Christianity: Doctrine and Ethics

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I am a 1967 graduate of The Citadel (Distinguished Military Student, member of the Economic Honor Society, Dean's List), a 1975 graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (M.Div., magna cum laude, member of the Phi Alpha Chi academic honor society); I attended the Free University of Amsterdam and completed my History of Dogma there and then received a full scholarship from the Dutch government to transfer to the sister school in Kampen, Holland. In 1979 I graduated from the Theological Seminary of the Reformed Churches of Holland (Drs. with honors in Ethics). My New Testament minor was completed with Herman Ridderbos. I am also a 2001 Ph.D. graduate of Westminster Theological Seminary (Systematic Theology) in Philly with a dissertation on the "unio mystica" in the theology of Dr. Herman Bavinck (1854-1921). I am a former tank commander, and instructor in the US Army Armor School at Ft. Knox, KY. I have been happily married to my childhood sweetheart and best friend, Sally, for 43 years. We have 6 children, one of whom is with the Lord, and 14 wonderful grandchildren.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Christians & Illegal Aliens (III)

The Stranger in Your Midst
Dr. J. Allen Thompson, Coordinator of Multicultural Church Planting, Mission to North America in the Presbyterian Church in America, has written a rather lengthy article entitled “The Stranger in Your Midst: Attitudes and Actions toward Undocumented Aliens in the United States.” The article has four main chapters (Entry Point: Poverty, War, and Political Repression; Reflection: The Law of Love of the Law of Subjection?; Theologizing: The Search for Biblical Principles; and Action: The Word of God Applied Compassionately), a preface, some brief conclusions, an appendix, as well as a reference list.
In the last two issues of Ethos, we discussed two articles by Dr. David Moran, both dealing with the issue of illegal immigration. Clearly, Dr. Moran and Dr. Thompson rely rather heavily on each other to draw their conclusions. Since I have dealt with Dr. Moran’s papers there will be little or no need to repeat myself on those matters. So we now take a look at what Dr. Thompson would have us know and believe about illegal immigration. In addition, when I wrap this discussion up, I intend to devote one issue to answering many of the questions that I’ve heard raised about illegal immigration. For now, however, we’re going to focus on Dr. Thompson’s article.
At the close of his Preface I must admit that I am not entirely certain what he’s getting at when he asks, “What is our Christian obligation to refugees from war-torn countries?”[1] Since when does Mexico qualify as a “war-torn” country? Even Colombia with its rampant drug cartels does not officially qualify as “war-torn.” But if Dr. Thompson’s question is not rhetorical, then I would answer from experience. When I was the pastor of a multicultural congregation in Toronto, Canada we sponsored two or three Vietnamese families where Communism had taken over after the fall of Saigon. Our attitude was that these people needed refuge and therefore we started the process and brought them to Canada—legally. We followed every procedure; jumped through every hoop, and complied with the immigration laws to get them to Toronto. From their end, the families that we sponsored did the same thing. That’s my answer, but I still don’t understand why in a paper dealing with illegal Hispanic immigrants that the notion of a war-torn country is even mentioned.
Next Dr. Thompson asks, “How do we show compassion and humanitarian concern when our actions may be viewed as illegal?”[2] The short answer is: I’m not sure, since I really don’t have enough information to begin to make a decision in a situation where actions may be viewed as illegal. The concepts of how to show compassion and humanitarian concern take on a different shape, however, when I’m dealing with a circumstance where my actions are viewed as illegal—as in illegal immigration. That is to say, when someone broaches the subject of helping someone enter this country illegally, the case is very clear cut if we’re discussing illegals, which we are. It is precisely because we are treating—and so is Dr. Thompson—this subject that I’m so confused by some of his initial questions.
For example, he wants to know, “What does the law of the United States or Canada say?”[3] I’ll leave it to the Canucks to tell us what Canadian law says, but does Dr. Thompson really not know what U.S. law is regarding illegal immigration? Has he not been reading the papers, listening to the radio, or watching the news on TV? You’d almost have to live in Canada not to know what our laws are. Further, he wants to know “When is it legitimate to serve a higher purpose and break the law of a nation?”[4] In other words, when is civil disobedience demanded? The question itself is very vague since “higher purpose” can take on a host of meanings.
To further complicate and confuse matters, Dr. Thompson inquires, “What Biblical principles can be isolated that will govern Christian workers having differing values and convictions?”[5] Where to begin? I think the smartest way to approach this is to ask a question in return. If, say, an illegal immigrant is a Christian wouldn’t you think that, as a Christian, he or she would be compelled to play by the rules; to obey the laws of the sovereign nation in which he or she is attempting to enter illegally? Christians, above all others, ought to have a clear concept of right and wrong, good and evil, and that which is pleasing and displeasing to God.
In the Introduction, Dr. Thompson continues to follow the same deceptive, disingenuous ploy that Dr. Moran utilizes: they both refuse to refer to illegal aliens as illegal aliens, choosing rather to refer to them by the euphemism “undocumented aliens.” Dr. Thompson breaks down an open door when he states, “The underlying thesis is that the Church of Jesus Christ has a mandate to offer the Gospel to new immigrants whether they are documented or not.”[6]
If that were all there were, we could close up shop and go home. No one that I know has ever questioned whether it’s right or wrong to witness to an illegal alien. Christ calls us to witness with love and compassion and that is what we are to do irrespective of whether we’re dealing with an undocumented or documented (have you ever heard anyone call a naturalized citizen that?) alien. But that’s not what either Dr. Thompson or Dr. Moran actually mean. Everyone knows the answer to that question. What underlies not only the thesis but the implication is that the undocumented, illegal alien should be able to stay here because he or she offers an unequalled opportunity for the Church to obey the Great Commission.[7]
In a figure that can only be appreciated by a Power Point presentation, Dr. Thompson regales us with the Triadic Model of “The A.R.T. of Doing Theology Cross-Culturally.” Quite honestly, when I did cross-cultural ministry in Holland and Canada I hadn’t even heard of the “Triadic Model.” How did we manage? A.R.T. stands for Action, Reflection, and Theologizing. The “entry point” of the Triadic Model—otherwise known as contextualization—is comprised of needs, worldviews, values, and issues. Between Action and Theologizing there exists the act—no relationship to the capital letters—of “Conscientization” that is comprised of conscience plus consciousness or moral oughtness. Under Reflection, which is supposed to clarify issues for us, we place problems that need solution as well as the crystal clear category of “mystery that longs for understanding.”[8] I’m waiting for a Triadic Model tract—in Spanish, of course—to hand out to the illegal alien so that I can present him with the gospel of conscientization and explain the mystery that longs for understanding. We might even call our new tract The Three Spiritual Flaws.
But for those who are not into studying the Triadic Model in depth, Dr. Thompson offers a summary of the model: missiology. In other words, the Triadic Model is missional. Well, what is that? “Missiology as here utilized is defined as ‘critical reflection in the praxis of mission.’ It is reflection in that it attempts to interpret phenomena that emerges [sic] from real contexts through analysis and synthesis using the reflector’s categories and culture.”[9] Now see; we’re all on the same missional page—or are we?
Christians agree that we are called to fill the Great Commission. In that sense, we are all called to be engaged in both domestic and foreign missions. Our “critical reflection in the praxis of mission” ought to be formed and informed by Scripture, which, by the way, seems to be missing from this definition, doesn’t it? I don’t know about you, but I am getting very weary of phrases like “real contexts” and “authentic” ministers. Those words are about as war-torn as still calling our governor the Governator. Please. Give it a rest. What other types of contexts do we have except real ones—unless you’re Michael Jackson? But Dr. Thompson provides this explanation of the Triadic Model concept of missiology: “It is critical reflection in that it probes, corrects and proposes action grounded on the normative Scriptures. It is praxis in that the theological outcome is applied in a concrete missionary context. It is mission in that the action represents part of the Church’s missionary obedience to and participation in God’s mission.”[10]
Now that we have described the “real contexts” and are looking at words like critical, praxis, and mission, we also need to ask how this is different from previous notions of missiology. I have known a number of missionaries in my life and I am hard pressed to decipher how either the Triadic Model or the somewhat less than helpful definition differs from past generations of missionaries.

