I know, it’s a touchy subject for most people. I am not going to lie to you by saying it’s not a problem. If we really look at it, it’s causing certain problems that need answering. I am also not going to pretend to have the answers for this country at this time. There are quite a few theories on how to handle it that haven’t been tested and prove (whether it be sending them back, making them all legal, or whatever). But I do have a slight idea is how the ancient Israelites were expected to treat the immigrants that crossed into their lands unannounced (much like the immigrants of today). Even the New Testament shows some recognition that aliens choosing to reside in the community must be given a way in, which means creativity.
I’ll go ahead and point out that some verses give us a view that the covenant continually gives provisions for the alien/stranger. (Ex. 12:48, 49; Lev. 24:22; Joshua 8:33, 35; Isaiah 14:1; Ezek. 14:7; Eph. 2:12, 19). The alien, though with stipulations, could be allowed to participate in a ritual that defined a nation. I know it seems hard to find any connection, but I think it’s a start in understanding the foreign relations in the ancient times and maybe we can take some pointers from them. The one covenant, even the old version, gave provisions for the foreigner. Even the Sabbath was something that the foreigner could find participation in on some level (Ex 20:10, 23:12; Dt 5:14, 16:11, 14, 26: 5, 11, 12, 13). Most would think that the Jews only allowed blood lines from Abraham to be in on the fun, but it’s just not true. Though the religious were very strict by the first century A.D., it’s obvious that the Law came from a belief in God who cares for the needs of the alien as well as One who asks for them to contribute to the community.
A major point I would hit on is an idea of oppression(Ex. 22:21, 23:9; Dt. 1:16, 10:18, 24:14, 17, 27:19; Psalm 94:6, 146:9; Jer. 7:6, 22:3; Ezek. 22:7, 29; Zech. 7:10; Mal. 3:5). I’m not going to push like the guys back in the civil rights days because I am not up to date on current treatment of immigrants and the views of the veteran citizens compared to the newly arrived Hispanic community (or any other community for that matter). But I do want Christians to be very cautious on how they treat immigrants. It is one thing to demand justice (which is more about equilibrium, than it is about getting what some term as “fair”), but it is another to seek control over what a political or ethnical entity considers rightfully theirs (which sounds more like what people call “fair”). Whatever Americans choose, Christians in America must step in a way that shows that we expect people to act in responsibility in a new land, but not at the cost of oppressing the alien. If we return them, we must show that we mean no true harm to them. If we let them stay somehow, we should not cheat them out of fair earnings. I honestly do not think that the Christian agenda is primarily whether to send the immigrant away or keep them around. I would propose that it is actually that we should seek to treat them with care and support despite the government’s decision since our obedience belongs to a higher authority and our loyalty belongs to a kingdom/nation whose lines of membership far exceed geo-political boundaries and far outweigh laws of this world.
The final point is that those who are in God’s Kingdom are expected to share in what we have with those who are not from our place and care for them (Lev. 19:10; Dt. 10:19, 14:29, 24:19, 20, 21; Joshua 20:9; Ezek. 47:22, 23; Matt. 25:35, 38, 43, 44; Romans 12:13; Heb. 13:2). It is imperative that we have provisions ready for those who are not from here. It is important for both parties to share in what they can offer each other. I do believe that such a generosity would be the answer to our problems and we probably wouldn’t have any problem at all had that been the case at the start. If you are an immigrant, fight to be a contributer to those in your community. If you are a resident, you should do the same.
So to both, I would like both side of the issue to listen to an alternative route to both. Let’s encourage responsibility, but do it in a way that is just and righteous.
This isn’t to tell which political stance. It is a Christian perspective on how to approach any political stance.
Christianity is a stance that is far beyond any political stance (Democrats or Republicans should pay close attention to that).
It’s just some food for thought.
I hope that everyone can get something from this.
Grace and Peace.