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Christianity and Immigration



Evangelical commentator James Dobson recently commented on the surge of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border in response to the Biden Administration’s relaxation of immigration policies, which were endorsed by Christian groups like World Relief as fulfilling “a moral imperative” to accept “refugees, asylum seekers and other immigrants.” [6]


In Dobson’s words: “President Biden has literally created a humanitarian and a national security crisis all within his first two months in office…Make no mistake, the thousands of migrants seeking to enter this country – while wearing Biden T-shirts – think Joe is a nice guy. But this 'nice guy' so happens to be our president who is charged to uphold the sovereignty and security of our nation.” [5]


Even as migrants are being released into the interior of the United States under the administration’s “catch-and-release” honors system policy, CNN has had the audacity to publish an article decrying that more migrants are not being let over the border.


“[A few illegal immigrants at the border] are angry their journey into the US was cut short, worried because they have no place to stay in Mexico and confused because they thought things had changed since President Donald Trump left the White House.


‘They (US border authorities) treated us very badly. They didn't even give us the chance to speak,’ says Ordelina de Leon Lopez. If she'd had a chance to make her case, de Leon says she would have told authorities that one of her daughters had been kidnapped in Guatemala and she fled the country after facing threats.” [1]


Even as CNN and the Christian left call for immigration reform that will allow people illegally entering the United States to have a path to citizenship, they fail to acknowledge that the United States government’s first duty is not to prioritize foreign nationals over its own citizens. [2]

One of the biggest problems facing the United States right now is racing the clock to ensure that the number of COVID-19 variants introduced into the United States are reduced. Furthermore, the ability to test those who have come to the border has been stressed over the last couple months, as highlighted by Texas Governor Greg Abbott. As one official stated “There is a gap between January 31 until we received the tests [in mid-February] where we did not have COVID tests to provide.” [3] “Gaps” like this are dangerous and unacceptable!


Some Christian leftists have taken to the use of proof-texting as a means of “winning” the political debate over illegal immigration. While proof-texting is always a dangerous territory to enter, it becomes even more fraught when the verse used is not accurately translated.

This is exactly what has happened with the use of Leviticus 19:34, which says, “The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God.”


Although some have pointed to this as proof that Christians who object to open borders are behaving unrighteously, this view is the result of a misunderstanding of the word “foreigner.”

The Hebrew word used in this verse is “ger,” which specifically applies to legal foreign residents. In contrast, the word “nekhar” is used to refer to foreigners without Jewish citizenship. The biblical treatment of “nekhars” is quite different! For instance, although the Jewish people were prohibited from charging interest to their fellow Israelites, including “gers,” they were allowed to charge interest to “nekhars” in Deuteronomy 23:20. [4]


The point of this discussion is merely to note that there is no national or biblical duty to accept claims of asylum if it jeopardizes the safety of a country’s citizens.


Foundations of Truth hereby waives all claim of copyright (economic and moral) in this work and immediately places it in the public domain; it may be used, published, edited, and distributed in any manner whatsoever without any attribution or notice to Foundations of Truth.


[1] “Deported families at the border say they're shocked and confused,” CNN (March 25, 2021), https://www.cnn.com/2021/03/25/americas/mexico-border-deported-migrants/index.html

[2] Laura E. Alexander, “‘Christian left’ is reviving in America, appalled by treatment of migrants,” The Conversation (August 16, 2019), https://theconversation.com/christian-left-is-reviving-in-america-appalled-by-treatment-of-migrants-121672

[3] Anastasiya Bolton, “COVID testing protocols not clear as border crossings surge,” KHOU-11 (February 12, 2021), https://www.khou.com/article/news/deep-dive-texas/covid-testing-protocols-not-clear-as-border-crossings-surge/285-7ec7140e-dc85-469c-9dff-0af6b726c7a9

[4] James K. Hoffmeier, “Jeff Sessions got it right on immigrants and the Bible,” Religion News Service (January 10, 2017), https://religionnews.com/2017/01/10/jeff-sessions-got-it-right-on-immigrants-and-the-bible/

[5] Bob Unruh, “James Dobson: Biden has nation 'teetering on the edge',” World Net Daily (March 29, 2021), https://www.wnd.com/2021/03/james-dobson-biden-nation-teetering-edge/?utm_source=Email&utm_medium=wnd-newsletter&utm_campaign=dailyam&utm_content=newsletter&ats_es=2c59de1974039e8e18fded088875b508

[6] Bekah McNeel, “Immigration Ministries Praise Biden’s Day One Priority,” Christianity Today (January 21, 2021), https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2021/january/biden-immigration-reform-evangelical-advocates.html

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