Three More Definitions
Before Dr. Thompson launches us into the body of the article, he wants to clarify three more terms for us. If the clarification is anything like the Triadic Model, we’re going to be in for a real treat.
First, he points us to this: “Documented aliens refers to those person who are residing in the United States under some status authorized (these italics mines) by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS).”[11] Let me unpack that for you. Documented aliens simply means those who have gone through the process and are in the country legally. They are naturalized citizens who played by the rules, waited their turns in line, and became American citizens the proper way. That’s what is signified by “under some status authorized by the INS.” Why in the world couldn’t Dr. Thompson have just stated that?
Second, comes undocumented aliens. That phrase “refers to those persons who have immigrated without INS authorization (read: illegally) or who have overstayed the terms of their entrance. These persons are not illegal in the sense that they have committed a crime. They are unwelcome by the government.”[12] Oddly, this is precisely the same sentence Dr. Moran used to describe illegals. Someone needs to footnote his source. Quite simply, if “these” refers to those who have immigrated without “INS authorization”—you know, without INS authorization means slipping across the border illegally—then both Dr. Moran and Dr. Thompson are dead wrong and one has to wonder how in the world they don’t know that.
Third, is the term that is the “darling” of the modern Church: contextualization. In passing, I should note that even some who once showed affinities with the emergent Church realize that the over-use of the term contextualization gives us, at best, a relevant heterodoxy. When I think of contextualization I am reminded of the former Jew Paul taking the gospel to the Gentiles. That would give substantive meaning to Dr. Thompson’s definition when he states that contextualization is “the translations of the unchanging content of the Gospel of the Kingdom into verbal form meaningful to the peoples in their separate cultures and within their particular existential situation.”[13] Right. That’s what Paul did. In 1 Thessalonians 2:12 the apostle issues a charge (marturómenoi) that calls upon the church members in Thessalonica to live in a manner that is worthy of the one gospel in spite of their separate culture and particular existential situation.
Since we are on the topic of Scripture, it is remarkable that by page five of this article on how to minister cross-culturally we have not had one shred of Scripture to substantiate any of Dr. Thompson’s points. We have, however, been blessed by the Triadic Model. Scripture, to this point anyway, falls into the category of one of those “mysteries that longs for understanding.”Well, four pages is sufficient for now. In our next issue we shall delve further into Dr. Thompson’s article. Suffice it to say at this point that the first major section (The Contextual Entry Point: Poverty, War, and Polictical [sic] Repression” hardly seems an apt context for a discussion on illegal immigration, but that’s for next time.

[1] Thompson, Stranger, 2.
[2] Ibid. Italics mine.
[3] Ibid.
[4] Ibid.
[5] Ibid.
[6] Ibid., 3.
[7] Ibid.
[8] Ibid., 4. Figure 1.
[9] Ibid.
[10] Ibid.
[11] Ibid., 5.
[12] Ibid.
[13] Ibid.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Christians & Illegal Aliens (II)

Two Disturbing Papers
In the last issue, we discussed a paper written by Dr. David Moran, D.Min. I promised to respond to two other papers: a separate work written by Dr. Moran entitled “Towards an Ethical View of the Undocumented Alien”[1] and another written by Dr. J. Allen Thompson, Ph.D. with the title “The Stranger in Your Midst: Attitudes and Actions Toward Undocumented Aliens in the United States.”[2]
The two papers are very dependent upon each other and there is a great deal of overlap and repetition between the two. To that end, therefore, I shall begin with Dr. Moran’s speech/paper and then deal with Dr. Thompson’s paper in a subsequent issue.

Dr. Moran’s Preface
Dr. Moran begins his paper with examples of how people enter the U.S. illegally. The first example describes how a young Cuban boy drowned off the coast of Key West, Florida on October 14, 2005 when the small boat he was in capsized while being pursued by a U.S. Coast Guard craft.[3] His other example—predictably—pertains to the often inhumane treatment illegal aliens receive at the hands of “coyotes,” “polleros,” or “agents.” I have no reason to doubt that Moran’s examples are accurate. These “coyotes” are human predators who are dealing with people who want to violate our laws. Some coyotes have no compunction about demanding more money without explanation, leaving their “cargo” to die in the desert, or marketing the women as sex slaves. Corruption breeds more corruption. We need to face the reality that Mexico is a country that is rife with corruption from the top down.
It is not unusual to hear that these illegal immigrants pay huge sums of money to get into the United States. I’ve read instances where illegals have paid upwards of $10,000 a piece or more to get across the border. The price varies, no doubt, but that is some serious pocket change. In fact, it begs a couple of questions: First, where did they come up with 6-10K a piece? If they saved it, they’re doing better than the average American. Second, if they have saved that much money, why wouldn’t they put it toward coming here legally? If they scrimped up enough to pay a coyote why wouldn’t they enter the U.S. legally, get a job, and save even more? If, under conditions of poverty and squalor they can pony up large sums, just think of what they could do if they were in this country legally.
Dr. Moran also chronicles the illegal entry of his good friend, Antonio, who, “Choosing remote areas…has brought his wife and daughter back and forth numerous times undetected.”[4] The way this is written, it sound like we’re supposed to be pleased and proud. In a few instances, Dr. Moran mentions the entry of illegals from El Salvador. What he fails to mention is that most, if not all of those known as Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, are from El Salvador. They are so notorious that the FBI has set up a unit devoted solely to this criminal gang.[5]
Congressman Tom Tancredo points out that “Mara Salvatruch is one of the most violent and bloodthirsty gangs ever to pray on our society.”[6] Statistically, most of MS-13’s tens of thousands of members already in the United States are illegal aliens.[7] The gang originated in the 1980s when many Salvadorians fled civil war in their country. Of course, with Mexico’s southern border sealed, how do these people get into our country now? Recall that I mentioned that Mexico is corrupt. There is a group know as dragones (known for the dragon tattoos that they bear) who transport their human cargo from El Salvador through Mexico by train.[8] But how do they accomplish this with sealed borders? Simple: they bribe conductors and railroad officials. Some media outlets have featured intelligence officials warning of a connection between MS-13 and al Qaeda.
On a personal note, Dr. Moran relates a story of how he helped a family from El Salvador get into the U.S. Probably the best bet is to allow Dr. Moran to tell his tale: “My friend Juan and I went with a mild sensation that this might be illegal but gave it little thought.”[9] Moran was arrested by the Border Patrol after stopping for gas on his return trip. He writes, “I spent the next 24 hours in detention awaiting my trial—charge: ‘transporting illegal aliens’ which is a felony.”[10] I guess that cleared up any questions about whether his actions might be illegal! The friend that he went to pick up was deported was Moran tells us that he came back in to the U.S. through our porous borders. The following day after his arrest, Dr. Moran, did some plea bargaining and pled guilty to “aiding and abetting an illegal alien, which is only a misdemeanor, paid a considerable fine, and was given 10 years probation.”[11] The man that he picked up at the border showed up at his church several months later and continued worshipping with the congregation. Both the man and Dr. Moran knew that he was in the country illegally.
Dr. Moran closes his Preface with this question: “In my case, was I a criminal?”[12] Short answer: yes. Longer explanation: The Border Patrol would probably not have arrested you, fined you, and given you 10 years (!) probation if you were innocent! You were a criminal and everyone you attempted to bring into the country was also a criminal. Why is this so hard to understand? Can a man of God, leading a congregation in of Christ not know the answer to that question?

This portion of the paper is quite short. Here Dr. Moran simply gives us the underlying thesis of the paper. What is that? Succinctly, it is that the Church of Jesus Christ has a mandate to offer a “wholistic gospel” to the alien in our midst whether they are documented or not.[13] I’m not really sure whether the “wholistic” gospel is synonymous with the “whole” gospel, but one certainly hopes that it is. The whole gospel contains a number of elements that include obedience to God first and to the country in which we reside.
Dr. Moran reminds us that loving the (illegal) alien as our neighbor “includes doing him justice.”[14] Yes, but it also might entail the illegal alien having lawful justice administered to him as well.

Definitions—That Confuse
I tend to believe that definitions ought, in some sense, clarify matters. I raise this point because when Dr. Moran defines the phrase undocumented aliens, he uses the following words: Undocumented aliens refers to those persons who have immigrated without INS authorization or who have overstayed the terms of their entrance. These persons are not illegal in the sense that they have committed a crime. They are unwelcome by the government.[15]
Let me see if I understand this definition. According to Dr. Moran, if someone has immigrated to the U.S. without INS authorization they are neither illegal nor have they committed a crime? This is, at best, tortured logic and playing with words. If they are not breaking the law, why are they arrested? Why was Dr. Moran arrested if he were merely bringing “unwelcome” people into America?

