Friday, May 7, 2010

The Arizona Illegal Immigration Law: What’s our Christian duty toward “Aliens”

This will probably be one of the shortest blog posts I ever do. Why? Because not many political hot potatoes have this easy of an answer! This one really isn’t hard people.

In a nutshell, here’s the crux of the new Illegal Immigration Law:

The law would require the police “when practicable” to detain people they reasonably suspected were in the country without authorization. It would also allow the police to charge immigrants with a state crime for not carrying immigration documents. And it allows residents to sue cities if they believe the law is not being enforced.

Ooo Boy. So all “suspicious Brown people” in Arizona better keep their papers handy or risk being rolled up by the “suspicious Brown people” brigade. Now, just for the record, this isn’t a new concept for this Country. During slavery, freed slaves were required to carry documents with them AT ALL TIMES that proved they were free. Failure to produce these documents resulted in the slave being arrested and sold back in to slavery. Amazing! But I guess it worked well for the majority culture the first go-round, why wouldn’t they try this again?

So just as it was back then, as Christians we have to ask ourselves how God would have us to respond. I don’t dispute that illegal immigration is an issue on the border states. The infrastructure in these cities are bearing a heavy burden as they care for the needs of illegal immigrants, many times with no hope for reimbursement. It’s estimated that about 11 million illegal immigrants live “in the shadows” here in the U.S. Because the U.S. has not exactly been the most warm and welcoming of places for Brown people from over the border, they stay in the shadows and a whole sub-culture exists. This is a no-win situation – for those in the sub-culture, and those who have to pick up the pieces when the resources of the sub-culture are inadequate to its “citizens”.

But from a Christian perspective, the idea of “Aliens among us”, illegal or otherwise, is not a new concept. The scriptures are replete with God’s instructions to us on how we are to treat these folks, but here’s a few:

He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the alien, giving him food and clothing. And you are to love those who are aliens, for you yourselves were aliens in Egypt.” Deuteronomy 10:18,19

"Do not mistreat an alien or oppress him, for you were aliens in Egypt.” Exodus 22:21

When an alien lives with you in your land, do not mistreat him. The alien living with you must be treated as one of your native-born. Love him as yourself, for you were aliens in Egypt. I am the LORD your God.” Leviticus 19:33,34

Carefully follow the terms of this covenant, so that you may prosper in everything you do. All of you are standing today in the presence of the LORD your God--your leaders and chief men, your elders and officials, and all the other men of Israel, together with your children and your wives, and the aliens living in your camps who chop your wood and carry your water.” Deuteronomy 29:9-11

I think that’s pretty clear.

1 comment:

  1. Good post. No one seems to know what an "illegal" looks like so I don't see how they would say this bill wouldn't lead to racial profiling. Going to be an interesting summer in Arizona.