Professing to follow Jesus means we strive to see the world through Jesus’ eyes. We put on our Jesus Glasses. The Gospel becomes a corrective lense testing and adjusting our political vision. Some policies may elledue clear Christian ideals, but Jesus speaks clearly in regards to “Dreamers” or any policy on DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals).
First, Jesus taught that “all the law and prophets” pivot on two foundational eternal laws: “You must love the Lord your God…with all your mind ( “all your mind” includes all of our political views)” and “You must love your neighbor as you love yourself.” (Matthew 22:36-40) Let us put on our Golden Rule glasses and see the world through immigrant eyes. Imagine our parents raised us here without proper papers. We did not choose to cross the border. This is our hometown, our high school, and our culture. We paid 492 dollars to legally register as a “Dreamer” at the invitation and Executive Order of our President.
How can “loving our neighbors as ourselves” and advocating for deportation of a “Dreamer” fit together?
Second, when asked by a religious expert to define “who is my neighbor?”, Jesus told a story where a Good Samaritan is the hero, the parable, and the definition of neighbor. (Luke 10) Jesus defines neighbor by “need” not national origin or proper papers. The Good Samaritan does not check anyone’s paper-work!
Third, in describing God’s Final Examination, Jesus renders a negative verdict upon some saying “I was a stranger and you did not welcome me in!” ( Matthew 25:31-46) When my deeds are laid bare before Jesus, I do not want to need to explain a pro-deportation theology.
Fourth, Romans 12:13 plainly instructs us to “welcome strangers into our homes”. That seems pretty clear!
Fifth, Leviticus 19:34 teaches “ Any immigrant who lives with you must be treated as if they were one of your citizens. You must love them as yourself.”
Six, the Bible teaches us to take care of the orphan and the immigrant. “The Lord enacts justice for orphans and widows, and he loves immigrants, giving them food and clothing. That means you must also love immigrants because you were immigrants.” (Deuteronomy 10:18.)
We may resist wearing our Jesus Glasses, by labeling the Dreamers as “lawbreakers”. With a “law-breaker” label secured, we may feel justified in setting aside God’s higher law. However, God is The Judge of every human law. Doctor King reminds us: “There are two types of laws: just and unjust. … (St. Augustine) “an unjust law is no law at all.” … A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas: An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law. Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust.” King then pricks our sense of law-abiding-ness giving the example: “We should never forget that everything Adolf Hitler did in Germany was “legal”.” ( Letter From a Birmingham Jail)
Jesus beckons us to love our neighbor’s children as we love our own. Paul calls us to welcome the stranger into our hometowns. The Hebrew Law challenges us to treat the resident alien as a citizen. Will we see immigration through the Gospel’s corrective lenses?