Immigration Restriction and Border Control
When it comes to the current immigration debate in D.C. and among Americans nationwide, the opinions abound. But for those who consider themselves first Christians, and, in addition, Conservative, we must be careful to filter through the media misrepresentations and seek out what the Bible has to say first and foremost, and secondly what Christians as well as Americans historically have stood for in regards to this issue. For the Christian Conservative taking time to read this, here are seven questions I would like to challenge you to consider when taking your stance on the immigration debate:
7 Questions for Christian Conservatives
1. Biblically, Israel had no immigration laws or restrictions whatsoever. God’s people were actually commanded to give equal rights to strangers and were not permitted to oppress the foreigner (including their enemy the Edomites (Deut 23:7)), primarily because God wanted them to remember that they were once also strangers in a foreign land (see Lev. 19:33-34, Isaiah 16:3-4). Consider a few prominent foreigners of Biblical importance: Rahab, Ruth, Caleb, Obed-Edom, and Uriah.
Question: Given that God did not allow Israel any immigration restrictions and required that hospitality be shown to strangers and foreigners via an open border, and the fact that nowhere in his Word is there an allowance for this restriction, what Biblical basis do we have for immigration restriction and closed borders?
2. Many of us are upset because supposedly illegal immigrants continue to come here and benefit off of the welfare system.
Question: As the welfare state we currently live in was created by Americans and half of the Americans are on it themselves, are we inadvertently pointing out the speck the eyes of others while neglecting to take the log out of our own?
3. Many of those in the south have had their private property rights violated by illegals crossing the border by way of private fields and estates.
Many are worried that these criminals are flooding America. However, private property violations, “criminal invasions,” and children entering without parents come directly as a result of the immigration restrictions imposed by the Federal Government. If the borders were open, people would come by way of the open gate and not by way of “invasion.” It is, in its simplest form, the restriction of the Federal government that causes the “criminal activity!”
Question: Given the border “invasion” presented to us by the news, the “criminal” acts, and the violation of private property rights, is this the result of the actual restricting by the Government or how these people behave otherwise?”
4. Question: Christians, since we all know that the media distorts reality by blowing small things out of proportion and presenting small issues as a big ones (i.e. a new study shows only 3% of Americans are homosexual, bisexual, or transgender), why when we see the media’s footage of immigrants screaming and shouting and scattered on top of walls and trains, we accept this as the norm without utilizing the discernment we mimic on all other issues?
5. As early as a little over 100 years ago America had no immigration restriction, did not allow federal involvement (aside from naturalization), had open borders, encouraged immigration, and reaped the benefits of it. Our Constitution does not restrict it, it actually encourages it. The founders encouraged it. Unfortunately the very beginnings of immigration shamefully rose out of ideologies of genetic determinism, eugenics, racism, etc. as seen by a simple study on Prescot F. Hall, one of the founders of the Immigration Restriction League in 1894.
Question: Given that America, until our modern day, had been anti-immigration restriction and pro-open borders, has benefited immensely from it, and the beginnings of immigration antithetically arising from eugenics, racism, and socialism, are we actually being true to our American roots and Christian foundations by shunning immigrants and closing the borders to them?
6. Many are concerned that illegals will come and take our jobs away.
Question: Given that half of America is on welfare, yet many if not most of the illegals have jobs (some multiple) that Americans do not want and would not take, aren’t we not then economically dependent somewhat on their hard work, job selection, and entrepreneurial outlooks, and if we shun the jobs that many of them eagerly take, are we not then essentially thankful at reaping the benefits of those who fill those positions? Also in the organic workings of the free market how do we lay claim on the ownership of any job?
7. Question: Given that the view of Conservatives in the 80’s favored open immigration (i.e. Ronald Reagan), yet in 2014 the view of Conservatives is one of a federally regulated closed border and immigration system, have we looked to consider what has changed in the past 25 years to cause a complete 180 in our outlooks (to include the liberal agenda/socialism, influence of trade unions, the welfare state, etc.)?
In summary, Christians need to evaluate the arguments biblically (first and foremost), historically, economically, and socially, over against any subconscious presuppositions that result from location and time frame of their upbringing and prejudices they may have inadvertently picked up over the years. As we have seen, immigration restriction is not a Christian concept, is not historically American, and is not Conservative. What then stems our desire for tighter immigration restriction?
Your comments are appreciated…..