Is Immigration Enforcement Biblical?
The government has a right to enforce its laws and supporting that doesn’t make anyone less Christian.
The hysteria within the media concerning the enforcement of our immigration laws and what to do about families separated when those laws are broken has been overwhelming.
And of course, like with any issue, this discussion finds its way into the church and Christians are responding to it in very different ways.
Some are advocating compassion at the expense of immigration enforcement, stating emphatically that this is what Jesus would do. Jesus cared for the ailing, the downtrodden and the disenfranchised. Therefore, if he were to look at the multitude who are crossing the border, he would have compassion on them like he did with the crowd mentioned in Matthew 9:36. They were “helpless and harassed” so what makes the illegal immigrants of our day any different?
What makes them different is that this multitude that has crossed the border is breaking the law.
I can find no one who is for the separation of families or is unmoved by this humanitarian crisis involving children. But there are consequences for breaking the law and every parent who has been tried, found guilty and now imprisoned are separated from their children. Thousands of kids are in the foster care system because their parents made the choice to commit a crime.
Also, take in consideration that people do not have to break the law to find the opportunity for a better life or for a safer home to raise their children. There is a pathway to citizenship and there is a way of seeking asylum besides illegally crossing the border and putting children at risk.
Instead of buying into the sensationalism and the rhetoric that is designed to play on the emotions, we need to look at the role of government biblically when it comes to immigration.
Romans 13:1-7 clearly states that the government has been ordained by God and given the responsibility of establishing and enforcing laws that people are required to obey. The only permission to civilly disobey is when the government enacts legislation that is against the clear revealed will of God or when it forces its citizens to disobey His commands.
However, in the case of immigration, it is against the law to enter this country illegally and according to the Bible; the government has every right to punish those who do so (1 Peter 2:13-16). To support, enable or condone the violation of a government’s laws or to disregard its responsibility to protect its own borders is not only refusing to submit to the government but to the Word of God, itself.
Let’s be honest, many of our immigration policies are broken and need to be fixed. But also, the immigration laws need to be enforced.
As Christians who are citizens of this nation, we must recognize the God-given responsibility that the government has while at the same acknowledging the complexity of the immigration issue. We must remember we are talking about individuals created in the image of God and although they may have broken United States Law, they are still entitled for a level of decency regarding their treatment.
The best way to handle the immigration issue is to allow the government to do their job and for us as Christians to seek God that we as a nation uphold a standard of righteousness. In addition, we need to pray that immigration reform happens and for our leaders, who were appointed by God, to make decisions not based on partisan politics but ones that reflect the values that have made this country a place where people want to be.