Should American Christians have “compassion” upon illegal aliens, and support amnesty for immigrants illegally in the United States? Just as John McCain and Barack Obama each seek votes from Christian “values voters,” amnesty advocates are also working to co-opt evangelical Christians. At “The Call” event on August 16, advocates asked 50,000 Christians praying on the Mall to ask for God’s help to get Congress to pass an amnesty before the end of 2008. Yet, how could a Christian have compassion on the illegal trespasser, yet then turn a cold heart toward the American citizen whose job the trespasser has stolen? The illegal immigrant has a home country to go back to. The American whose job he has unlawfully robbed has nowhere else to go. Trespassers normally work in the USA by stealing someone’s identity. Where is our compassion for the victim of their identity theft?
The issue is confused. If these were refugees from a war, a natural disaster, a plague, a famine, or a drought, then we certainly should have compassion. But illegal immigration is purely a question of greed. These people are breaking our laws to make more money. Accepting refugees from Darfur would be compassionate. Helping others steal American jobs is not.
Attempts to co-opt the religious right are based on a distortion of scriptures like Leviticus 19:33-35: “When a stranger resides with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself….”
However, this entirely sidesteps the question of when a stranger is permitted to reside in the land. This presupposes that the stranger has been lawfully allowed to enter. It does not give a foreigner a right to enter the country illegally. Furthermore, asking someone to simply go home is not “doing him wrong.”
This refers to foreigners who were legitimately living within Israel’s borders and had agreed to obey all of Israel’s laws. See Numbers 9:14, 15:29-30, and 19:10; Leviticus 16:29, 17:8, 17:10, 18:26; Deut. 26:11.
The appeal focuses on breaking up families. Of course this is a red herring. The only cause of families separating is the desire — the personal choice — of some to stay in the USA if they can get away with it. Families can and should stay together, returning together to their home country. Some seek to exploit the fruits of illegality to stay here. They should return home with their parents.
But the appeal to Christians misses a more fundamental issue: Illegal immigrants in the USA have not just sinned against the USA, but they have sinned against their home country as well. God places us where He wants us.
We are forgetting that the illegal immigrant has a place in another country where he or she belongs. He or she can return any time they want. The Bible tells us “the Most High gave the nations their inheritance, When He separated the sons of man, He set the boundaries of the peoples.” Deuteronomy 32:8. See Psalm 74:17.
Mexico and much of Latin America have been robbed of those who are most enterprising and determined. God placed those people there to help their own countries develop, reform, and grow. Millions have been left impoverished behind in those home countries because 12 million trespassers have abandoned their home nations.
Advocates tell us that the trespassers contribute to the USA. Well, then, they have robbed their home nations of that contribution. Where is our compassion for the poor nations that need the services, drive, and determination of these 12 million people? They are now trained in the USA, with solid experience and valuable skills to take back home with them. They will be advocates for political reform, having seen how things are done in the U.S.
Is immigration allowed by God? Of course. But when God opens a door, by allowing a legal visa, that is God’s plan. If one must break the law to enter the USA, that is not a door that God has opened.