How does God view illegal immigration?

Question: "How does God view illegal immigration?"

Romans 13:1-7 makes it abundantly clear that God expects us to obey the laws of the government. The ONLY exception to this is when a law of the government forces you to disobey a command of God (Acts 5:29). Illegal immigration is the breaking of a governmental law. There is nothing in Scripture that would contradict with obeying immigration laws. Therefore, it is a sin, rebellion against God, to illegally immigrate into another country. Romans 13:1-7 also gives the government the authority to punish lawbreakers, whether it be by deportation or imprisonment (in the cases of illegal immigration), or more severe penalties for greater crimes.

The vast majority of illegal immigrants in the United States have immigrated for the purpose of having a better life, providing for their families, and escaping from poverty. These are good goals and motivations. However, these reasons do not give a person the right to break a law. Those seeking to immigrate to the United States (or any other country), should obey the immigration laws of that country. While this will cause delays and frustrations, again, these reasons do not give a person the right to break a law.

What should the United States government do with all the illegal immigrants that are currently in the country? For the most part, this is not a Biblical question. The Bible does not command how governments should respond to every type of illegal action. The United States government has the right and authority to do as it sees fit, whether that be deporting millions of people, or granting them amnesty. Deporting millions of people is likely not a reasonable, or workable policy. At the same time, mass amnesty is completely unfair to those who are respecting the laws of our country by "waiting in line" to immigrate to the United States.

The best policy would seem to be the following: (1) Create an immigration program that is fair, organized, and expedient. If people did not have to wait unreasonable amounts of time to immigrate to the United States, there would be no illegal immigration. (2) Require all current illegal immigrants to register with the government, and begin the process of becoming legal immigrants, guest workers, and/or U.S. citizens. This registration process should include some sort of fine or fee, so there is some degree of "punishment" for having illegally immigrated into the country. (3) Deport all those who refuse to participate in this registration process. (4) Secure the borders to prevent further illegal immigration, especially of criminals and/or terrorists.

Recommended Resource: Hard Sayings of the Bible by Kaiser, Davids, & Brauch.

Related Topics:

Do Christians have to obey the laws of the land?

What are the Ten Commandments?

Do Christians have to obey the Old Testament law?

What does the Bible say about paying taxes?

What does the Bible say about racism?

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How does God view illegal immigration?