I keep hearing this from evangelicals. That’s right, Leviticus 19.
33 “When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. 34 You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God. (ESV)
Somehow people think this should apply to illegal or undocumented immigrants. They fail to correctly exegete the passage (its historical context) and make appropriate epochal adjustments in their application.
- The Israelites were initially invited into Egypt (Genesis 45). They were not citizens of Egypt, but were welcomed there by the government. Obviously this all changed after Joseph’s death, and a new Pharaoh came to power.
- Nations then did not normally have closed borders. But they did have troops at the border along the trade & travel routes. Let us also remember that the people have the rights and entitlements. There were not government schools, no welfare, no health care benefits etc. Neither were there WMDs that could be smuggled in.
- This passage should be applied to those who enter this country legally. We should not treat them unfairly since they speak a different language, have different customs, or have a different skin color. We should not abuse them, but show them love and kindness.
But illegal aliens are like the guy who breaks into you house while you’re on vacation, empties out your frig, uses up your stash of cash, possibly your credit cards, and comes under your health plan. That person is committing theft. Justice is not showering him with benefits, but punishing him.
I am frightened by the lack of logic expressed by the students protesting attempts to deal with the problem of illegal aliens. And that expressed by many protesting illegals. This is not xenophobia. Only completely crazy people want to stop all immigration. Legal immigration is a fantastic thing. My ancestors benefited from it, and therefore so have I. But illegal immigration is immoral, and this needs to be addressed.
Amnesty is not the answer. This morning I heard someone at the library plead for amnesty for their fine. Yes, they used the word. Ironically, the library worker was named Sol. As a city employee, I’m sure she is a legal immigrant. Amnesty is the easy way out for politicians. You win favor with future voters, and don’t need to allocate resources to arresting and deporting illegal aliens.