Jesus’ Immigration Policy

I volunteer once a week at an elementary school our church adopted as a local mission project. Staff and teachers are wonderful. The kids are wonderful, pleasant and generally well-behaved.

Though the teachers, admin staff and kiddos are all wonderful, the school  (because of its location and zoning rules) serves mostly disadvantaged kids and families. A staggering 91 percent of the student population qualifies for free or reduced lunch. Most of the kids are Black (about 30%) and Latino (about 60%).

Support

Many of the kids come from single-parent families (usually mom is head of the household). The kids who do have moms and dads to go home to suffer from a lack of resources. If mom and dad are both in the house, many times mom and dad both work just to keep the lights on and put food on the table. Grandmothers, aunts and uncles are often integral parts of the parents’ support system.

For more needed support, some of the families at our school are clients at local food banks and family assistance ministries. Lots of the kids don’t have money to buy book bags (required) at the beginning of the year and other necessary school supplies.

Some Latino children’s parents left home and other family members in Mexico, Cuba, Peru and South American countries to make a better life here in the United States.  Many Latino children and their parents have not mastered English, some kids and parents barely speak it.

Needs

Given all their needs, given all their circumstances, given all the social issues they face with us Americans, such as unemployment (higher among Latinos), high gas prices, rising food costs, out-of-reach medical costs, what are we to do?

Love one another with brotherly affection as members of one family, giving precedence and showing honor to one another. Romans 12:10

They are here. They walk and live and work and strive and eat among us. Many are hopeless. Many struggle to feed their children. Many need medical attention, clothes, heat, money for gas for their cars so they can go out looking for work, school supplies, shoes, jobs, shelter. Some live in their cars with their children.

Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 1 John 4:8

This is not physical love, it is agape love, the kind of love Jesus wants us to have for one another.

“I care.”

They need someone —  anyone, to say, “I care.” Would you turn them away because they’re not White and own their home and have jobs and cars and checking accounts? Would you tell them to go home to their native wherever because they struggle to communicate in English? They don’t want a hand-out, they want a hand up.

Opinions and theories about how to resolve the immigration problem are as diverse as our culture.  But none of the solutions I have heard match Jesus’ immigration policy.

Everyone has an opinion, from the WASP (White Anglo-Saxon Protestant rich, white extremist) to the wage-an-hour fast food server.

Then there are racist, extremist, political commentators like Pat Buchanan who blamed the re-election of President Obama for the death of the White race in America. Yes, I’m serious. No, I’m not kidding.

Jesus had a completely different take on immigration:

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. John 13:34-35

He repeats His immigration policy three times in one verse. Any time Jesus taught something He wanted His listeners to remember, He repeated it. He says it three times. Do you think loving one another is important to Jesus? If it’s important to Jesus, don’t you think it should be important to us?

What’s Your Immigration Policy?

They need to learn English if they want to live here.
Love one another.

They need to build a wall across the Southern United States border between here and Mexico.
Love one another.

They can’t read English. How are they going to obey road signs and directions?
Love one another.

They buy a house and move five families in. They’re killing our property values.
Love one another.

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Colossians 3:13-14

But … but… but…
There’s seven cars in the driveway.
Love one another.

They’re swelling the welfare rolls.
Love one another.

They’re driving up our health care costs.
Love one another.

They vote.
Love One Another.

They are responsible for most of the crime.
Love One Another.

They’re overrunning our schools.
Love One Another.

Love One Another

Love one another. Love one another. Love one another.

That’s what Jesus would do. That’s what He commands us to do. If you think anything other than love one another will resolve our immigration problems you don’t understand Jesus and you don’t know God.

You need to know this: If Jesus was teaching and preaching on the earth today, He’d be hanging out with “them” and “those people”. Why?  Because He was attracted to them (those people) and they (those people) were attracted to Him. He would not be attracted to you or hang out with you if your beliefs about immigration are anything other than love one another.

In fact, any attitude other than love one another, whether it’s the way we treat Latinos or Blacks or Chinese or Jews of Catholics or Atheists, or Skinheads, is rebellion against your love of, and for, God.

About Steve Sawyer

God blessed me with the gift of writing. Mom told me I wrote paragraphs in second grade when others were learning to write sentences. I spent more than three decades in professional writing gigs. For the past eight years I've combined my passion for writing with my love for the Lord. He and I write a Christ-centered, family-friendly blog to glorify God Monday-thru Friday at https://stevensawyer.wordpress.com/. My wife and I have four grown children and two precious granddaughters we co-parent with their mom. I'm a Galatians 2:20 disciple of Christ seeking to allow Christ to live His life in me, through me, and as me.
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