Immigration has been a difficult issue since humanity began. The Bible addresses immigration from numerous points of concern as early as Genesis. Even though most agree that the book of Job is the oldest book of the Bible, Genesis actually addresses the creation stories. Claims to land and/or people, culture is the point of contention in many of our Biblical stories as well as issues of today. My point being, we humans have had issues about “us” vs “them”, “ours” and “not yours” as far back as we know. And YES, we, the United States must fix our horribly flawed immigration system. However, none of that is the issue when we are talking about “Keeping Families Together”.
Let us not confuse the real issue with finger pointing, name calling, political rhetoric, or any other pet issue. What we are really talking about is way too important to diffuse our focus. We are talking about the unnecessary removal of immigrant children from their caretakers/parents when arriving at the US border.” Are the US immigration laws/system in terrible disarray? Absolutely, but one thing we know is that unnecessarily separating children from their parents at the border is inexcusable regardless if the families are presented as legally trying to cross the border or illegally. Children are innocents and must always be protected.
“It may be true that morality can’t be legislated, but behavior can be regulated. It may be that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can restrain him from lynching me, and I think that’s pretty important also,” The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said in a 1966 speech at Southern Methodist University.
We can and must work together to protect children. Stripping children from their families is a terribly traumatic experience that will affect each child for life. And this is the country they are running to for safety, betterment, hope; that is doing this to them. God calls us Christians to :
37 Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind. 38 This is the first and most important commandment. 39 The second most important commandment is like this one. And it is, “Love others as much as you love yourself.” 40 All the Law of Moses and the Books of the Prophets+ are based on these two commandments. (Matthew 22)
If we Christians truly look to God’s Word to guide our behaviors, let’s look at what the Bible says:
Exodus 22:21 – Moses gives God’s law: “You shall not wrong or oppress a resident alien; for you were aliens in the land of Egypt.”
Leviticus 19:33-34 and 24:22 – When the alien resides with you in your land, you shall not oppress the alien. The alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.”
Deuteronomy 10:18-19 – “For the Lord your God…loves the strangers, providing them food and clothing. You shall also love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.”
Ecclesiastes 4:1 – “Look, the tears of the oppressed—with no one to comfort them.”
Jeremiah 7:5-7 – “If you do not oppress the alien…then I will dwell with you in this place…”
Jeremiah 22:3-5 – Do no wrong or violence to the alien.
Zechariah 7:8-10 – Do no oppress the alien.
Matthew 25:31-46 – “…I was a stranger and you welcomed me.”
Luke 4:16-21 – “…Bring good news to the poor…release to the captives…sight to the blind…let the oppressed go free.”
Romans 12:13 – “Mark of the true Christian: “…Extend hospitality to strangers…”
II Corinthians 8:13-15 – “It is a question of a fair balance between your present abundance and their need…”
Ephesians 2:11-22 – “So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God.”
Hebrews 11 – “By faith Abraham…set out for a place…not knowing where he was going.”
Hebrews 13:1-2 – “…show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels…
I don’t know about you, but as for me and my household, we will love faithfully, live peacefully, give generously, forgive gracefully, play joyfully, pray daily, and serve the Lord in all things.