressed the most security under Trump. A majority—59 percent of Latino Protestants and 57 percent of those with no religious affiliation—agreed with the statement, “I am confident about my place in America.” Only 46 percent of Catholics felt the same.

Rodriguez—who read from the Beatitudes during Trump’s inauguration—has urged the Trump administration to keep DACA intact. He also said he was “encouraged to learn the DHS will maintain the previous administration’s policy of keeping churches and schools off-limits from future immigration enforcement actions.”

Some churches that minister to undocumented immigrants or offer sanctuary still fear the worst.

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SOURCE: Christianity Today
Kate Shellnutt