America’s Problems
In the last issue I touched on Dr. Moran’s views that we are not reproducing rapidly enough so that there is going to be a labor shortage in the not too distant future. In order to make his point, he cites what he calls “unethical birth control practices and abortion…”[16] Does unethical have the same connotation as illegal? Given the current situation it can be argued that abortion in America unfortunately is not illegal. Dr. Moran and I stand on the same side when it comes to abortion. My major concern is his use of the word unethical in some instances and in others—where an established law of our country is involved in illegal immigration—he resorts to euphemism.
There is a clear agenda being worked out in this paper and it is this: “the immigrant in general and the undocumented immigrant in particular has stepped into the void in the United States created by aging and low birth rates.”[17] This is both short-sighted and wrongheaded. In the first place, why is it the undocumented immigrant in particular as opposed to a naturalized citizen that is helping this country? Are there no drawbacks? Why have so many said so much about the actual costs associated with illegal immigration? I bring this fact to your attention again: The cost of illegal immigration to the American taxpayer in 1997 was a net (after subtracting taxes immigrants pay) $70 billion a year, [Professor Donald Huddle, Rice University]. Hold on to this because we’re going to use it again when Dr. Moran attempts to convince us that illegal immigrants pay $7 billion a year in taxes. It doesn’t take a genius to do the math on this one.
Dr. Moran cites the Pew Center’s research that states that between 80-85% of the migration from Mexico has been undocumented.[18] Personally, I don’t think this statistic helps him make his case. Rather, it ought to make us more ready to close our porous borders.
In addition, Dr. Moran would have us believe that “Virtually all undocumented men are in the labor force”[19] except, of course, those in gangs, prisons, or who aren’t in the labor force. Morever, “Undocumented workers earn considerably less than working U.S. citizens.”[20] The urge to respond with “Duh!” is overwhelming, but I suppose “Duh!” isn’t all that scholarly or culturally aware. Dr. Moran has already cited examples of how coyotes cheat some of the illegal immigrants. Does he have to scratch his head and wonder why someone who would hire an illegally (which, by the way, is illegal) would have any scruples about cheating him out of his wages or paying him substantially less than a gringo? He has the illegal alien over the proverbial barrel. The illegal won’t report the employee because—well, he’s illegal too and might get deported. Rather than being a solution, Dr. Moran’s proposal begins to look more and more like corrupt Mexico and an ethical morass.

May I Overstate My Case Please?
In the section entitled “Reflection: Compassion and Obedience” we’re given precious little actual reflection. The opening paragraph is more of a salvo that demonstrates the unfairness of Dr. Moran. He writes, “What is the Christian to make of 10 million undocumented primarily Hispanics who live all around us? If ones listens to the political conservatives (Pat Buchanan and Fox News) what we have is an invasion of criminal barbarians, drug addicts, marauding gangs, and welfare abusers who are here to trash our culture, repossess their territories, and maximize all their entitlements. Minutemen armies (underlining his) have begun to take the law into their own hands in the name of national security going to the borders to challenge and threaten immigrants as they cross.”[21]
Let’s break this down into its constituent elements for just a moment. In answer to the opening question—supposing that Moran really wants us to answer it—we might say, “That they are illegal and are here illegally.” But then Dr. Moran takes a swipe at political conservatives and names Pat Buchanan and Fox News. Would Greta van Susteren and Alan Colmes, both of whom work for Fox, qualify as conservatives? I don’t think so! At bottom this is an ad hominem abusive argument that the conservatives are slanted in the wrong direction. Have some people overstated their case? Yes, of course, but that does not excuse the skewed view that Dr. Moran presents to us.
At the same time, it is equally true that there are some decidedly negative aspects of some illegal aliens. No one is advocating that every illegal alien is a criminal, member of the gang, or someone looking to milk the social system. At the same time, Dr. Moran should be willing to give us a more realistic look at some pertinent facts. Again, I return to his statement about how much Social Security illegals pay when they finally get their falsified documents. If they are paying $7 billion in taxes but costing $70 billion and sending $17 billion back to Mexico yearly (this U.S. money is the second largest import in the Mexican economy, oil being first) we’re still stuck with an $80 billion annual deficit. Why won’t Dr. Moran say this?
I also take great exception to his characterization of the Minutemen. In the first place, they are not an “army.” They are U.S. citizens remaining within the bounds of the laws of this country to protect our borders. It is patently untrue that these people are taking the law into their own hands as Moran suggests. I would be very interested in what types of threats are coming from that quarter. The reports that I have read state that typically what happens is that when there are illegals crossing the border from Mexico into the States the Minutemen report the crossing to the Border Patrol. Dr. Moran’s comments are like making Abu Graib normative for the way U.S. troops treat prisoners of war.
With more than a hint of irony Dr. Moran then writes, “Most Christians in the PCA with whom I have talked including KBPC church members are of the opinion that these lawbreakers, i.e. illegal aliens, must be stopped.”[22] Oddly, most Christians in the PCA with whom I have talked including KBPC church members are of the opinion that these lawbreakers, i.e. thieves and robbers, must be stopped. I cannot see the logic in what Dr. Moran is trying to say. Is he upset because law-abiding PCA members are upset when the law if clearly broken and—in Dr. Moran’s case—flaunted?

Attitudes and Perceptions
In keeping with his now unrealistic picture, Dr. Moran moves on to his next point, which has to do with attitudes and perceptions. What seems to escape him is that this is a double-edged sword that cuts both ways. There can be just as much misinformation on his side as there is on the side of his opponents. He begins, “Many who take up a position for deporting illegal immigrants do so because of a widespread belief that the undocumented either over utilize or abuse public assistance programs. These programs include Medicaid, SSI, AFDC, Public Assistance, and food stamps.”[23] You can add the WIC program to the list. While I cannot speak about the costs to the rest of the United States, I am aware of some of the great costs that accrue to the taxpayer in my state of California.
Just for the record, I’ll give you some statistics that appeared in the politically liberal (George Soros and Air America news) LA Times:

· Over 66% of all births in Los Angeles County are to illegal alien Mexicans on Medi-Cal whose births were paid for by taxpayers.
· Nearly 60% of all occupants of HUD properties are illegal.
· Less than 2% (! Don’t you get the impression that there are many more? 2%) of illegal aliens are picking our crops but 29% are on welfare. Over 70% of the United States annual population growth (and over 90% of California, Florida, and New York) results from immigration.
· The lifetime fiscal impact (taxes paid minus services used) for the average adult Mexican immigrant is a negative.

