Is there a Christian position on immigration reform?

06/12/2012 04:51:00 PM
Tom Karst

National Editor Tom KarstIs there a Christian position on immigration reform? Or, put another way, what would Jesus do about undocumented workers?

The question is practically unanswerable, true, but a recent position statement on immigration purports to put forward some principles in that regard.

From Christianity Today coverage, more than 100 evangelical leaders put out the Evangelical Statement of Principles for Immigration Reform.

The statement calls for a bipartisan solution to immigration reform that meets six criteria:

  1. Respects the God-given dignity of every person
  2. Protects the unity of the immediate family
  3. Respects the rule of law
  4. Guarantees secure national borders
  5. Ensures fairness to taxpayers
  6. Establishes a path toward legal status and/or citizenship for those who qualify and who wish to become permanent residents

The coverage notes that the only one of these principles that might be might raise a little controversy is #6, which is the call for a path toward legal status for illegal aliens. I'm sure the theologians among us might nitpick a few other of the criteria.

Bottom line, we would all do well to heed the commands of Jesus. To feed the hungry, to be merciful, to shelter the homeless,  to be the good Samaritan; all of that, Jesus said, and much more.

Inasmuch as government policy can reflect those "gospel" principles in immigration reform legislation - and as much as evangelical employers can reflect those values to their employees - it should be done.

The "Evangelical Statement of Principles for Immigration Reform" is a start.

 

 

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Mary Smith    
Richmond, VA  |  June, 13, 2012 at 08:51 AM

Although I'm not an evangelical Christian, I agree with these principles. Immigration is an issue that has legal, social economic and spiritual implications. Most of us in this country today are descended from immigrants. Immigration policies were very different in the past, much more open, and a great many of our forbears would have had to enter the country illegally if the criteria for accepting legal immigrants had been as strict as it is today. We need to deal with this issue in a compassionate way, and recognize that these workers play an important part in our economy.

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