Compassionate Common Sense on Immigration

In a recent post about the broadening of the evangelical agenda I listed a number of legitimate concerns that have come to new prominence among evangelicals, including climate change, international aid, human rights and compassionate common sense in immigration.

It was that last one that got a response. (I’ve learned through my work with the Evangelical Climate Initiative it is usually climate change that stirs the pot). But immigration is one of the issues where the ideological purity police are prepared to attack if the exact formulation of concern is not expressed.

I cannot believe how badly the politicians and bureaucrats have allowed de facto open immigration to change our nation. I cannot be strong enough in my view that our borders should be the most secure in the world. If we are to continue to be the most generous world citizens (by far), our nation must be economically strong and safe from attack. Those who purposefully look the other way because they believe we owe charity to our poorer neighbors have lost sight of the fact that without strong and secure foundations we will become more vulnerable in every way, and our provision of aid and protection to much of the world will be in jeopardy.

Just do whatever is necessary to stop illegal immigration. Everyone knows it can be done; only some have the will to make it happen,

I do not believe it is reasonable, however, to send every illegal alien home; that is an unworkable solution. We have to recognize that a massive new “trail of tears” to Mexico will not happen and would be a tragedy of monumental proportions.

Yes, I am in favor of some path to permanence, even citizenship, for the illegals in our country. Many should be sent to their home countries because they are a menace to our nation. But most are hardworking, industrious and law-abiding. (I know, being here illegally is not legal; but we are a nation of law-breakers, and we all know it. (Oh, you drive 55?)

We do need to focus on both humanity and nationality. To do so is Christian, and for politicians it is also wise. As Michael Gerson wrote in the Washington Post, nativism will not win elections.

It’s a mess that has no ideal solutions. Seal the borders and keep them that way, or nothing else makes sense. With serious security in place, we can be free to show compassion and common sense.

–Jim Jewell

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About Jim Jewell

I am a writer and consultant on faith and public life, active for many years in management and communications in the evangelical community. I now work as the director of the nonprofit practice at The Valcort Group (www.valcort.com). Everything on this blog, however, is my personal opinion and is not read or approved before it is posted. Opinions, conclusions and other information expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of Valcort.
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