If illegals don’t put such a drain on our economy then perhaps Dr. Moran can explain to us all why a number of hospitals in Los Angeles and San Diego counties have closed their doors due to a glut of illegals using the facilities for free. Dr. Moran seems stunned that a group like FAIR (Federation for American Reform) is “emphatic about their beliefs that the undocumented are costing taxpayers for services like education, medical care and incarceration.”[24] Actually, Dr. Moran, FAIR stands for Federation for American Immigration Reform. Apart from that, I would strong suggest that Dr. Moran take a couple of hours and read Congressman J.D. Hayworth’s Whatever It Takes. Illegal Immigration, Border Security, and the War on Terror.[25]
In chapter 1, to which we’ll return in just a moment, Hayworth deals with “Overrun.” Then in chapters 2 and 8 he discusses “Crime and Illegal Immigration” and “Is Illegal Immigration the Answer to Social Security?” respectively. Without going into extensive detail, I will simply cite a Bear Stearns study that documents that an “estimated five million jobs have shifted to the underground economy, where workers collect wages on a cash basis and avoid income taxes.”[26] Further, the study states the following: “The social expenses of health care, retirement funding, education, and law enforcement are potentially accruing at $30 billion per year…. On the revenue side, the United States may be foregoing $35 billion a year in income tax collections because of the number of jobs that are now off the books.”[27] The school costs associated with educating (how can that happen in our public school system?) children of illegals is estimated at approximately $29 billion per year.[28]
Dr. Moran cites a study by the RAND Corporation stating that the net cost of immigrants being “nearly impossible to establish.”[29] While this might be correct—give or take a couple of billion dollars—it is equally clear that illegal immigration is an enormous drain on the American economy and a huge burden to the U.S. and Canadian taxpayer.
As far as “perceptions” go, Dr. Moran is eager to inform us of the following: “It is essential in an evaluation of the ‘facts’ that one realizes how desperate the undocumented are (who already feel like personas non grata) to be registered and accounted for to be a part of the society in which they live.”[30] This begs the question: how does Dr. Moran know this? If this is as patently true as he asserts one has to wonder why they will not become legally registered? Why, for example, don’t they begin their stay in America legally if they are so eager to be registered?
Equally confusing is Dr. Moran’s citation of an article in the April 5, 2005 edition of The New York Times by Eduardo Porter about a man named Angel Martinez. In that year, Mr. Martinez paid around $2,000 toward Social Security and about $450 for Medicare through payroll taxes. Of course, Mr. Martinez had a bogus Social Security number. Dr. Moran seems totally surprised that “…unlike most Americans, who will receive some form of public pension in retirement and will be eligible for Medicare as soon as they turn 65, Mr. Martinez is not entitled to benefits.”[31] Here’s a shocker: If I enter Germany illegally and get a fraudulent work permit and then pay into the German system I wouldn’t be entitled to any benefits from Germany at the age of 65 either! Mr. Martinez is here illegally, is being hired illegally, and has a fraudulent Social Security card. He is not an American. Should he be rewarded for this? Naturally, Dr. Moran doesn’t tell us if Mr. Martinez has children—remember part of his argument has to do with the great family values and number of children to replenish our rapidly depleting work force—or if he, his wife, or children made free use of American medical facilities and schools. The net result might have exceeded the $2,000 he illegally paid into the system.

What about Romans 13?
Dr. Moran anticipates that someone who watches Fox News or reads Pat Buchanan might object: hey, what about Romans 13? Some conservative like myself would add 1 Peter 2:13-17 to the previous text.[32] The point he is trying to make is that there is what he calls a “law of subjection.” Dr. Moran cites a hermeneutical principle of priorities that in John Frame’s words goes like this: “We have been looking at various factors that determine whether particular biblical laws are currently normative. But even among laws that are normative at a particular time and place, there are priorities to be observed, and those priorities also should influence our decisions.”[33] Can you see where Dr. Moran might be heading with this? He further cites Frame who says, “…within the system [of God’s law], some elements are more important, more pressing than others.”[34] Okay. Would you now like to give us a few examples? We are in agreement that in Matthew 23:23 Jesus speaks of “weightier matters of the law.” In light of the topic, it might have been more than helpful if Dr. Moran would have fleshed this out for us a little more.
He does describe what he calls “situational priorities.” Ethically, “In various situations of life, it becomes more important to follow one principle of the law than another.”[35] His example, however, hardly makes his point. He illustrates what he is trying to say by a driver who, attempting to avoid a sinkhole that unexpectedly appears (differentiated from sinkholes that expectedly appear while you’re driving), veers onto the opposite side of the road. It is normally illegal to drive in such a fashion (unless, of course, you live in Boston), but the situation dictated a higher principle.
Dr. Moran’s illustrations do not fit the point he’s attempting to make. Swerving to avoid one of those pesky unexpected sinkholes is a far cry from and poor example of defending illegal immigration. Moreover, as I have consulted the English, Dutch, and German commentators on this subject, none of them takes Dr. Moran’s point—thankfully.
The “law of subjection” comes back into play in the last paragraph of his section bearing that title. He writes, “As for my conscience, I believe I am in subjection to the law of subjection by welcoming the alien, making his life easier, and by encouraging and helping him to improve his legal status…. I believe I would be in violation of the law of subjection and the law to love the alien as myself, if I did not welcome and show mercy, grace and justice to the alien.”[36] It is foreign to me—no pun intended—how Dr. Moran can believe that he is in subjection to the law of subjection especially since the examples that he has put forward in no way make his case. He has offered a general “hierarchy” of commands without dealing in specific detail—and that is precisely what he needs to do to make his case—with how the law of subjection applies in the case of illegal immigration. How can you have a clear conscience when you have not dealt with the import of Romans 13 and 1 Peter 2:13-17 but have simply summarily dismissed them without a shred of solid exegesis? Since it is against the law to welcome illegal aliens, how can that assuage Dr. Moran’s conscience? The immigration laws do not cause us to violate biblical principles.
What is standing in the way of Dr. Moran—or any of us for that matter—loving the alien as ourselves? Loving them doesn’t mean that we should encourage them to break the law, however, and that is precisely what illegal immigration does. Are we tracking on this at all?
Should we show mercy and grace to those in our midst? Absolutely. If they are hungry we are to feed them. If they are without adequate clothing we are to clothe them. We are to go the extra mile to provide them with physical and spiritual care. This involves witnessing to them about the love of God for sinners. We should present the full-orbed gospel to them, which, according to Paul in 1 Thessalonians 2:9-12 comprises holy, righteous, and blameless conduct as well as exhortation, encouragement, and a “charge” (Greek: marturómevoi). The “gospel of God” (v. 9) includes this charge. The full gospel includes obedience as well as the presentation of the love of God for sinners.

Some Points for the PCA to Ponder
This whole discussion is not something I wanted to enter into, but Dr. Moran and Dr. Thompson seem to make the question of how the PCA ought to respond to illegal aliens an issue and I know it’s already a situation in the PCA. Therefore, I have chosen to enter into the fray, not because I enjoy polemics, but more precisely because I firmly believe that if the PCA adopts what these two brothers are suggesting that we, as a denomination, will be the poorer and weaker for it.
It has come to my attention more than once that when you broach the subject of how many illegal Hispanics are currently in our “multicultural” congregations that there is an awkward silence. Few, if any, want to go there, but go there we must. Why are we so silent on this matter? Are we aware—or probably aware—that a number of our Hispanic congregations contain illegal aliens and don’t want to face the facts? What kind of message are we sending when we put our heads in the sand and pretend the problem doesn’t exist?
Are we also, by our negligence opening the door to substantially more serious charges as well as violations of national security? Last evening on the dastardly conservative Fox News, I heard a report that a number of al Qaeda terrorists have learned and are learning Spanish in order to infiltrate this country. Given our porous border to the south, this is a both a smart and easy move militarily. Unfortunately, a number of pastors fail to take this into consideration, wanting only to be “loving.” Being loving entails quite a number of facets. As parents, we do not “lovingly” allow our children to break the law or to disobey us as God-ordained authority figures in their lives. At times—like in the thoroughly wrongheaded thinking still by some in the PCA regarding women in combat—, I believe that some pastors are simply naïve and ignorant about the dangers posed by illegal immigration. What shame would be brought to the name of Christ, for example, if such a terrorist was a “member” of an Hispanic PCA congregation where no one ever did any serious background check and that man, who was a member of al Qaeda, set off a dirty bomb in San Diego, Long Beach, San Francisco, or Los Angeles that killed hundreds of thousands of women, children, and men? With the five-year anniversary of 9/11 just around the corner, that’s something to ponder.
What Dr. Moran is suggesting could have very far-reaching implications and applications for our country. It startles me that not one mention was made in either paper about the matter of national security. I believe that it is incumbent upon our Hispanic congregations to do a thorough search to ascertain if we are harboring illegal aliens. If we are, we need to go the route of biblical love and care for them in every way that we can, but we also need to get them back in their country of origin and then help them come back in according to the rule of law. While they are waiting to return to their country there are a number of steps that we can undertake to aid and help them. At the same time, we must not; we must never be accused of promoting antinomianism.
The suggestions of Dr. Moran are verging on advocating civil disobedience. I for one cannot and will not follow him in this. At the same time, as the pastor of a multicultural congregation, we welcome with open arms any and all who come to this country legally irrespective of country of origin. If we encounter illegal aliens in need of food, clothing, necessities of life, and who have not heard the gospel, we will make every effort to help them—within the confines of Scripture and the laws of our country.
One cannot help but wonder why if there is such a deep concern about the Hispanic that we don’t send more MNA/MTW church planters into the most impoverished areas of Mexico so that we can witness to the Mexicans in their own country? I’m not suggesting that we don’t already, but why not greatly increase our strategic planning that will send substantially more church planters into places other than Acapulco?
Does Dr. Moran suggest that merely because Mexicans are poor and destitute that we should welcome them into our country anytime they want to come? If the answer is yes, then why stop with Mexicans? If the issue is poverty, then shouldn’t the United States open its borders to all poor nations and the impoverished citizens? Shouldn’t we have a policy that allows anyone to come? We have immigration policies because we cannot care for the world anymore than we can adequately care for disgruntled Canadians (who really likes the G.S.T.?) and poor Mexicans and OTMs?[37] These are question I would very much like for MNA, Dr. Moran, and Dr. Thompson to answer for the entire denomination.

