Photo by Chad Runge / Creation Swap

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Immigration - Part III

Last time I asked, “Is it not compassionate to bring ALL who wish to come within our borders so they too may get the same benefits that all Americans enjoy?” Under an ideal situation, the answer would be yes.  However, there seems to be an ulterior motive hidden behind the sudden “compassion” found within the liberal circles.

The reason I question their motives is because under current federal law, it is illegal to come into the United States to work and/or live without going through the proper channels. Go to Wikipedia and you can get a sense of some of the benefits and drawbacks to illegal immigration. The thing that I can’t get past is that many people are trying to sugar-coat the several benefits (and to be sure there are benefits) to having minority groups come into the country and to fill in the gaps in our society that provide certain things in regards to employment, tax revenue, consumer spending and boosting the GDP.

However, the primary motive I believe for the liberal is that immigrants provide a political base. As long as liberals keep the focus on providing more and more benefits for illegal immigrants, there's a reasonable assumption that in return, these same immigrants will be around to vote and keep these liberals in power. It's a powerful scratch my back and I'll scratch yours. The same can be true for certain group as well, like the unions and environmentalists. However, in the end, there's only so much of the pie that can be shared and someone is going to be left out. For many Americans, it's those of us who are already citizens. And it seems like that we are the ones paying the bill.

I'm not going to sit here and deride immigration altogether though. There are all positive effects to immigration as well, as I already mentioned. But let’s not gloss over the negative side of illegal immigration either. If compassion truly is our motive to support amnesty and inclusion of all forms of immigration, we must not look past the darker side of this issue. In some ways, but not all, immigration helps increase the current rate of criminal activity. This can involve identity theft, drug trafficking, gang violence, effects on the environment, and an increase level of terrorist activity. They also tend to widen the socioeconomical gulf between the rich and the poor. The view is is that they take jobs that “drive down wages for certain sectors of the American populace.”

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not trying to make immigration out to be a bad thing.  Immigration does work and it works well when done correctly.  But I also understand that immigration done legally in the United States sometimes can be a huge hurdle to overcome.  For those families or individuals who are wishing for a better life and opportunity, to take the risk of entering illegally, the benefits far outweigh the risks.

But as a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ and the God of the Bible, I understand as well that in many things in life there is a delicate balance to the human condition and to our plight as a human race.  I’m not saying I completely understand God’s point of view on this particular subject.  That would be arrogant.  I am merely suggesting that there are two sides that we must constantly be aware of (maybe more) and, in my opinion, prayerfully consider all options.

Let’s not forget that it’s by grace, and grace alone, that as believers we are adopted into God’s family.  We didn’t have to jump through hurdles, have the proper documentation, be considered worthy (or legal) to have the privilege to enter into His kingdom.

That last part needs clarification.  First, and foremost, let’s acknowledge that there is a “requirement” in order to be saved and go to heaven.  Salvation is a gift of God, but given to only those who have put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ, and in Jesus alone, as their only Savior and hope for life in heaven with Him. But, let us also acknowledge that we did nothing to deserve His favor and not think that somehow through our own righteousness that we bring something to the table to earn salvation.

I believe that there should be compassion for the plight of our fellow man. But with God, I also see order.  Back in the Old Testament days, God gave the Israelites His laws and commands. It illustrated the need for order and structure within community. Especially with His community. Throughout Deuteronomy, God shows us how to be in connection with Him and with each other in a society.  Many of His commandments show us His character and ultimately, draw us to a place of humility and a need for Him.  The first commandment, Jesus points out, “is to 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment.” But God also saw a need for us to have a proper relationship with each other.  He even orders the Israelites to set up a system of government. There’s an understanding that order is needed.

Now getting back to our immigration discussion... If immigration, as was suggested last time, and discussed further here can have negative effects on society, shouldn’t our government help structure our society in such a way that we can integrate people into our nation and decrease the chance of the negative impacts? So, if the liberals have such great compassion for people, then why are they glossing over these pertinent details? The sex slave trade, for example, is one of those very real problems. Shouldn't our government try to prevent these kind of atrocities?

And if all of a sudden we provide amnesty and allow all people to come and go freely from this country, will that help make these problems go away? No, and not only that, but we may end up doing more harm than good. I don't think our country could adequately sustain that kind of influx in our immigration population. We just don't have the kind of resources to handle the new problems that would come as a result. And besides, we do have laws that exist to help us control the illegal immigration problem. We just don't do an adequate job at enforcing them. But are these laws the answer to all our problems?  Obviously not.  But again, we cannot gloss over the fact that there are laws that currently exist and we should abide by them.  The liberals seem to want to conveniently forget these facts and ignore the laws and do as we please.

The thing that probably perturbs me the most, though, is that I’m reading in articles, papers, blogs, etc. where liberals are trying to use Jesus and the Bible as a means to distort what the Word of God says on this subject to promote their agenda. I’ve read comments like, “Jesus was about love and compassion for other people.  It’s the right and moral thing to do to bring immigrants in and give them free health care, education, and other government resources to help them.” While some of this may seem true to a degree, it does ignore some other basic Biblical principles. God has established the leaders over our nation. And He does tell us to obey them. So then, given that our authority has laws in regards to illegal immigration (and isn’t that what Arizona’s laws are?), shouldn’t we respect those authorities and obey them?  Of course, if it’s a decision between God and man, I choose to obey God. However, if the Bible shows us that there must be order within community and gives our government its authority that doesn’t directly contradict with God’s laws and commands, isn’t it a fair assumption that we shouldn’t ignore those laws?

But what's even worse than that is the liberals use of invoking God into the discussion that really sets me off. If they are so concerned about what the Bible says and want to use God’s Word as the basis for their rationale, shouldn’t they first turn to God and ask Him for guidance and direction? For many, I assume the answer is no. Because if they did, they would be confronted with their sin. God has a way of exposing our sin and our unrepentant hearts. After many years of going out of their way to exclude God out of their lives (i.e. government, schools, public buildings, history, etc.), why in the world would they even think that God and/or Christians would listen to anything they have to say?

Illegal immigration is a problem. It’s probably one that will never go away either. I’m not saying I have all the answers. But I know the One who does. And unless we as a country turn back to God and humble ourselves and seek His face, this issue will never truly go away. It’s not that as Americans we don’t have compassion for people and don’t want to see immigrants realize their dreams. We do. There are way too many other issues and/or factors that go into this. But without God leading the way, the issues will continue to get cloudier, muddier, and messier than ever.

Let’s consider what God says:

2 Corinthians 7:13-15 

13 "When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, 14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 15 Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place.


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  2. I have nothing against people crossing our long as its done legally.
    I’ve enjoyed looking over your blog. I came across it through another blog I follow, and I’m glad I did. I am now a follower of yours as well. Feel free to look over my blog and perhaps become one as well.

  3. I'm here again...and Oh..Love what you have in your profile. Just goes to show the power of our living God.

  4. Amen! God has shown me grace and forgiveness far more than I can possibly imagine. I only hope and pray that I can show others the same thing. He's working on me and I have can have no other response than "Thank you Jesus for the cross!"

  5. I want to thank you for such a well written and informative post. I really enjoyed reading your blog. God bless, Lloyd