Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Christian and Illegal Immigration

Last month, Charisma Magazine published an article entitled You Can't Be Pro-Life and Anti-Immigrant. I have been wanting to respond to this article for quite a while, but because of personal issues that needed my immediate attention I was unable to formulate a response. With those matters attended to I wish to address my concerns with this article.

First, a little background on my presuppositions. I believe that foreign nationals illegally employed and/or residing in this country is a serious problem for this nation. Illegal immigration has become a onerous burden to the taxpayers at the local, state and federal level. Currently, the Los Angeles Police Department has instituted policy that will require police officers to not impound cars driven by unlicensed drivers. This is in direct opposition to the State of California's Vehicle Code. The State of California has also given foreign nationals illegally employed and/or residing in this country an in-state college tuition discount, rather than the appropriate out-of-state tuition. This in and of itself, will cost $13 million or more annually. These are just two examples. I could go on and on citing example after example of how foreign nationals illegally employed and/or residing in this country are detrimental rather than a benefit to this country.

With that said, I want to look at this article and actually think clearly on this topic. The reason is that the author, J. Lee Grady, commits a number of informal logical fallacies in his attempt to justify an amnesty to those foreign nationals who are illegally employed and/or residing in the United States States. First, I believe that Mr. Grady has misrepresented those of us who take issue with illegal immigration as being anti-immigrant. While I will admit that there are a small minority of people in the pro-border security movement that are blatantly anti-immigrant, the movement as a whole is not. I believe that it is reprehensible for a Christian to misrepresent the arguments of an opponent. As an apologist, I have to carefully document and define what a world religion, cult or aberrant Christian sect believes. Why? Because the adherents to these beliefs are people who are made in the image of God, and as such must be treated with dignity and respect. Mr. Grady does not treat those who disagree with him with that dignity and respect.

Second, Mr. Grady begins his article with a pathetic appeal to emotion, as he recounts the proper and legal deportation of a foreign national illegally residing in this country. It is sad that this family was broken up. However, my heart is not broken. The reason is simple. This is how government has been ordained by God to work according to Romans 13:3-4 (ESV).

Mr. Grady then attempts to guilt his readers by pointing out some of the immigrant stories found in the Bible. There is just one problem. None of these stories are anywhere close to what this country is suffering at the hands of foreign nationals illegally employed and/or residing in the United States. Abraham and Sarah  resided in the land of Canaan as temporary residents. The only permanent thing they had in that land was their burial plots. They followed the laws of the land at that time. Ruth was instructed by Naomi on how to act according to Jewish law. Mordecai and Esther, who were disobedient and unbelieving Jews, found favor  in Persia because God is faithful. Cornelius was a "God fearer". This is a segment of Gentiles that worshiped Yahweh, but did not submit to circumcision. Cornelius was living his life in accordance to Jewish law.

The issue with modern illegal immigration is that we have a segment of the population that refuses to comply with the laws of the United States. I don't begrudge any foreign national's desire to better himself and his family. This foreign national, however, does not have a right to enter this country without first following the laws of the government that regulate such entry.

Mr. Grady, continually appeals to emotion, be claiming that families are being "split-up". Are they really? Do not the families of a foreign national illegally employed and/or residing in this country have the same opportunity to leave the country with the deported one. Further, anyone who marries and has children with said foreign national should understand the risks of marrying a person with this immigration status. This is very poor argumentation that is designed to tug on the hearts of people who are not trained to think on matters.

While I agree that Christians should not mistreat others, I do not see how it follows that deporting foreign nationals illegally employed and/or residing in the United States is mistreatment. The law is clear, and said law does not violate any Biblical law that I am aware of. If there is, then I would challenge Mr. Grady to provide said scriptures that affirm his assertion.

Does U.S. immigration policy need to be changed? Yes, it should be made tougher. The only way a person truly appreciates something is when that thing is costly him.

Further, the U.S. should discontinue birthright citizenship. This country is the only country that allows birthright citizenship. Because of this, waves and waves of pregnant foreign nationals stream across the border everyday to give birth to an American citizen, and then apply for and receive tax payer provided money for food and housing. Our immigration policy should not be diminished to allow unskilled labor into this country. Immigrants should be educated and with skills that will allow them to provide for themselves and their families so that they won't become a burden to the taxpayers by going on the dole.

Lastly, the only way to affect change in Mexico and the rest of Central America is to have a Reformed revolution in those countries. Every country that embraced the ideals of the Reformation became prosperous. Why? Because the Reformation taught the people that they were responsible to God for what they do in their lives. That their work, regardless of how menial it was, was work to be done to the honor and glory of God. This is why countries that followed the great Reformers into the Reformation became prosperous. If Mr. Grady wants equal opportunity, then perhaps he should focus on making disciples in these countries and fomenting a Central American Reformation against their Roman Catholicism.

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