[1] According to the paper, this was a speech that Dr. Moran held at the Presbyterian Church in America’s Mission to North America Ministries Convocation in October 2005.
[2] Dr. Thompson’s title reads “Coordinator of Multicultural Church Planting, Mission to North America, Presbyterian Church in America.
[3] Moran, Undocumented, 2.
[4] Ibid., 3.
[5] Tom Tancredo, In Mortal Danger, (Nashville: WND Books, 2006), p. 81.
[6] Ibid.
[7] Ibid., 82.
[8] Ibid.
[9] Moran, Undocumented, 3. Italics mine.
[10] Ibid.
[11] Ibid.
[12] Ibid.
[13] Ibid., 4.
[14] Ibid.
[15] Ibid., 5.
[16] Ibid., 9.
[17] Ibid., 10.
[18] Ibid.
[19] Ibid., 11.
[20] Ibid.
[21] Ibid., 16. Italics mine.
[22] Ibid.
[23] Ibid., 17.
[24] Ibid.
[25] J.D. Hayworth, Whatever It Takes, (Washington, D.C.: Regnery Publishing, Inc., 2006). Also, compare Tony Blankley, The West’s Last Chance, (Washington, D.C.: Regnery Publishing, Inc., 2005).
[26] Ibid., 18. Italics mine.
[27] Ibid. Italics mine.
[28] Ibid., 19.
[29] Moran, Undocumented, 17.
[30] Ibid.
[31] Ibid., 18. Italics mine.
[32] ESV: Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.
[33] Moran, Undocumented, 24.
[34] Ibid., 25.
[35] Ibid.
[36] Ibid., 27.
[37] Other Than Mexicans. By the way, a number of MS-13s continue to enter our country as well.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

A Biblical View of Illegal Immigration

(Note: This is the re-publication of an article that I wrote and put up on my web site in February 2006. As I pointed out in yesterday’s post on Dr. David Moran’s byFaith magazine article it was my intention to place this companion article at the front-end of my blog site with the intention that both articles should be read together.)

A “Thorny” Issue
President Bush is a very able leader. He is a man of character and integrity and by and large, I support most of his programs. The two that are most troublesome to me, however, are his rather excessive spending and his policy on illegal immigration. His guest-worker program is a euphemism for “amnesty.”
I’ve heard the President say the following on more than one occasion: these Mexican immigrants are doing the jobs that Americans won’t do. They pick fruits and vegetables, mow lawns, clean houses, and perform a wide variety and assortment of menial tasks that Americans believe are beneath their dignity.
When I lived in Holland (1975-1985) I read a book on the ethical issue of homosexuality with the (translated) title, Homosexuality: A Thorny Issue. I don’t think any pun was intended. Illegal immigration is such an issue; in fact, I am of the settled disposition that it is among the greatest domestic and homeland security issues we’re facing.
Illegal immigration is not merely thorny, it is very convoluted. Its tentacles reach out far beyond the simple and simplistic notion of having illegal immigrants working in America. Once you begin to examine the issue in more depth, you open a veritable Pandora’s Box of problems and situations.
At one level, some seem to believe that if Americans want the work they won’t do to be done cheaply by illegal aliens, there is no big deal because these illegal immigrants will—sooner or later—transform themselves into Americans—somehow. Not true. In the course of this position paper, I will demonstrate that the opposite is actually, in the majority of the cases, the case.
Of course, I could spend my time railing against the President’s plan and I will do that with my California representatives. But that is not the end of the road for me, for I am one of those incorrigible individuals that believes that you can fight city hall and that your voice makes a difference.
Gradually, I’m seeing that “grass roots” movements can and do make a difference. Edmund Burke said something to the effect that the best way for evil to take over is for good people to do nothing. In the end, I may lose the war, but I’m willing to fight this battle because I’m convinced that the future of this country, the future of my children, and the future of my grandchildren is at stake.
I agree wholeheartedly with Victor Hanson who writes, “My main argument…is that the future of the state—and the nation too, as regards the matter of immigration—is entirely in the hands of its current residents. California will become exactly what its people in the present generation choose to make it.”[1] That being the case, if I love my country, my family, and my First Amendment rights I can do no other than to raise my voice in protest of this evil that portends to destroy much of what is good and right in America, not to mention to bankrupt the country.
There will be a number of issues I will address in the course of this work, but since I am writing as a Christian theologian, the place for me to start the discussion is with the Bible. What, if anything, does the Word of God say about immigration? There is, in fact, a great deal of data in the Old Testament in particular dealing with those called “resident aliens” or “sojourners.” Therefore, we’ll inquire how that concept was viewed in ancient Israel and draw some comparisons and conclusions from these texts. At the same time, we’ll take a look at the New Testament words as well. Though less frequent than in the Old, there are yet instructive texts for us.
Of course, my main goal is to shed light on what the Bible tells us about aliens, our relationship to them, and how they should be treated. We will also be told what obligations aliens have towards the “host” country—in our case, America. In this sense, we’ll ask about the notion of reciprocity between visitor and host.

The Sojourner in the Old Testament
My starting point will be a word study. Even though the Old Testament contains more than one word for “sojourner,” the one that far exceeds the others to describe someone from outside of Israel living among the Israelites is gēr. For those who wish to delve into the Akkadian, Ugaritic, and Sumerian backgrounds I simply refer you to the Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament, Volume 2.[2] The designation gēr occurs almost 175 times in the Old Testament.[3]
For our purposes the legal position of the sojourner is a key concept. According to Kellermann’s article, the sojourner occupied a civil position somewhere in between a native (’ezrach) and a foreigner (nokhrî). He was a kind of tertium quid. The gēr “lives among people who are not his blood relatives, and thus he lacks the protection and the privileges which usually come from blood relationship and place of birth.”[4] Anyone—any Christian theologian—attempting to draw up a social ethics on illegal aliens must take the previous quotation into account.
Since the gēr is an alien, he lacked the protection and privileges that accrued to the native-born citizen. As we shall see, however, the sojourner was afforded many privileges as well, just not full privileges. Moreover, both the sojourner’s status as well as his privileges were dependent on the hospitality of—in this case—the Israelites.[5] What precipitated a person in antiquity to leave his native country and become a gēr in Israel? A variety of reasons could be cited, but it appears that three are prominent in the Old Testament: 1) Famine, 2) Military encounters, and 3) Individual distress or bloodguilt.[6]

The singular reason why people would place themselves under the legal protection of foreign neighbors was famine.[7] For example, the book of Ruth opens by explaining why Elimelech moved to Moab: “In the days when the judges ruled there was a famine in the land, and a man of Bethlehem in Judah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he and his wife and his two sons” (Ruth 1:1).
In addition, Elijah lodged with the widow of Zerephath because of a famine (1 Kings 17:20). Elisha sent the Shunammite woman away because of an impending seven year famine (2 Kings 8:1). Isaac remained as a gēr with Abimelech because of a famine (Gen. 26:3).[8] “And Israel’s sojourn in Egypt is traced back to a famine that drove Joseph’s brothers to Egypt”[9] according to Genesis 47:4. Abram and Sarai also went to Egypt due to famine conditions (cf. Gen. 12:10).

Military Encounters
The prophet Isaiah reports that citizens of Moab sought refuge in Judah as protected sojourners because of military conflict. Kellermann writes, “It seems likely that a military encounter between the Canaanite inhabitants of Beeroth and the invading Benjaminites is concealed behind the statement in 2 S. 4:3 that the original inhabitants of Beeroth had fled to Gittaim in order to live there as garim.”[10] According to Jeremiah 35:7, the Rechabites lived as garim in Judah in order to maintain their status as nomads.

