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Welcome the Foreigner

The Bible teaches us the treat the foreigner as native-born (Leviticus 19:33-34), so from a Biblical perspective, what is most troubling regarding our immigration system is not that we welcome foreigners, but that we are breaking the law by doing so, and that we are not using the border to screen criminals, sex and drug traffickers, drugs, gang members and terrorists as thoroughly as we could.

With the changes in immigration policy under the current administration, as many as seven million immigrants have entered our southern border since January 2020, including more than 1.3 million gotaways. The sharp increase in illegal immigration has resulted in a proportional increase of drug trafficking, sex, and slave trafficking, the spread of COVID, and overall lawlessness.

The Bible teaches us to be very welcoming to foreigners or aliens. Leviticus 19:33-34 reads, “When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God” (All Bible quotes are in the NIV version). Deuteronomy 17:19 states, “Cursed is anyone who withholds justice from the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow.” And Zechariah 7:9-10 reads, “Render true judgments, show kindness and mercy to one another; do not oppress the widow, the orphan, the alien, or the poor; and do not devise evil in your hearts against one another.

In summary, the foreigner is to be treated like someone born in the country. We are to love them as ourselves. We are not to withhold justice from them. Instead, we are to show kindness and mercy. We are not to oppress or devise evil in our hearts against them. In short, we are to welcome them with open arms. The Israelites, themselves, were aliens in a foreign land, Egypt, for four hundred years, and were treated well during the majority of that time. God expected them to treat others similarly.

Only a small minority of people are opposed to immigrating these days. What we disagree on is how to go about it. A guiding principle is to process immigrants according to our laws. Romans 13:1 states, “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.” With this as a guiding principle, many of our practices today are quite disturbing. Laws at the border and in sanctuary cities are not being followed. Indeed, the present administration is complicit in lawless policies, by bussing illegal immigrants into the country.

Many of the statistics look rather grim: Fentanyl overdoses are now the leading cause of death among U.S. adults, ages 18-45. Most of the Fentanyl crosses the southern border and most of the ingredients are supplied by China, our greatest geopolitical adversary. During the COVID pandemic, our immigration system functioned as a super-spreader. Millions of untested people with COVID were bussed into the interior of the country, violating many of the administration’s laws and policies. The cages, so soundly criticized during the previous administration, became even more overcrowded with infected individuals.

According to the National Border Council President, Brandon Judd, the Border Patrol no longer controls the U.S. – Mexico border, the cartels do. And the New York Times, in their article, “Alone and Exploited, Migrant Children Work Brutal Jobs Across the U.S.,” writes,’

[Immigrant children] are arriving in record numbers, they’re ending up in dangerous jobs that violate child labor laws — including in factories that make products for well-known brands like Cheetos and Fruit of the Loom.

Many are working dangerous jobs and late hours to pay off the cartels that provided entrance into our country, all the while they should be in school. The reality is, contrary to Biblical teaching, our system of immigration breaks numerous laws, does not demonstrate the principle of love, is not just, and does not show kindness and mercy.

The solutions are simple:

      1. Complete the wall and secure the border.
      2. Screen who and what comes into the country.
      3. Keep criminals, sex and drug traffickers, drugs, gang members, and terrorists out.
      4. Let just about everyone else come in, within the limitations of what we as a country can manage.
      5. Streamline the process of legal immigration.
      6. Walk beside immigrants, helping them transition into a productive life and become good citizens.

The Bible teaches us the treat the foreigner as native-born (Leviticus 19:33-34), so from a Biblical perspective, what is most troubling regarding our immigration system is not that we welcome foreigners, but that we are breaking the law by doing so, and that we are not using the border to screen criminals, sex and drug traffickers, drugs, gang members and terrorists as thoroughly as we could.

Mark Eastway

Pastor, Burket Bible Church

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