Seeking Biblical Principles to Inform Immigration Policy
Marshall notes that most illegal immigrants "simply desire a better life, and are willing to risk their lives in striving for it. If there were no border then who could object to what they do? It is the fact of a border, a political invention, that makes their action wrong."
Notably, even desperate circumstances don't make a lawless act moral. Proverbs 6:30-31 says, "Men do not despise a thief if he steals to satisfy hunger when he is starving. Yet if he is caught, he must pay sevenfold, though it costs him all the wealth of his house." Maria rightfully should face a very tough penalty, even if driven to lawbreaking for understandable reasons.
Imposing oneself on another society is not a victimless crime. It causes harmful consequences. It is immoral. It breaks or undermines shalom, God's peace that has already been disturbed in this fallen world.
Every Maria who gains a "better life" hurts our Patricias, who have no where else to turn but to the civil government under whom God's providential hand has placed Patricia for protection. Rationalizing immigration policies based on a warm, soft, anecdotal, "feel-good" approach to legislating fails to do justice to fellow Americans. We deserve policies based on the factual, reasoned approach to legislating that places law and order right under biblical principles.
James R. Edwards Jr., coauthor of The Congressional Politics of Immigration Reform (Longman, 1998), is an adjunct fellow with the Hudson Institute. This article, as with all "Speaking Out" pieces, does not necessarily represent the views of Christianity Today.
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