Individual Distress or Bloodguilt
Kellermann describes this reason for becoming a sojourner in the following manner: Individual distress or bloodguilt “can cause a person to seek protection and help among foreigners as a gēr. Before the centralization of the cult, the Levite also could settle down as a gēr wherever he found a place or person or group where he could practice his profession (cf. Jgs. 17:7,8,9; 19:1,16; also Dt. 16:11,14).”[11]

Since we are attempting to build a biblical case for how to handle illegal aliens at this stage of our study we can drawn some tentative conclusions based on what we’ve just learned. If we are trying to designate legitimate reasons why Mexicans would leave their homeland and migrate to the United States some case might be made based on the above.
For example, it could be argued that since there is no place on the face of God’s green earth that has more food than America, it stands to reason that many—not just Mexicans—want to move here to live. While it cannot be said strictly that Mexico is in the throes of a famine, truly it is a land of the “haves” and the “have nots.” There is a kind of “famine” that confronts the unskilled laborer south of our borders that would “drive” him to come here.
Even though there is no clearly defined just war in Mexico, it’s no secret that it is a very corrupt country, the corruption reaching high levels. Almost anyone and anything can be obtained—for a price. The federales are on the take and crimes can be “fixed” if you have the requisite pesos. I realize this argument is quite a stretch, but at this junction we’re merely trying to garner reasons why people might come to the U.S. Liberal theologians love to stretch the Bible beyond recognition to fulfill their left-wing slightly hidden Socialism, under the guise of the social gospel. I simply anticipating their arguments. So thus far we have two possibilities: a quasi-famine and a corrupt government where might makes right.
Finally, in our day and age of luxury devices it’s not difficult to understand how someone living to the south of us could see the opulence and incredible lifestyle of Americans and want a piece of the action. Who wouldn’t want to improve their lifestyle in an exponential manner? Which would we choose? Would we be satisfied with living in a lean-to in a desolate area of Mexico or would we rather live in California, even if we could never attain to the economic level of the host gringo? It’s all relative anyway.
There is a great deal more to say about the Old Testament concept of gēr, however, that is germane for us to make an informed decision. We will now turn our attention to some more evidence from the Old Testament regarding the sojourner.

The Protected Citizen
The Old Testament describes the rights and privileges of the gēr in a number of texts. In general, “He stands under a patron or the tribe within which he resides. The protection of the patron guarantees the necessary legal security of tenure but also lays upon him an obligation of dependence and service. In distinction from the slave, however, he preserves personal freedom and can work his way up. Yet he has no independent property nor can he ever attain this. He is also exposed to the caprice of his patron.”[12] It appears from 2 Chronicles 15:9 that a number of sojourners had fled from the northern kingdom and were enjoying “protected citizen” status in Judah. Moreover, 2 Chronicles 30:25 “mentions North Israelite protected citizens in Judah as participants in Hezekiah’s Passover festival.”[13]
A number of texts in the Old Testament connect the gēr to widows and orphans, giving them special attention in Israel’s life as a covenant community.[14] In addition, Deuteronomy 24:14 seems to ascribe to the gēr the status of “day laborer,” at first glance much like the migrant workers today. The Israelite was commanded by God not to oppress hired servants whether Israelites or sojourners.
In Exodus, the sojourner is mentioned by himself as one who should not be oppressed (cf. Ex. 22:21; 23:9). The Israelites are to be kind and loving towards the gēr remembering that they had been oppressed in Egypt.[15] Therefore, they should be cognizant of the baneful nature of being a sojourner and being treated badly (Deut. 10:19). In texts such as Leviticus 19:34 where the Hebrew word, gerim is used to describe the Israelites it appears that gerim is almost synonymous with the word “slave,” given the oppression of God’s people in Egypt.
The gēr was allowed to glean in the fields of Israel as well as participant in the tithe every three years.[16] He was also granted the right of fair trials (Deut. 1:16; 24:17; 27:19) and participated in various Israelite feasts (Deut. 16:11, 14). Kellermann also points out, “According to Dt. 14:21, the gēr can eat or sell a carcass without blame; but according to Lev. 17:15, he is told to submit to the rites of cleansing if he has eaten a carcass.”[17] Precisely because the sojourner is linked with the widow and orphan, he is the recipient of God’s love, receiving food and clothing from him (cf. Deut. 10:18).

Rights and Responsibilities
Even though the sojourner is afforded many privileges as a protected citizen in Israel, the Old Testament makes it equally clear that there are responsibilities attached to the status of protected citizen as well as limitations to what a sojourner can do or be. At the head of the list of responsibilities is the sojourner’s responsibility to keep the Sabbath law (Ex. 20:10; 23:12). This onus is placed upon the protected citizen in light of the fact that he is considered—either as an individual or in a group of sojourners—to have cut the ties with his former country and attached himself to Israel.[18]
A text such as Genesis 19:9 implies that a gēr is considered unsuitable to be a judge. The difficulty with this text lies precisely in determining whether, generally speaking, a sojourner is undesirable as a judge or whether Sodom had degenerated to such a point that their rejection of Lot was a result of their depravity and wickedness. What is clear, however, is that in Deuteronomy 28:15-46, where curses and punishments are declared to Israel for disobeying God, one of the curses is that if Israel disobeys the gēr will rise higher and higher and the Israelite will sink lower and lower (cf. Deut. 28:43).
In short, when the protected citizen begins to rise above the Israelites, the social order is turned upside down. This is perhaps the reason that protected citizens are mentioned in terms of their employment, which was to assist the Israelites (cf. Deut. 29:10-11).

The Protected Citizen as a Proselyte to Judaism
Another key concept of the protected citizen/sojourner in the Old Testament is that he was considered a proselyte.[19] This status of protected citizen required “separation from every non-Jew.”[20] We shall return to this all-important aspect shortly. For the present, however, it is instructive to mention that the sojourner’s status in Israel as a protected citizen demanded he cut his ties with his country of origin.
In Leviticus 20:2 we are told that both Israelite and sojourner who sacrifices his children to Molech must receive the death penalty. This is an indication of how attached the sojourner was to Israel: Israel’s laws concerning the Sabbath as well as his family life applied to him.[21] Liberal theologians have often cited the prophets as those who had a great deal to say about caring for the sojourner. Much of the building of the foundation of the social gospel reverts to the prophets. Indeed, the prophets do speak to a disobedient people of God about their many sins and transgressions. But Kellermann is correct when he writes, “It is surprising that the gēr plays a very subordinate role in prophetic preaching. Amos and Hosea, Isaiah and Micah, do not deal with the problem of the protected citizen in any detail.”[22]
Kellermann’s statement is all the more remarkable in light of the fact that the above-mentioned prophets are quite vociferous “about oppression of the weak” all the while lamenting “antisocial behavior.” There are, however, some traces in Jeremiah where he reminds his people that the gēr is to be treated with respect (cf. Jer. 7:6; 22:3).[23] Ezekiel mentions that the sojourner has equal rights and religious responsibilities along with the native Israelite (Ezek. 14:7).[24] This reflects what we have already learned from Exodus 23:12.

In light of the fact that the New Testament Church is no theocracy, it is somewhat difficult, if not impossible, to draw parallel lines from the Old Testament concept of the gēr to the New Testament society. It never ceases to amaze me how liberal theologians, who dissect the Bible and add as many as four separate and distinct “Isaiahs,” have no problem drawing connecting lines from the Old Testament experience to our current society.
The whole question of theonomy is complex, but irrespective of how you think about that issue, it should be clearly evident that a one-to-one relationship between the Old Testament teaching on the sojourner and the current illegal immigrant situation is impossible.
What we have seen in this section does, however, give us some biblical truth that we must take into consideration if we are do justice to a Christian solution to illegal immigration. In telegraphic style, here is what we have seen:
First, the sojourner was not allowed to own any property in the Old Testament context.
Second, by implication he was not to be a judge, which would translate into any position of authority in decision-making matters in the Old Testament.
Third, as one somewhat disenfranchised and uprooted the sojourner is grouped with the widows and orphans.
Fourth, Israel is to treat sojourners with love and respect, recalling their oppression in Egypt.
Fifth, sojourners were allowed to glean in Israel’s fields and to participate in the three year tithe. As an aside, this privilege simply does not translate into America’s welfare program. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to discern that if it were the case that sojourners were given a “handout” every three years they had to do some industrial strength planning to make everything last. There is still something to be said for a “hand-up” rather than a “hand-out.”
Sixth, the sojourner was required to keep Israel’s both civil and religious laws. Therefore, if we desire to make some kind of an attempt to correlate ancient Israel’s demands for humane treatment of aliens, it would seem consistent to insist that “sojourners” in America abide by the law of the land.
Seventh, the sojourner was regarded as a proselyte. This last concept is of a great magnitude and since we might not be fully acquainted with what a proselyte was in Israel and the New Testament it will behoove us to spend some time spelling this out in more detail.

