God Wants You To Love Immigrants

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Too many clear references that are positive about immigration and immigrants in the bible ignore

There are over 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States. President Trump made it clear during his presidential run that he would be tough on immigration, both illegal and legal. And he has delivered on his promise. He has rejected asylum from refugees, banned immigrants from multiple countries, rescinded immigration status from hundreds of thousands, and recently, moved forward on his promise to build a wall against Mexico, which is a perfect symbol for his opinions on immigration.

But there is an odd contradiction in his policy. One of Trump’s strongest bases is Evangelical Christians. He has continued to appeal to them through the promotion of policies that favor Christians and overt attempts at appeasement. But what does Christianity say about immigration? Should Christians be supporting Trump on immigration?

The Bible discusses immigration quite frequently. In fact, the word “ger”, which loosely translates into immigrant is mentioned 92 times in the Old Testament alone. And there are constant references to how to treat strangers, in your land or your home. Plainly, the Bible advocates treating them with the most respect. He loves immigrants… “When a stranger sojourn with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself…”

The Bible has numerous quotes in support of treating immigrant populations as kindly and gently as possible. Why is it true? First, according to the Bible, when Christians accept Jesus they become citizens of Heaven and are technically immigrants on earth. Second, Jesus was an immigrant to Earth. Third, the Bible is filled with stories about individuals fleeing religious or political strife and becoming strangers in a strange land. Therefore, the Biblical history and doctrine both promote immigration rights as a necessary force for enforcing God’s will.

The other interesting point is the vast majority of undocumented immigrants are Christians. So, even if one could argue you should not support non-Christian immigrants (a distinction that the Bible does not consistently make) that idea falls on its face. As a Christian, a foundational belief is that the Bible is the word of God. That means there are consistent, clear messages from God saying immigrants should be treated as humanely as possible with a clear path toward integration “for yourselves and for the strangers who dwell among you, who have begotten children with you.”

So, if you are a self-professed Christian, it seems you have only one clear option. Support immigration of any sort and call out Trump on his immigration policy. I wonder why Christian supporters do not do that? Actually, I don’t, it is hypocrisy in belief vs. action with the specter of racism being the culprit.

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