And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; (Acts 17:26)
Images of small children separated from their “parents” caught crossing our southern border illegally, and held in “cages” have aroused the ire of many Americans lately, especially Americans of “Christian” leanings. Like the images of snotty-nosed, emaciated children with sad, tear-stained faces broadcast by the Christian Children’s Fund, UNICEF, and others, or the pictures of abused and neglected dogs and cats displayed by the American Humane Society, these images are intended to wrench the gut and stir the emotions to incite a response. They are manipulative, and they work!
No one likes seeing children separated from parents, and worse, to have them put into cages like animals. What the viewer of such images fails to consider is that the camera lens offers a very narrow field of view. The camera is subject to the photographer (or editor, in the case of the news media). The camera only shows what those who control it want the viewer to see, and not what can be seen if the viewer were present. God gave humans eyes that surpass any manmade or man-directed camera a thousandfold. The images of children in cages rip our hearts apart, but those images are designed to do just that.
What the cameras fail to show are children turned over to “coyotes” who will smuggle them across the border for a (large) fee and with no guarantees. Many of those children were separated from their parents long before crossing the border. What the cameras fail to show are the semi-trailers in which those children are transported by the “coyotes” to the border. Some do not survive the trip. The inhumanity of it all originated long before they arrive at our border. What the cameras fail to show is the “upgrade” when they arrive in the US. They are provided with good food, clean bedding, and clothing, showers, personal hygiene needs, medical exams, etc. All the cameras show are the “cages,” which are nothing more than an area closed off by a chain-link fence to keep them from wandering off. The cameras display only selective “truth.”
The debate, when faced with such heart-wrenching images, is complex, and there are no simple answers especially when our immigration laws have been neglected for decades. (Laws which are not intended to be enforced should never be written!). The “hard” truth of the matter is that we are a nation of laws, and immigration law says, that immigrants to this country must enter with proper documentation and “permission.” The US is not unique in this respect. Mexico, who supplies most of these invaders of our southern border (they are not all Mexican) enforces stricter immigration laws than the US. I would remind the reader of the Marine who recently went on a hunting expedition in Southern California and took a wrong turn ending up in Tijuana, Mexico. As he attempted to turn around, he was apprehended by Mexican police and immediately thrown into a Mexican prison. Thanks to the Obama administration, our honored service veteran remained in that Mexican prison for over one year before private citizens funded his release. Obviously, Mexico does not offer the same tolerance that it demands of the US.
What should the Christian response be on the question of the illegal invasion of our southern border? First, reject the false messages displayed by the television cameras, and try to separate emotions from reality. This does not mean we refuse to supply for the needs of our “uninvited” guests. We can help by supplying for their physical and especially for their spiritual needs.
Understand that borders are God’s design. God, “hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation” (Acts 17:26, emphasis mine). This is NOT a racist statement because the first part of this verse clearly rejects the notion of “races.” God “hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth” (Acts 17:26, emphasis mine). The source of these “bounds” goes all the way back to Genesis 11:1 when “the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.” God’s desire was for people to multiply and fill the earth. Instead, “they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth” (Genesis 11:4, emphasis mine). Because of their rebellion against God’s command, God confused the one language into 70 basic languages and nations, and they all scattered across the face of the earth. Nations, languages, and their borders are by God’s design from the beginning, so the notion of open borders is contrary to God’s design.
So, what does God have to say about how we treat uninvited invaders? The first example of how a “stranger” should be treated is provided in Exodus. The Passover (Law) was to be observed by Israelite and stranger alike (Exodus 12:48-49) – so much for “diversity.” Strangers are not to be mistreated. “Thou shalt neither vex a stranger, nor oppress him: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt” (Exodus 22:21).
Many who protest against our “unjust” immigration laws cry out that “we are a nation of immigrants!” While this is true, what they forget (or purposely omit) is that in the past, immigrants entered by legal means. A visit to Ellis Island in New York tells the story of what immigrants of the past had to endure to gain entry into the US. Among other requirements, they had to demonstrate a desire to become “Americans,” to assimilate into the American society, and to obey American law. This is not at all what we see happening at our southern border.
Some suggest that these invaders are “asylum seekers.” While that may be true for some, it is a fallacy to characterize them all that way. Most of them are simply seeking a better life for themselves and their families, and who can blame them! They only want a chance at the American dream, but there is a right way and a wrong way to go about it. Entering the country by breaking the law makes them criminals from the start. Let’s get real here! Even American citizens who break the law get separated from their children. Why is this any different? Some complain that the immigration laws are unjust. Fine! Change the law, but while there is law, it should be enforced equally for all. In the meantime, instead of complaining about the perceived mistreatment of the invaders, perhaps what Christians should do is minister to the needs of the illegal border crossers until they are returned to their homes or legal arrangements can be made for them to stay.
By the way, I am the son of an immigrant who came from Mexico. My father entered the US legally and carried a “green card” for many years until he became a naturalized citizen. He instilled in his sons love for this country, and he would strongly disapprove of waving the Mexican flag over the flag of the United States. One of the happiest days of his life was when he obtained his US citizenship. So as I approach this subject, it is not from a position of “hate” for people from south of our border. How could that be? I am of Mexican descent. As an American, I see the need for secure borders as a matter of national security, and as a Christian, I recognize that borders are God’s idea. Those who would open our borders to the world are no different than the people who attempted to build the Tower of Babel. Additionally, open borders are a globalist ideology that will find its ultimate end in the reign of Antichrist. Think carefully before jumping on the open borders bandwagon.
 “Invaders” seems like a harsh term. Nevertheless, it is an accurate term.