Top Conservative Evangelical Leader Supports New Obama Immigration Policy, Urges GOP To ‘Applaud The President’

WASHINGTON, DC — Dr. Richard Land, a top conservative evangelical leader, came out strongly in favor of President Obama’s new immigration policy today, slamming Republicans who would call the move “amnesty.”

On the same day that President Obama announced a plan to give young undocumented people the ability to work in the United States, Land told ThinkProgress at the Faith & Freedom Conference in Washington, D.C. that Mitt Romney and other Republican leaders need to take a hard look at their own stances on immigration issues, especially in regard to youth “haven’t done anything wrong.”

Providing help to kids is far from “amnesty,” Land argued, and people calling it that “need a course in remedial English.” He also encouraged Mitt Romney and Congress to embrace the President’s policy:

STRASSER: I know you were talking about the idea of calling it amnesty and you were saying it isn’t amnesty because…

LAND: They haven’t done anything wrong. In order to get amnesty, you’ve got to have done something wrong. These young people are innocent. They haven’t done anything wrong. To me, this is the low-lying fruit of immigration reform. This ought to be something we can all unite around. They have to have been under 16 when they got here, they got to be under 30. He’s not granting citizenship, he’s granting a pathway to legal status. He’s making it so they’re protected from being deported and they can get on with their lives and their education with serving in the military. Investing themselves in our nation and our nation’s future. Who can be against that?

KEYES: What’s your reaction to people who call this amnesty?

LAND: They need a course in remedial English. It’s not amnesty.

STRASSER: Do you have any advice?

LAND: Yeah, I would say to the Romney campaign, this is the right thing to do. You should applaud the president for doing the right thing and encourage Congress to follow up by codifying it into law.

Watch highlights from the interview:

Land’s view differs sharply from many conservatives — including those close to Romney. Indeed, his immigration adviser, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, actually used the word “amnesty” to describe administrative relief to undocumented people.