- law and justice are not always equivalent
- much of our existing legal framework relative to immigration is unjust
- our current immigration morass is due less to lawlessness and more to economic and political hypocrisy and cultural animus
So, around what principles might we unite as we pursue cultural repentance and seek political solutions?
A commendable reform framework
I support the Evangelical Immigration Table’s Evangelical Statement of Principles for Immigration Reform as a commendable set of basic elements of a biblical posture relative to immigration. Here is an excerpt:
Our national immigration laws have created a moral, economic and political crisis in America. Initiatives to remedy this crisis have led to polarization and name calling in which opponents have misrepresented each other’s positions as open borders and amnesty versus deportations of millions. This false choice has led to an unacceptable political stalemate at the federal level at a tragic human cost. We urge our nation’s leaders to work together with the American people to pass immigration reform that embodies these key principles and that will make our nation proud. As evangelical Christian leaders, we call for a bipartisan solution on immigration that:
- Respects the God-given dignity of every person
- Protects the unity of the immediate family
- Respects the rule of law
- Guarantees secure national borders
- Ensures fairness to taxpayers
- Establishes a path toward legal status and/or citizenship for those who qualify and who wish to become permanent residents
Now the real work begins
I realize that embrace of the above principles leaves a chasm that can only be bridged by a commitment to engagement and compromise. But we “strangers” who through the blood of Christ have been reconciled to God and to one another (Eph. 2:11-22) must take the courageous and costly initiative to:
- lead our fellow citizens in repentance for our collective hypocrisy and cultural hubris;
- reach out on a personal level to embrace the despised and disenfranchised; and
- advocate within the sphere of our citizenship responsibility for the rectification and re-framing of immigration’s legal apparatus.
I invite you to join me in praying and participating toward the realization of such ends.
Fresh gleanings to fuel your leadership awareness, reflection, and conversations …
This essay by Mike Kuhn (Institute for Middle Eastern Studies) observes that, real people are daily presented with opportunities for witness to the nations that, a generation ago, were available only to “missionaries.” In light of that reality, Kuhn exhorts fellow believers to abandon approaches to evangelism that are born of fear and artifice and instead to embrace authentically relational engagement with our neighbors.
Is there any kernel of truth in Donald Trump’s callously profane characterization of countries like Haiti? Wheaton College Humanitarian Disaster Institute director, Kent Annan, suggests there is. But Annan posits several other truths about Haiti that are essential to framing a Christian perception and reaction to ravaged, corrupt, and seemingly hopeless countries such as Haiti.