The Biblical Concept of the Proselyte
Kuhn’s article in the TDNT is instructive in many ways, not the least of which is what he says about the sojourner. He writes, “The acceptance of the גֵּר (gēr) into the religious fellowship by P is chiefly determined by thought of holiness and purity of the chosen people. This demands full differentiation from all foreigners.”[25] In ancient Israel this concept could not be fully realized for resident aliens, but they were accepted into the religious fellowship nonetheless.[26]
What, then, was the status of the proselyte in the New Testament? Almost ironically, the word προσήλυτος (prosēlutos) occurs a mere four times in the New Testament. The first occurrence is found in Jesus’ denunciation of the Pharisees who try to win one proselyte but make him more fit for hell (Matt. 23:15). In Acts 2:11 proselytes are mentioned next to Jews as those present at the first Christian Pentecost. Acts 6:5, Nicolaus is mentioned as a proselyte of Antioch. Finally, in Acts 13:43 we read of the tōn seboménōn prosēlútōn, which seems to be a technical term for those who attended the synagogue worship, but did not “buy in” to the total Jewish life and lifestyle.[27] These people were proselytes who were “God fearers.”
The bottom line on this designation is that “contemporary Jewish usage differentiated sharply between προσήλυτοι (prosēlutoi) who had become Jews by circumcision and the σεβόμενοι τόν θεόν (sebómenoi tón theón) who in spite of their personal piety were still Gentiles according to Jewish estimation.”[28]

At this point, we have enough information to draw some conclusions about the Old and New Testament data. In the above section it became clear that the notion of proselyte or sojourner in the New Testament does not really give us a lot of insight into the question of illegal aliens.
It would seem that common sense would prevail, however, and we would continue to take notice of the word illegal in the phrase “illegal immigrant.” The complexity of the matter is complicated by virtue of the fact that the proselyte or sojourner in the biblical context has a clear biblical component.
Within the New Testament Church situation, we no longer have a theocracy as Israel did where the state and religion were one. The state, therefore, is not interested whether the illegal aliens are “people of faith,” but if they are illegal. In addition, the Christian, in particular, has a responsibility of obeying the state, unless, of course, the state requires the Christian to violate biblical principles. In the case of illegal immigration, the state is laying no unbiblical imposition on us.

[1] Victor Davis Hanson, Mexifornia, (San Francisco: Encounter Books, 2003), p. xv.
[2] G. Johannes Botterweck & Helmer Ringgren, (eds.), Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament, Vol. 2, (John T. Willis, [trans.]), (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1975), pp.439-440.
[3] Ibid., 442.
[4] Ibid., 443. Comp. Karl Kuhn’s article in Gerhard Friedrich, Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, Vol. VI, (Geoffrey Bromiley [ed. & trans.]), (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1968), p. 728.
[5] Kellermann, TDOT, 443.
[6] Ibid.
[7] Ibid.
[8] Ibid.
[9] Ibid.
[10] Ibid.
[11] Ibid. 443-444.
[12] Kuhn, TDNT, 728. Comp. Ernst Jenni & Claus Westermann, Theologisches Handwörterbuch zum Alten Testament, Bd. I, (München: Chr. Kaiser Verlag, 1978), p. 410, “Der gēr verfügt nicht über sämtliche Rechte eines Israeliten, u.a. besitzt er kein Land (nach Ez 47,22 wird diese Einschränkung im zukünftigern Israel aufgehoben sein). Er steht im allgemeinen im Dienst eines Israeliten, der sein Herr und Beschützer ist (Dtn 24,14). In der Regel ist der gēr arm (vgl. Aber Lev 25,47) und wird daher den ‘wirtschaftlich Schwachen’ zugezählt, die wie die Witwen und Waisen Anspruch auf Hilfe haben.”
[13] Kellermann, TDOT, 445.
[14] Jenni & Westermann, THAT, 410.
[15] Kellermann, TDOT, 449, “The Israelites are commanded to treat the protected citizen kindly (Dt. 10:19; cf. Ex. 22:20[21]; 23:9), because they know what it is to be a gēr, (nephesh hagger, ‘the soul [heart] of a stranger’).” Kellermann continues and makes this important point: “Since the Israelites were foreigners in Egypt (Dt. 23:8[7]; 26:5, Isa. 52:4; Ps. 105:23; 1 Ch. 16:19), they have the responsibility of extending the law of loving their neighbor as themselves (Lev. 19:18) to the gēr: ‘The protected citizen who sojourns with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you were protected citizens (gerim) in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God’ (Lev. 19:34).”
[16] Comp. Deut. 24:19-21; 14:29; 26:12.
[17] Kellermann, TDOT, 445.
[18] Comp. Jenni/Westermann, THAT, 410, “Der gēr, allein oder in einer Gruppe, hat sein Vaterland infolge politischer, wirtschaftlicher oder anderer Umstände verlassen und sucht Schutz in einem andern Gemeinwesen…”
[19] Ibid., 411, “Es hat daher nichts Erstaunliches an sich, daß die LXX den hebr. Begriff meist mit προσήλυτος übersetzt und den gēr als Proselyten im technischen Sinne versteht…”
[20] Kuhn, TDNT, 729.
[21] Kellermann, TDOT, 447, “The regulations concerning sacrifice in Lev. 1-7 do not explicitly mention the gēr. This may be because to some extent the laws come from an early period when the gēr, if he was an immigrant foreigner, was not allowed to participate in the cult. However, when the gēr is mentioned in connection with the treatment of the quality of a sacrifice in Lev. 22:17-33, and when Nu. 15, in supplements to the regulations concerning sacrifice (Nu. 15:14, 15 [twice], 16, 26, 29, 30) explicitly states that the gēr has the same rights as the native, and that the expiatory power of the sin-offering is also given to the gēr who lives in the midst of the whole community of the Israelites, again it is quite clear that in late strata of P the gēr is the fully integrated proselyte.” Note: You can forget all the higher critical “P” nonsense and catch the rest of Kellermann’s argument!
[22] Ibid.
[23] Ibid., Comp. Zech. 7:10 & Mal. 3:5.
[24] Kellermann, TDOT, 447 mentions that this text in Ezekiel points to the casuistic laws encountered in the Holiness Code (Lev. 17:8, 10, 13; 20:2; 22:18).
[25] Kuhn, TDNT, 730. Italics mine. Again, forget all the higher critical P stuff.
[26] Ibid.
[27] Ibid., 743.
[28] Ibid., 744.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Christians & Illegal Aliens

The New Issue in the PCA
It seems as if the issue of illegal immigration simply will not go away. What was earlier pretty much a political subject has now morphed into an ecclesiastical/political matter. Truly, that was to be expected. Moreover, the modern Church should be reflecting on this ethical issue in order to bring biblical clarity and the Christian voice into the public arena.
In the August 2006 issue of byFaith magazine, a Presbyterian Church in America pastor, David Moran, weighs in on the question of illegal immigration. Pastor Moran pastored in a nearly 100% Latin community in Houston, TX for nearly 20 years, establishing congregations in both Spanish and English. He is currently pastors at Key Biscayne Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Florida. He contributed an article to the current issue of the magazine entitled “Is It Right to Love Illegals?”[1]
When I returned from my recent vacation I had two more articles dealing with this subject on my desk. I shall interact with both of these in subsequent issues. What is most disconcerting to me at the present is that both articles are written by PCA men (J. Allen Thompson, Ph.D., Coordinator of Multicultural church Planting [MNA][2] and Dr. David Moran (author of the byFaith article), who spoke at the MNA Hispanic American Ministries Convocation in October 2005.[3]
In the byFaith article Dr. Moran raises a number of provocative matters in his article that I would very much like to respond to as part of the ongoing discussion on this important matter.

