Immigration

Immigration is a very volatile issue. God cares deeply about immigrants and we need to take an incremental approach to this issue since making a wrong decision can have catastrophic consequences. While God expresses concern to be shown to immigrants, does this mean they are allowed to break the laws of the nation? Many Christians are torn on this issue because they believe Jesus would condone breaking the nation's laws to help these people. However, the laws opposing open borders have been established to protect citizens of a nation from the enemies that refuse to follow the laws of the land, would commit crimes and seek to destroy the host culture. We need to look at the role of government from a biblical perspective on this issue. The following articles and video clips addresses some of the issues involved in this debate.



Biblical View of Immigration part 1





Biblical View of Immigration part 2





Biblical View of Immigration part 3





Various views on Immigration

Views on Immigration

 

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The Amnesty Fraud 


By Thomas Sowell

Nothing is more common than political "solutions" to immediate problems which create much bigger problems down the road. The current immigration bill in the Senate is a classic example.

The big talking point of those who want to legalize the illegal immigrants currently in the United States is to say that it is "unrealistic" to round up and deport 12 million people.

Back in 1986 it was "unrealistic" to round up and deport the 3 million illegal immigrants in the United States then. So they were given amnesty -- honestly labeled, back then -- which is precisely why there are now 12 million illegal immigrants.

As a result of the current amnesty bill -- not honestly labeled, this time -- will it be "unrealistic" to round up and deport 40 million or 50 million illegal immigrants in the future?

If the current immigration bill is as "realistic" as its advocates claim, why is it being rushed through the Senate faster than a local zoning ordinance could be passed?

We are, after all, talking about a major and irreversible change in the American population, the American culture, and the American political balance. Why is there no time to talk about it?

Are its advocates afraid that the voting public might discover what a fraud it is? The biggest fraud is denying that this is an amnesty bill.

Its advocates' argument is that illegal immigrants will have to meet certain requirements to become citizens. But amnesty is not about how you become a citizen.

The word is from the same root as "amnesia." It means you forget or overlook some crime, as if it never happened. All this elaborate talk about the steps illegal immigrants must go through to become citizens is a distraction from the crime they committed when they crossed the border illegally.

Instead, all attention is focused on what to do to accommodate those who committed this crime. It is a question that would be recognized as an insult to our intelligence on any other issue.

For example, there are undoubtedly thousands, perhaps millions, of unsolved crimes and uncaught criminals in this country and we cannot realistically expect to find and prosecute all these fugitives from justice.

But does anyone suggest that our focus should be on trying to normalize the lives of domestic fugitives from justice -- "bring them out of the shadows" in Ted Kennedy's phrase -- and develop some path by which they can be given an acceptable legal status?

Does anyone suggest that, if domestic criminals come forward, pay some fine, and apply to have their crimes overlooked, they can be put on a path to be restored to good standing in our society?

Just as we don't need to solve every crime and catch every criminal, in order to have deterrents to crime, neither do we have to ferret out and deport every one of the 12 million illegal aliens in this country in order to deter a flood of new illegal aliens.

All across this country, illegal aliens are being caught by the police for all sorts of violations of American laws, from traffic laws to laws against murder. Yet in many, if not most, places the police are under orders not to report these illegal aliens to the federal government.

Imprisoning known and apprehended lawbreakers for the crime of illegally entering this country, in addition to whatever other punishment they receive for other laws that they have broken -- and then sending them back where they came from after their sentences have been served -- would be something that would not be lost on others who are here illegally or who are thinking of coming here illegally.

Just as people can do many things better for themselves than the government can do those things for them, illegal aliens could begin deporting themselves if they found that their crime of coming here illegally was being punished as a serious crime, and that they themselves were no longer being treated as guests of the taxpayers when it comes to their medical care, the education of their children, and other welfare state benefits.

Incidentally, remember that 700-mile fence that Congress authorized last year? Only two miles have been built. That should tell us something about how seriously they are going to enforce other border security provisions in the current bill.

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What Does Saint Thomas Say About Immigration?

By John Horvat II


What Does Saint Thomas Say About Immigration?

“These are some of the thoughts of Saint Thomas Aquinas on the matter of immigration”

In looking at the debate over immigration, it is almost automatically assumed that the Church’s position is one of unconditional charity toward those who enter the nation, legally or illegally.

However, is this the case? What does the Bible say about immigration? What do Church doctors and theologians say? Above all, what does the greatest of doctors, Saint Thomas Aquinas, say about immigration? Does his opinion offer some insights to the burning issues now shaking the nation and blurring the national borders?

Immigration is a modern problem and so some might think that the medieval Saint Thomas would have no opinion about the problem. And yet, he does. One has only to look in his masterpiece, the Summa Theologica, in the first part of the second part, question 105, article 3 (I-II, Q. 105, Art. 3). There one finds his analysis based on biblical insights that can add to the national debate. They are entirely applicable to the present.


Saint Thomas: “Man’s relations with foreigners are twofold: peaceful, and hostile: and in directing both kinds of relation the Law contained suitable precepts.”

