Immigrant Bashing or Open Arms – a Christian’s choice

[From the archives.]

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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5 Responses to Immigrant Bashing or Open Arms – a Christian’s choice

  1. I believe it is biblical to support the stranger in our midst. The first time I was a widow I had an immigrant live with me and she was such a blessing. I learned a lot from her about the dirt floors where she lived in her country, and what she did to survive. Later she married and became a citizen, but what a joy it was to know her.

  2. Gangplank mentality never goes away, but love will always have the final word.

  3. Pastor Bob says:

    When the topic of “Immigration” comes up, it usually is meant to support those who are here without proper documentation. So a short distinction should be good.
    -Those who are here after following all procedures, and have maintained the proper (legal) presence should never run into the problems of “not being welcome(d)” -ever. that means from anyone at anytime.
    -Those who are here without following the proper procedures, or have failed to maintain the legal presence, well that is another issue. There was a time when many (really almost all) would try to make a living to support relatives in the home country. These good natured folks would do what they could without causing issue, and occasionally being found out and returned tot heir country of origin.
    –Now we have many in this category who cause problems, and lead to more problems (read the news, elaboration will not happen here). Demands are made, counter demands are made, and the problems (all of them) grow,
    Enter the church, and what she can do. Status is not to be an issue, ever. In the building, on church activities, one grounds, it is not an issue. We welcome all -period. We pray for the needs, but since the topic of :status: is hot topic -it is banned from the pulpit area.
    Respect for all is crucial, Love for all, embracing all -we do that.

    PS… many who have tangled with the legal immigration proceedings are FURIOUS that so many want “short cuts” – Not a topic to thrown around lightly.
    ppss– I serve in a Latin Church!

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