Ministers and some of their parishioners often quote the Bible as justification for citizens of other countries to break U.S. immigration laws and preach that U.S. citizens should “welcome the stranger” — meaning illegal immigrants. Other Bible scholars disagree. One of them, The Rev. James Edwards, points out: “It displays questionable judgment to rigidly construct an immigration policy for 21st-century America based on a handful of Scripture passages taken out of context or from particular instances of migration spanning centuries, vastly different nations and kingdoms, wholly different circumstances, etc. found in Scripture. Rather, carefully discerning applicable principles better fits the situation.”
Many Bible passages teach that obeying civil laws is the normative imperative for Christians.
As one who grew up attending Methodist Sunday schools, I suggest that church figures, instead of urging U.S. citizens to welcome unlimited numbers of illegal aliens, go to the countries from which illegal immigrants flee and help the citizens and institutions there achieve acceptable living conditions. That would be true Christian ministry.
The United States, through its aid to developing countries, has spent billions over past decades and sent thousands of technical assistance personnel to improve the economies and governments of poor countries. We don’t need to feel guilty about enforcing our immigration laws.
Let’s keep our law requiring proof of citizenship to get a driver license and vote no on Measure 88, which would change the law to give official driver licenses and IDs to illegal immigrants.