A Biblical Immigration Policy: Do the Scriptures Teach “Open Borders”?

Here is a subject that is sure to get liberals and conservatives fighting with each other.  (Including liberal and conservative Christians.)

Immigration.  Specifically, immigration policy.  What should the government — federal, state, local — do to “control” illegal immigration.

I have always leaned towards the “conservative” side of this argument.  Too many “illegals” crossing the border. Not enough jobs to go around.  They’re draining the taxpayers’ wallets going on our public assistance programs.  (You know, the public assistance programs that were originally intended for us hard-working Americans to go on!)  They’re taking away our JOBS. (You know, the ones we hard-working Americans have always jumped at the chance to compete for at low wages and long hours!)  If it weren’t for “them” being here, the unemployment rate would not be as high as it is. Etc., etc..

The solution? More enforcement of federal immigration laws at the border.  The southern border with Mexico, mainly, since I have never heard of a flood of illegal Canadians crossing the frozen hinterlands of North Dakota to get into America!  How about more enforcement in the interior of the country as well, a la Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County (where I live) in Arizona.

Build a fence. Build a wall.  Hire more border patrol.  Send ’em back, send ’em back, WAAAAY back!

Anyway, that’s the conservative “solution.”

Not for me. Not anymore.

Liberals are a bit more humane about it.  They want borders without borders.  No sanctions.  No restrictions.  No documents (with the possible exception of a national ID card: plastic).  Just one big, paperless, frictionless, environmentally-unfriendly “pathway to citizenship.”  Come one, come ALL.  Especially, come all you 80 – 90% who will end up registering as Democrats and voting for more government, higher taxes, more Democrats, and even more government goodies!

No, not that one either.

I have been redirected to the Holy Scriptures to find my basis for a Christian philosophy of immigration (both “legal” and “illegal”) and how a civil government should handle the task of “controlling” (or allowing) it.

A Christian Philosophy

It’s not a conservative philosophy.  It is not a liberal philosophy  (although by sheer coincidence it seems to have more in common with left-wing politics than with right — though not for the same reason).  It is a Biblical philosophy.

One law shall be to him that is homeborn, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you. (Exodus 12:49)

A Christian philosophy of immigration should begin with what the Scriptures say.  It should not begin with what left-wing or right-wing (even if they’re evangelical) pundits say.

And if a stranger sojourn with thee in your land, ye shall not vex him. But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God. (Leviticus 19:33-34)

At least two fundamental principles of Western law had their origin in Mosaic Israel. The first principle was the rule of law itself: every resident was to be protected equally by the civil law. The second principle was open immigration. The nation’s treatment of the immigrant served as a touchstone in Israel of the nation’s faithfulness to the first principle.

A nation that allowed immigrants to enter and live and work and trade freely among natural-born citizens was a nation that demonstrated the righteousness of God’s law.  The law was, after all, intended to be, among other things, a tool of international evangelism.  The equitable way that it treated “the stranger” served as visible proof that it was a cultural application of true religion.

The stranger was listed as one of the three representative classes that deserve honest treatment, along with orphans and widows. (Deuteronomy 10:17-19)

Thus, Israel was not just the Promised Land for Abraham and his heirs. It was supposed to remain the Promised Land for the oppressed of the world.

American immigration policy until 1924 reflected this ideal.  After 1924, it no longer did.

To read the full article on Illegals Aliens and Unemployment, click here.

http://www.garynorth.com/public/9297.cfm

To read the full article on immigration and citizenship, click here.

http://mises.org/journals/jls/13_2/13_2_7.pdf