As people and as Christians, we want to be compassionate. We hate being mislabeled. We are vulnerable when it comes to a sensitive topic of migration or immigration. The media on the left (e.g., CNN, MSNBC) do not help when they fling mud at conservatives with disregard and misuse their labels like: “racist” or “uncompassionate”. No one likes that.
Knowing what the say and what to do when it comes to immigration policies can be a challenge. When we see photos and videos of the caravans such as this one, it can rouse discomforting feelings. “What do we do about this? What do we do when they get here?”
It caused me to reflect on what the bible has to say. The problems is that the bible is not comprehensive on this. I’m left to interpret who is a “foreigner” (verses below).
Here’s the rub. How do you define a “foreigner” according to these distinctions below?
- as a refugee?
- as a tourist on a legal tourist visa?
- as a qualified legal immigrant
- as an illegal migrant
- as a naturalized citizen (a former immigrant who has now become a citizen)
A Syrian refugee entering the United States can be a “foreigner”, and so can an American vacationing in Cancun, Mexico.
We are to be moral and ethical in how we treat foreigners. It’s not so simple when it comes down to the public discourse and funding. Questions might be: “How much? How much do we allocate to “loving the foreigner”? What is considered fair?
Is the “foreigner” the person is a visitor on a tourist visa, or an illegal immigrant, or a refugee, or a land-immigrant, or a naturalized citizen?
Below are several verses that speak on the foreigner:
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. (Leviticus 19:33-34)
Do not oppress a foreigner; you yourselves know how it feels to be foreigners, because you were foreigners in Egypt. (Exodus 23:9)
When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Do not go over your vineyard a second time or pick up the grapes that have fallen. Leave them for the poor and the foreigner. (Leviticus 19:9-10)
He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt. (Deuteronomy 10:18-19).
It is a fact that the number of migrants will have dwindled by the time they make it near the border. There is data yet to be seen in order to determine the numbers of migrants coming from South American countries who actually make it across or near the U.S.-Mexico border.
Some will give up and not bother trying to cross over. Some give up somewhere in Mexico far from the U.S.-Mexico border. Some make it to the border, get caught and are sent back. Some actually do make it across the border illegally. (I have blogged about this in my post on the border wall).
I’m not presenting a solution–just the problem. The migrant issue is complicated and to speak on this issue is difficult.
We can pray for our leaders that God would give them strength ane wisdom to handle immigration and national security issues.