Commentary: In making this affirmation, Saint Thomas affirms that not all immigrants are equal. Every nation has the right to decide which immigrants are beneficial, that is, “peaceful,” to the common good. As a matter of self-defense, the State can reject those criminal elements, traitors, enemies and others who it deems harmful or “hostile” to its citizens.

The second thing he affirms is that the manner of dealing with immigration is determined by law in the cases of both beneficial and “hostile” immigration. The State has the right and duty to apply its law.

Saint Thomas: “For the Jews were offered three opportunities of peaceful relations with foreigners. First, when foreigners passed through their land as travelers. Secondly, when they came to dwell in their land as newcomers. And in both these respects the Law made kind provision in its precepts: for it is written (Exodus 22:21): ’Thou shalt not molest a stranger [advenam]’; and again (Exodus 22:9): ’Thou shalt not molest a stranger [peregrino].’”

Commentary: Here Saint Thomas acknowledges the fact that others will want to come to visit or even stay in the land for some time. Such foreigners deserved to be treated with charity, respect and courtesy, which is due to any human of good will. In these cases, the law can and should protect foreigners from being badly treated or molested.

Saint Thomas: “Thirdly, when any foreigners wished to be admitted entirely to their fellowship and mode of worship. With regard to these a certain order was observed. For they were not at once admitted to citizenship: just as it was law with some nations that no one was deemed a citizen except after two or three generations, as the Philosopher says (Polit. iii, 1).”

Commentary: Saint Thomas recognizes that there will be those who will want to stay and become citizens of the lands they visit. However, he sets as the first condition for acceptance a desire to integrate fully into what would today be considered the culture and life of the nation.

A second condition is that the granting of citizenship would not be immediate. The integration process takes time. People need to adapt themselves to the nation. He quotes the philosopher Aristotle as saying this process was once deemed to take two or three generations. Saint Thomas himself does not give a time frame for this integration, but he does admit that it can take a long time.

Saint Thomas: “The reason for this was that if foreigners were allowed to meddle with the affairs of a nation as soon as they settled down in its midst, many dangers might occur, since the foreigners not yet having the common good firmly at heart might attempt something hurtful to the people.”

Commentary: The common sense of Saint Thomas is certainly not politically correct but it is logical. The theologian notes that living in a nation is a complex thing. It takes time to know the issues affecting the nation. Those familiar with the long history of their nation are in the best position to make the long-term decisions about its future. It is harmful and unjust to put the future of a place in the hands of those recently arrived, who, although through no fault of their own, have little idea of what is happening or has happened in the nation. Such a policy could lead to the destruction of the nation.

As an illustration of this point, Saint Thomas later notes that the Jewish people did not treat all nations equally since those nations closer to them were more quickly integrated into the population than those who were not as close. Some hostile peoples were not to be admitted at all into full fellowship due to their enmity toward the Jewish people.

Saint Thomas: “Nevertheless it was possible by dispensation for a man to be admitted to citizenship on account of some act of virtue: thus it is related (Judith 14:6) that Achior, the captain of the children of Ammon, ‘was joined to the people of Israel, with all the succession of his kindred.’”

Commentary: That is to say, the rules were not rigid. There were exceptions that were granted based on the circumstances. However, such exceptions were not arbitrary but always had in mind the common good. The example of Achior describes the citizenship bestowed upon the captain and his children for the good services rendered to the nation.

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These are some of the thoughts of Saint Thomas Aquinas on the matter of immigration based on biblical principles. It is clear that immigration must have two things in mind: the first is the nation’s unity; and the second is the common good.

Immigration should have as its goal integration, not disintegration or segregation. The immigrant should not only desire to assume the benefits but the responsibilities of joining into the full fellowship of the nation. By becoming a citizen, a person becomes part of a broad family over the long term and not a shareholder in a joint stock company seeking only short-term self-interest.

Secondly, Saint Thomas teaches that immigration must have in mind the common good; it cannot destroy or overwhelm a nation.

This explains why so many Americans experience uneasiness caused by massive and disproportional immigration. Such policy artificially introduces a situation that destroys common points of unity and overwhelms the ability of a society to absorb new elements organically into a unified culture. The common good is no longer considered.

A proportional immigration has always been a healthy development in a society since it injects new life and qualities into a social body. But when it loses that proportion and undermines the purpose of the State, it threatens the well-being of the nation.

When this happens, the nation would do well to follow the advice of Saint Thomas Aquinas and biblical principles. The nation must practice justice and charity towards all, including foreigners, but it must above all safeguard the common good and its unity, without which no country can long endure.

(This posting is a development of a paragraph and footnote from the book, Return to Order. Those who want to post or publish this article can do so as long as the credit is given to the Return to Order website and a link is made.)

 www.ReturnToOrder.org

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Thomas Sowell Audio on Immigration

http://theacru.org/acru/thomas_sowell_speaks_up_on_immigration/


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Kevin Swanson Audio on a Biblical View of Immigration

http://mp3.sa-media.com/filearea/440693450/440693450.mp3



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