“Give us your tired, poor, huddled masses” are words proudly proclaimed by Lady Liberty to the hopeful, excited, mourning, scared, and persecuted people seeking relief and freedom. She doesn’t see many weary travelers steaming her harbor. At the opposite end of the country, however, is a plan for another sentinel. A wall. On which will be other words inscribed such as, “Stay Back 200 meters, restricted area, and checkpoint ahead.” What happened? Open water VS. Wall. Lady wearing robes VS. soldiers wearing Uniforms. They saw a light to light the way. Now they see a gun warning against sudden movement. How did we go from open arms to a protective stance?
Many say the Lady should, “Shut the gates and put a watch for some, and put up a sign-in sheet for others.” Still others say, “Open the gates wider, tear the gates from their hinges laying open the plenteous bounty that remains.” We are after all, “One World.” Although God said that would not work (Gen. 11).
Immigration and specifically illegal immigration are challenging issues for Christians to reckon. At a time when there is seemingly no loss of pompous ideology and feverous posturing on all sides, Christians should consider a Biblical perspective then be bold in advancing God’s word as a new “Immigration Policy.”
- Gods word clearly teaches that nations exist and are sovereign (Acts 17),and that they can and should have borders (Numbers 20, 21, Joshua 11, 13, 16, 22).
- Nations should joyfully accept immigrants both as visitors and as travelers destined for assimilation into our nation as “part of” and not “separate or raging against.” God even teaches that we who enjoy living where God’s hand has blessed the land should love, protect, and care for weary travelers as they seek/desire to live withus (Exodus 22:21-33).
- Both God and the context of American History dictate that America really is to be a “Melting Pot.”A place where immigrants are, and remain, lawful and are desiring to learn and adopt the American Dream by respecting Americas traditions, values, culture, language, and most of all, it’s Laws (Exodus 12:49). And yes, immigrants should be subjected to screening and other legal standards of entry related to risk assessment and dare I say, the intrinsic value of their inclusion. The question President Kennedy asked, “What can I do for America?” should be on the form. Americas law dictates both peep hole and dead-bolt on the manned door to the land of not so plenty anymore. And no, the entitlements, rights, and opportunities aren’t always the same. The law was written by and for, “We the people of the United States,” and is further detailed in Article 1 section 8 and the 14th Amendment. Gods word makes clear that immigrants need to respect our laws, accept our traditions, and even appreciate our hospitality (Ruth 2:10). Until they agree, they won’t be legal or fully vested in right or privilege (Lev. 17, 18, 24, 25).
Lady Liberty’s outstretched hand is the Light of America to light the way to safety and opportunity. Since America was undeniably founded on God’s word, this light is a lamp unto their feet, the light of the world. But, you see in the Lady’s other arm is the Law of America (the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution). She stands waiting and lighting the way for all, but she uses the light to show both the way of entry and the law for entry.