Immigration is has been a hot-button political issue in the United States.
America, like all other countries, controls and limits who may enter its territory, for how long, and on what terms, and these restrictions are a part of the laws of the nation.
In recent decades, millions of people from Latin America have bypassed this legal process, earning them the controversial designation of “illegal aliens.”
Now refugees from Arab nations has come to the forefront due to the prolonged Syrian civil war and terror attacks by Islamic extremists in many Western nations.
Many are concerned that potential terrorists could infiltrate America or other Western nations under the guise of being refugees, while others are moved by compassion for those legitimately seeking to build a new life.
The Bible has a lot to say about immigrants and immigration.
CBN News sat down for an interview to discuss this issue with Sam Rohrer. president of American Pastors Network and Jenny Yang, the director of Advocacy and Policy for World Relief.
“It’s no secret that President Trump feels strongly about putting America first and protecting her borders,” Rohrer said. “Many have reacted to that policy, including Christians who have criticized the president and claimed that his view is unloving or ungodly. But when we look at the Bible and at biblical history, it is absolutely acceptable to favor and support one’s own country.”
Rohrer says, in his opinion, if we understand God’s view—a biblical worldview—we understand that God forms nations.
“Nations have personalities,” Rohrer continued. “Consider Israel, a very distinctive nation. God picked Israel and said, ‘I’m going to make of you, Abraham, a great nation and I am going to bless the nations of the world,’ so God clearly favors nations. With that comes the ability and the right to support nations and to pray for them. When we pray for those in authority, we don’t necessarily pray for everyone in positions of authority everywhere in the world. The idea is that we pray for those in authority over us and in our nation.”
The idea of “our nation first” is indeed biblical, Rohrer added. This concept fits the biblical precedent and the model of what God established with Israel.
World Relief’s Yang has a different perspective.
“The core responsibility of government is to protect our borders. But I think the immigration debate is bigger than that. We have spent an unprecedented amount of resources on the border so far,” she said.
“We have a pretty tight border, where the number of illegal crossings have been on the decline. So right now I think the question is not does a country have a right to protect its borders. Which I think it does. But the question is what is being done to fix our broken immigration laws and ensure the people who are living in the shadows actually come out of the shadows,” Yang continued.
Yang says there are only three commandments of love in the Old Testament.
“It’s to love God, to love your neighbor, and love the immigrant,” she told CBN News. “I think we can still be a welcoming country to immigrants, while also protecting national security and borders, and that is what our Congress is trying to do right now.”
Read more at Immigration: What Does The Bible Say?