I know it has been a few weeks since the protest #DayWithoutImmigrants, but the immigration debate is still going strong and I felt it was a good topic to touch on as a Christian.
This seems to be a very touchy topic to some and it is perfectly understandable why. When we discuss immigrants, we are talking about people’s lives. Lives of a group of people who are looking for a better life for their family. And there is no better place to pursue a better life than America. Let’s be honest. We are not perfect as Americans, but we are, in my opinion, in the greatest nation on the planet and offer the greatest opportunity to all kinds of people. Yes, we were a nation built on immigrants. The vast majority of us have a heritage that includes immigrating to the states. Immigration is what built our diversity and it is what makes America unique. We are truly the melting pot of the world. So it does upset me when I see people criticize conservatives for not being “pro-immigration” and I especially hate the word “RACIST”. But I’ll address racism in a later article. Just to be clear, conservatives are NOT “anti-immigration”. And to believe that is absurd.But there are certain media outlets that want you to believe the political right is against all immigration. And that is simply NOT TRUE.
As a Christian Conservative with a dash of Libertarian, I welcome immigration. I don’t fear the immigrants are going to take my job. I don’t fear the immigrant is going to commit a crime toward my family and I don’t fear the immigrant is going to commit a crime at all. At this point, if you are a democrat or on the liberal side of the political spectrum, you are probably rolling your eyes at this point. There is no way a conservative can embrace immigration. CNN told me so. Well, that is where you are wrong. And that is where the debate begins. All conservatives I know, and I believe the majority of them, believe immigration is a good thing. In fact, it is absurd not to think so. We know all of our ancestors were immigrants. We are not oblivious to that fact.
I think the argument on immigration was setup for failure from the beginning. Notice I said “argument” and not “debate”. That is because there is not a debate going on. It is a full blown argument between political spectrums. Why is this? Why are we arguing and not debating, or even better, discussing? I am glad you asked. It is because both sides are being fed different definitions of an immigrant. It is that easy.
Let me break it down. The right is strictly talking about Illegal Immigration.
Illegal immigration is the entry of a person or a group of persons across a country’s border, in a way that violates the immigration laws of the destination country, with the intention to remain in the country.
The Left is strictly talking about simple Immigration. For the long definition;
Immigration is the international movement of people into a destination country of which they are not natives or where they do not possess citizenship in order to settle or reside there, especially as permanent residents or naturalized citizens, or to take up employment as a migrant worker or temporarily as a foreign worker.
Notice what is missing between the two? The word “Illegal”. The left likes to omit that word simply because it makes their argument invalid. Or, they omit it to trick people into thinking conservatives don’t care about people. Either way, it is misleading a huge number of the population.
That is why I don’t agree with the #DayWithoutImmigrants protest. Most of those people have been lied to and dooped by the left wing media. I saw that a lot of businesses were closed because their owners were immigrants. I saw that a lot of them were also legal immigrants. And that is when it hit me. They have no idea what they are protesting against. I don’t say that to be mean. They were lied to just like millions of other Americans.
We as conservatives are not against the people who have come here legally. Or even the people who are not legal yet but are working toward that goal. We are not against the ones the went through the proper channels to learn the basics of being a part of America. We are not against the ones that paid their dues and sacrificed years to become an American citizen. The people I saw on TV were business owners. That is excellent. I love the fact they are able to come to America and become successful. That is the American dream. They are providing something the market wants and also providing jobs for other fellow Americans. That is a beautiful site and that is exactly how this country started and was built.
Now, as a Christian, how do you approach this? Well, it is easy. We believe that Christians are called to be compassionate and merciful toward immigrants. Exodus 22:21, Leviticus 19:33-34 and Matthew 25:35 all tell us to love and not oppress a stranger in your land. With these commandments, we ought to be charitable and loving to those in need and to those who are strangers to this country. Why? Because that is what Christ would do and we are to be like Christ. If a stranger is mistreated by non-Christians in another country and comes here to be mistreated by Christians, they would have zero hope in their lives. As the Christian, we are to show that compassion and hope so that maybe that “stranger” will become hopeful, see the love of christ and in turn be saved. And out of that chain of events, they might relay that love of Christ on to someone else that crosses their path.
Now, on the other hand, we have laws that we need to abide by. Romans 13 tells us to obey the laws of our government. For the powers put into place were put there by God. Since we have immigration laws for this country, that means we need to abide by them. It is that simple.
“There is nothing in Scripture that contradicts the idea of a sovereign nation having immigration laws. Therefore, it is rebellion against God to unlawfully enter another country. Illegal immigration is a sin.” –gotquestions.org
I like to look at the scenario with this analogy:
You are the manager of a soup kitchen (the US) and a stranger comes to the back door and without asking or without your knowledge, breaks in. They then proceed to help themselves to the food in your kitchen (welfare) and doesn’t mind skipping the line for a taste of the soup (US citizenship). You get upset and want to send him to the back of the line and tell him he is not welcome to enter the way he did, but you can’t do that because the government tells you it is the right thing to do to provide shelter for that person no matter what. And if you don’t Protesters will gather and call you a bigot.
That seems to be the situation we are in right now as a country and that is what we as conservatives are trying to stop.
Now look at this same scenario with a different approach. This is how it should be and this is what I believe the bible condones.
You are managing the soup kitchen and you see a stranger come through the front door looking for someone to talk to. You get up and approach the person and you ask “Can I help you?”. The person explains they are new to the area and are in need of help. Where he came from doesn’t provide much opportunity and is looking for a new start. He heard this city provided opportunity and he would like to start fresh here. You see the sincerity of his heart and would love to help. You show him around and maybe introduce him to some regulars. You then hand him a bowl and spoon (application for citizenship) and escort him to the back of the line.
Now I know there might be a couple steps missing in my analogy but I think you get the point. The right thing to do is to follow the order of things and not break the law within the soup kitchen. If you are the one who skips the line for some soup, you lose all respect of those that have been waiting and doing it the right way. And to be honest, I have seen a lot of stories lately where the legal immigrants have been furious with the illegal because of that very reason. That is why Trump had such a great Hispanic turn-out this last election. People are tired of doing things the right way only to be overlooked.
I am going to wrap up because I feel I went on too long but I wanted to get a point across. Are the immigration laws in the US unfair or unjust? Maybe. I think we could revise them and make it easier. But that isn’t the issue at hand. The issue is that people feel they can be above the law because their life might be a little harder than others. This problem can not be solved on feelings alone. Do I feel bad for those people? Yes. But America is a Constitutional-Republic, which means we are a land governed by laws. We need to abide by those laws for everyone to have a fair shot at success. Those seeking to immigrate to another country should always obey the immigration laws of that country. While this may cause delays and frustrations, it is better than acting illegally. A frustrating law is still a law.