Open the Door and Let Them In: Immigrant Bashing has to STOP!

Jonathan Merritt posted an article today entitled Four Reasons Christians Should Support a Pathway to Citizenship. Each of his four points are well stated, although not all of his support is exclusive to Christian doctrine. Some of it should make sense to a broader segment of the American population. He named his four points:

  1. Because it will promote prosperity.
  2. Because it is fiscally responsible.
  3. Because it is pro-family.
  4. Because the Bible commands us to “welcome the stranger.”

Each of the points is followed by a short explanation which is well worth considering.

I’d like to add a fifth point though, one that might not be completely novel to his original four but which comes at the issues in a slightly different way. Mine is also one that people here in the States can embrace whether they are Christians or not.

5. Because our economy and way of life depend on immigrants. A large part of our economy runs on undocumented immigrant labor. If you like the selection of fruit in the supermarket, thank an immigrant. Same goes for other aspects of our economy, from well-manicured lawns to clean hotel rooms. And while these examples of low-skilled labor are the obvious ones, there are undocumented immigrants contributing to our society in more skilled jobs, crafts, trades and professions as well. No matter where they may rest on the job spectrum, these are people who not only contribute to our economy but to our very ability to enjoy our country in so many ways we take for granted.

How can we not invite them to join us as fellow citizens through a lawful process for naturalization? They make our lives better!

And to wrap up Jonathan’s points and my own, look at it this way. If Jesus gave you a choice of helping someone to a better life or leaving them alone, which do you think you should choose?

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14 Responses to Open the Door and Let Them In: Immigrant Bashing has to STOP!

  1. One of the best movies I ever saw to support your point Tim is A Day Without a Mexican. Sad part is there are way too many Christians who do not see the truth of your words and Jonathon’s

  2. Bronwyn says:

    Since writing my own immigration piece, I have been so moved by the comments and stories of others who are suffering under the current immigration legislation. I had no idea. Thanks for posting this and continuing to spur discussion.

  3. Roland K says:

    I live in out in the countryside and my family runs a dairy. So I know first hand that immigrants both legal and illegal play a important role in food production. I also know that a lot of immigrants work here in that states so that they can support their family back home. Having grown up on the mission field in Mexico I’ve seen first hand the poverty of the third world. We live in a land of opportunity that is literally and figuratively flowing with milk and honey. Yet we insist on keeping it for ourselves when we should be sharing our wealth and knowledge with the world.

    • Tim says:

      Thanks for the insights, Roland. I too am flabbergasted at the rhetoric that seems to be aimed at pulling up the ladder so that others cannot come share what we have in the States.

  4. My heart is so heavy.
    I was at my parents’ house yesterday and they started bringing up different things. What I don’t understand is how they are for keeping illegal immigrants out of our country. They say, “well it is the law! What about ‘illegal’ don’t you understand?” Yet if I were to bring up to them how they are against the idea of homosexual marriage, what will they do when it becomes the law in all states? Would they stand by it? I think not, because they’ll say that the Bible talks against homosexuality. I told them that both the Old Testament and the New Testament talk about caring for those from other lands and that we ourselves should not consider ourselves residents of this world and that we are a part of the Kingdom of God. They screamed at me and said they love their neighbors and care for me (their daughter. . .I don’t think that makes me their neighbor, but a bit of a part of their responsibility). I said, “You love your neighbors within your country’s borders, but that’s not far enough. Our neighbors are from all over the world. We even have brothers and sisters in Christ in the whole world.” So they kicked me out of their house and I am not welcomed there any longer.

    What have so many Christians become?
    Are we not to live out the teachings of Jesus?

    • Tim says:

      Victoria, I am so sorry. My heart aches at the thought that your parents have told you you’re not welcome any longer in their home. I am praying for the Spirit of peace to bring you healing and restoration.

      Tim

      • I actually do feel much peace about it. I am just sad. . .for them to feel so strongly as they do that they would have to keep me out of their own home. Jesus wasn’t accepted in his own hometown, so this is fine.

  5. Lunochka says:

    You don’t know me from Eve — I surfed here from the whole modesty thing; I’m not even a Christian. But I do listen to some music that seems oddly like things Christ would say, and one of those songs seems pertinent to this topic. If you can find it, have a listen to “Bring ‘Em All In” by the Wailin’ Jennys. It’s beautiful. Makes me verklempt when I listen to it.

    — That Third-Culture, Sorta Dual National Girl with an Immigrant Mama

    • Tim says:

      Thanks for that recommendation, Lunochka. I’m so glad you stopped by to read the modesty post and then decided to take a look at what else I have here. Please feel free to chime in any time you like!

    • Tim says:

      P.S. Found the song and listened. At the risk of repeating myself I have to say thanks so much for the recommendation!

  6. Jennifer says:

    So I’m just sort of gazing back at old posts because of the wealth of content on this blog. It’s a great blog. And this particular post resonated with me due to the recent 2016 republican debate.

    Regardless of whether one thinks it’s more moral to deport or provide amnesty to undocumented workers, I wonder just how “moral” our economic structure even is. I’ve seen some of the conditions in which illegals work–and I think our ability to function in the capitalist way that we do is solely because America has always taken advantage of underprivileged classes. If full-citizen, dominant-culture individuals had to do all the agricultural work, the cost to pay for such wages would spike really high. We probably wouldn’t all have as much money as we do to go buy iPhones and football tickets. But maybe that wouldn’t be a bad thing. As it stands, we can walk around and not even think about the conditions to which people are subjected while picking our food and making our clothes and roofing our houses…I’m not convinced that’s a good thing. The best thing probably would be to find an easier, more sane way of granting documentation and citizenship, which would naturally inspire higher wages and better living conditions while also feeding more money into the tax system for the whole of the country. Otherwise, this half-in and half-out stuff just allows immigrants to be placed in a disadvantaged environment.

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