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Only Citizens Should Receive the Privileges of Citizenship



Christian proponents of softened immigration policies sometimes point to Leviticus 19:34 to justify their policy positions. This Bible verse 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.” Unfortunately, this interpretation is based on a bad reading of the Hebrew word used for “foreigner.” The word ger that is used in this passage does not refer to someone who is merely alien to a country or to someone who has snuck across an unguarded border, it refers specifically to legally documented immigrants. [1]


The Center for American Progress recently released an article suggesting that illegal immigrants ought to be recipients of the economic stimulus checks that were sent out as part of the current effort to support the economy by providing financial relief. [2] Their economic arguments are supported by the underlying belief that illegal immigrants are deserving of economic relief intended for American citizens.


This assumption is wrong.


Although there are still many who would contend that government stimulus is the wrong solution, the most important policy principle that is being questioned here is whether illegal immigrants should be given the same rights and privileges as citizens.


They should not, partly because they should not be further incentivized to remain in the United States illegally. There are several issues here. These are issues of fairness, national security, and national sovereignty.


The legal immigration process is a difficult process and one that can take years to complete. [3] People who have illegally entered the country should not be given the same rights and privileges as those who have gone through the proper process. Doing so not only encourages other potential-immigrants to do the same but enforces the belief that the people who have already entered illegally have a right to be here.


The Atlantic published an article in 2018 outlining the proposals of the Democratic Party, one of which includes the complete abolition of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). [4] To do this would destroy the idea of immigration laws themselves because it would destroy the core enforcement agency. This undermines the very idea of the rule of law which endangers the idea of national security, and national sovereignty. A nation might as well cease to exist if its laws and borders mean nothing.


In the Bible, there are instances in which Jesus uses parables to encourage his disciples to do good to individuals. In Luke 10:25-37, the story of the good Samaritan encourages those listening to the tale to show love and compassion to those in need. Some proponents of open borders have turned to this story to support their views, however, this is based on a misunderstanding of the duties that government officials have to their own citizens.


Although God certainly encourages kindness, at no point does He tell His followers to be kind to others at the expense of their own family and community. One’s duties to their family and immediate community are of the greatest importance and should not be sacrificed for a misunderstanding of God’s commandments.


In 1 Timothy 5:8, Paul offers spiritual wisdom to Timothy saying, “Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”


The primary concern of government officials should be the interests of their fellow citizens, their national “family.” Illegal immigration is not in the best interests of the United States, therefore, validating illegal immigrants with stimulus checks and refusing to enforce the United States’ borders is not an act of Godly compassion but a twisting of whose interests government officials have the obligation to protect.


Immigration policy for every nation must be made from the perspective of protecting the interests of the citizens of that nation. That is the Godly obligation of government.


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] James K. Hoffmeier, “The Immigration Crisis: Immigrants, Aliens, and the Bible,” Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway Books (2009)

[2] Ryan Zamarripa, “A Phase 4 Coronavirus Relief Bill Must Include Protections for Undocumented Immigrants,” Center for American Progress (April 16, 2020), https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/economy/news/2020/04/16/483329/phase-4-coronavirus-relief-bill-must-include-protections-undocumented-immigrants/

[3] “How Long Does It Take to Get U.S. Citizenship After Applying?,“ Boundless (n.d.), https://www.boundless.com/immigration-resources/how-long-does-it-take-to-get-citizenship-after-applying/

[4] Elaine Godfrey, “What ‘Abolish ICE’ Actually Means,” The Atlantic (July 11, 2018), https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/07/what-abolish-ice-actually-means/564752/

Foundations of Truth hereby waive 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.