Immigration & the Bible

Pastor Anthony B. Robinson’s article in the online version of the Seattle Post Intelligencer, The Bible Has Lots to Say About Immigration, recently caught my attention. After re-reading the article, I found that I had misunderstood his thesis. He is not proposing that the Bible’s overall theme is kindness to immigrants, but that the Bible’s comments about immigrants can be summarized by Exodus 22:21.

Admittedly, the Israelites were commanded to treat sojourners with kindness as a reminder of their time in Egypt. And the New Testament agrees. Believers are to treat all people with kindness (Gal. 6:10). But does this necessitate allowing illegal immigrants to violate the laws of our country? I don’t think so. The same One who commanded kindness also commanded obedience to government (Matt. 22:21; see also Romans 13:1-7).
Since 9/11 our government has stepped up its efforts to protect our borders. That has been a good idea and (we hope) a successful one. All of the concern eventually led to the proposed laws about illegal immigrants. Something had to be done. Is it unkind to uphold the law? Is it unkind to punish those who break the law? No, it is the right thing to do. No doubt there will be much debate about how this should be handled, but something needs to be done.