What is your opinion of illegal immigrants? I'm not asking you what you think about illegal immigration nor am I asking what you think immigration policy should look like. I'm asking you what you think about illegal immigrants, as in, the people?
As Christians we are called to see life, situations and people in the way God does. What does God think about illegal immigrants? Does He love them? Does He have concern for them? Does He have compassion for them? Does He care about their suffering?
Of course, He does. The Lord sees them for who and what they are, His image bearers. And He loves them. He demands they be treated with dignity and justice.
How do you see them?
They're not second class, they're not a disease and they are not locusts. They are (generally) suffering people doing whatever they can to get out of a terrible culture which perverts justice and impoverishes its citizens. There is no doubt about the fact that there are plenty of bad hombres in the mix, but most are not bad hombres. Most are coming to America to have a shot at living the American dream which includes not just prosperity but more importantly, the rule of law. Can you blame them? What would you be willing to do to get out of a s-hole country? And can you blame them for breaking our immigration laws when we've been so lax, so inconsistent and such a joke in our enforcement of them for the last 30 years? I mean, come on, unless you come here to sell drugs, gang-bang, murder, rape or mug, ICE is not likely to bust your doors down in the middle of the night to haul you off. They know what we all know which is if they can get in here and keep their head down for a while, they'll blend into the mix and will not be bothered. Not only will they not be bothered, their kids will be educated, treated for ailments and welfare is on the table. So really, can you blame them for at least taking a shot?
I don't blame them and neither should you. It's hard to blame someone for ignoring a law that is all but unenforced if doing so means you have a shot at a safe and prosperous future. Seeing all of this and taking advantage of an opportunity to come here doesn't make them bad, it means they're real. They're human. Most of them are decent and that is exactly why they want so badly to get here.
Now, before we go any further, let me just stop some of you from having an aneurysm on me. I'm very much against illegal immigration. Americans have every right to enjoy sovereign and secure borders. Americans have every right to vet foreigners who wants to move here. And unless Americans want to stop being a welfare state, having open borders is way beyond crazy. If Americans want to be serious about stopping illegal immigration, then building a massive border wall is only common sense. And illegal immigrants should be shipped back home to Mexico or wherever they are from if they are caught. Businesses that hire illegal immigrants should be punished and anyone assisting an illegal immigrant in voting in our elections should be jailed. Cities which provide sanctuary to known illegal immigrants should have its leaders prosecuted for aiding and abetting criminals. Did I miss anything? Am I clear? I was for a massive border wall long before being for a massive border wall was cool.
None of that has to do with the point of this article. Although we are not given the impression by the right and left wing talking heads, it is entirely possible to support strong border security and immigration policy AND love illegal immigrants as people. It is possible to support the strict enforcement of our laws AND have compassion on illegal immigrants.
My Christian brothers and sisters, we need to be aware of our hearts when it comes to how we discuss these issues. God forbid we ever come off as calloused or uncaring or indifferent to the real life suffering that goes on in war-torn and/or third-world nations. If we are uncaring we need to ask God to melt our hearts because that isn't right. Christians are called to champion the cause of the downtrodden and the oppressed. Not only should we educate ourselves to the suffering of those people, not only should we express our compassion, but we should be strong advocates for them. I promise you that your church either directly supports missionaries in those countries or your church supports agencies that do. Get involved. Learn about those missionaries, learn about their work and the people they are serving. Pray for them. Send them letters of support. Send them money. Seek out opportunities to go on short term mission trips yourself to serve those people personally.
Not only should we be active in the benevolent care of those trapped in third-world nightmares, we need to be very clear as to why those "s-holes countries" are "s-hole countries" in the first place. The answer to illegal immigration is to EXPORT the principles of liberty, the rule of law and sound money! Socialism and other totalitarian systems are why those people are suffering and Christians need to be the champions of free markets not just here but there as well! We simply cannot take in every suffering immigrant or refugee in the world, that's insanity. Instead of propping up these terrible and failed regimes we need to pressure our governing leaders to insist on real reforms in those nations receiving our foreign aid. And I mean big time reforms. Christians must insist the real issues which are causing their suffering be addressed firmly and effectively. That is the solution, it's the only solution. How many Mexicans would rather leave their homeland if their homeland was ruled by law and not cartels? If they were free to arm themselves to protect themselves? How many Muslims would be on rubber rafts trying to flee their homes if justice and prosperity were hallmarks of their birthplace? America isn't prosperous on accident and third-world countries aren't impoverished on accident. The answer isn't bringing them here, the answer is sending our formula there. (And no, I'm not talking about dropping freedom bombs all over the place like we do in the Middle East, I'm talking about strong-armed diplomacy and education).
So yes, we need to love illegal immigrants AND send them home when we find them, we have to. If we could take them all in without hurting Americans in the process, then that would be one thing. We can't do that, we have to send them back. But as we do so it should be with a degree of heaviness. We should not hate them or disparage them or malign them or mistreat them. They are people, very desperate people who need relief and we must see them as such. As Christians we should be tripping over ourselves to provide aid to them…and we are. Christians get very little credit for the incredible work with the poor that we do, but it takes more than our giving of dollars. May God truly melt our hearts for these hurting people, let us speak out for them and help them as best as we can while our government applies the appropriate pressure needed against their failed governments for true reform.