Getting Our Terminology Correct
The large print that introduces the article reads, “There are an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. Responding to this influx represents a challenge to our nation—but it’s also a challenge to the Church of Jesus Christ.”[4] With these opening words Pastor Moran informs us where he will be going with the remainder of his article. Rather than speaking the unvarnished truth, Pastor Moran chooses to go the route of euphemism. Granted that others resort to the use of the term “undocumented” when the appropriate term is actually “illegal,” but I had rather hoped that any defense from a PCA perspective on the subject would begin by stating clearly what a major part of the problem actually is.[5]
Whether we called them “undocumented,” or “guest workers” the meaning is still the same: they are in this country illegally; they have violated our sovereign laws as a country. What Pastor Moran does is similar to the media calling terrorists insurgents. No, they are terrorists.
Disappointingly, Pastor Moran continues this trend in the second section of his article, “Experience Shapes Perceptions” where he writes, “We, as American Christians, react in diverse ways to the undocumented immigrants in our country. Some call for generalized deportations and military help to secure our borders. Others believe that our welcoming attitude toward all immigrants comprises the essence of what makes us ‘American.’”[6] It should be duly noted that the second “belief” is clearly wrong, wrongheaded, and severely lacks historical underpinnings.[7]
Pastor Moran explains that he is “disheartened by negative and unfair portrayals of the undocumented as violent, drug trafficking, welfare-abusing tax evaders.” Naturally, not all illegal aliens fall into those categories. Many are good people trying to find a better life. But if Pastor Moran is going to present us with ideas that will both challenge and inform us, it would seem that he might be concerned to make some effort to enlighten us about why so many are upset about the huge influx of illegal immigrants into our country. Why, for example, have Congressmen Tom Tancredo and J.D. Hayworth taken time out from their busy schedules to write books about the matter? Why are the Minutemen making such a fuss about illegal immigrants? Are they all bigots and racists or are there substantive reasons for what they’ve written and what they’re doing?

Some Stubborn Facts
Admittedly, Pastor Moran gives us 3 “bullet” points that are supposed to bolster his statement. I would counteract, however, with the following data attributed to the LA Times, (certainly no conservative newspaper) June 2002:

· 40% of all workers in L.A. County (L.A. County has 10 million people) are working for cash and not paying taxes. This was because they are predominantly illegal immigrants, working without a green card.
· 95% of warrants for murder in Los Angeles are for illegal aliens.
· 75% of people on the most wanted list in Los Angeles are illegal aliens.
· Over 66% of all births in Los Angeles County are to illegal alien Mexicans on Medi-Cal whose births were paid for by taxpayers.
· Nearly 25% of all inmates in California detention centers are Mexican nationals here illegally.
· Over 300,000 illegal aliens in Los Angeles County are living in garages.
· The FBI reports half of all gang members in Los Angeles are most likely illegal aliens from south of the border.
· Nearly 60% of all occupants of HUD properties are illegal.
· 21 radio stations in L.A. are Spanish speaking.
· In L.A.County 5.1 million people speak English. 3.9 million speak Spanish (10.2 million people in L.A.County).(All 10 from the Los Angeles Times)
· Less than 2% of illegal aliens are picking our crops but 29% are on welfare. See
· Over 70% of the United States annual population growth (and over 90% of California, Florida, and New York) results from immigration.
· The cost of illegal immigration to the American taxpayer in 1997 was a net (after subtracting taxes immigrants pay) $70 billion a year, [Professor Donald Huddle, Rice University].
· The lifetime fiscal impact (taxes paid minus services used) for the average adult Mexican immigrant is a negative.
· 29% of inmates in federal prisons are illegal aliens.

I find these data especially interesting and enlightening and I believe that Pastor Moran’s article would have been greatly enhanced if he had taken the time to present this material to us. In point of fact, these data fly in the face of the point that Pastor Moran wants to make. All that Pastor Moran is doing is reciting the worn-out mantras of those who want to turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to the baneful effects of illegal immigration into our country. He might have had many positive experiences in a church setting, but others have had opposite experiences. Moreover, if the church contained illegal aliens that is a clear violation of our laws.
As I wrote recently to my ethnically diverse congregation: “It is quite true that unless we put a definitive halt to illegal immigration that we will continue to import poverty. As was pointed out above, more and more illegals are learning how to milk the system and social scientists are more than willing to fill the welfare trough with our tax dollars. In essence, since so many Hispanics make some use of our welfare system we are effectively importing poverty.
“These people are paid under the table at a drastically reduced rate. Our entire economic system as well as our rule of law is being undercut by Americans who hire illegals and a welfare system that is overburdened. Hospitals are having to close because they are going bankrupt and pubic schools are becoming increasing torpedoed by the problem of kids who don’t want to be there and who have trouble learning English because they remain, by and large, in a Spanish-speaking environment.”[8]
What Pastor Moran offers actually is detrimental to his argument when he states that “96 percent of undocumented men are employed.” This is a kind of double whammy. First, we need to keep in mind that undocumented is a euphemism for illegal. What is it that the PCA/MNA does not understand about the word illegal?
Second, it is illegal to hire an illegal, even if a pastor calls the illegal an undocumented immigrant. There is a rule of law in our country and Christians above all others should be very circumspect in upholding those laws.
It’s really humorous—or sad, depending on how you look at it—that Pastor Moran attempts to gain our sympathy by telling us that when illegals obtained false documentation they begin paying income taxes and Social Security tax from their illegal jobs. This is known as the “if-two-wrongs-don’t-make-a-right-why-not-try-a-third syndrome?” Unbelievable.
Pastor Moran also wants us to believe that simply because these illegal immigrants come from traditional cultures there is a higher regard for human life, family, and reproduction than in other parts of the world.[9] And your point is…? Clearly he is correct on the reproduction matter. Santa Ana, California, just down the road from where I live and has the largest Hispanic population per capita than anywhere else in the United States, and also has an out of wedlock reproduction rate that is twice the national average.
I would agree with the author when he points to the fact that America has a problem dealing with a decimated population growth rate that is not yet as bad as Europe’s but is getting there. However, that is certainly no argument for glutting our country with illegal aliens! Moran’s concern is how to replenish the labor force for those retiring in a country that has fewer children than before. But this country has had to face this problem before. After the Civil War the male population was severely decimated. The same is true about the end of World Wars I and II. We survived without illegal intervention. Moran’s solution, however, is to import poverty at an alarming rate so that we don’t have to pay a 67-cents a head for lettuce. Moreover, there are numerous states in this country where there are substantially fewer illegal aliens and Americans there still are able to get their grass cut, tables bussed, and hotel beds made.
The red herring is still “the jobs that Americans won’t do.” Moran expects us to embrace his statements gleaned from Many Ann Glendon of Harvard University that “The issue is not who will do the jobs that Americans don’t want. The issue is who will fill the ranks of a labor force that the retiring generation failed to replenish.”[10] What should be said is this: Americans won’t do them at the ridiculously low wages some businessmen, farmers, and general contractors are willing to pay illegals. We are duped if we think the 67-cent head of lettuce we buy in the grocery store is a good deal. The excessively high costs of medicine, welfare, incarceration, and other negative effects of illegal immigration in our country are passed on to us in myriad other ways and what is most disconcerting is that Dr. Moran is not prepared in this article to even address those issues. Make no mistake: the high costs associated with illegal immigration will be passed along to the U.S. taxpayer.

Who is Going to Pay and for How Long?
Allow me to touch on just a couple of issues that I believe form a very different picture, an opposite picture than Pastor Moran is giving us. The first example that I want to use involves a set of Siamese twins recently separated here in Southern California. The family is Mexican and the parents intentionally overstayed their visa so that their children could be born here. That intentional breaking of the law had two immediate consequences. First, it meant that the birth of the child would take place on the U.S. taxpayer’s dime. Second, it also meant that these children were automatically American citizens. Let’s look at these results in order.
The operation to separate the joined twins took approximately 24 hours and involved about 80 people all told. The cost to the American taxpayers is astronomic, in the millions of dollars. The parents were little concerned about that fact. They had no compunction about passing along a million-dollar-plus medical bill to the Southern California public.
Second, there is the phenomenon known as “anchor babies.” What is this and how does it work? Tancredo explains, “By simply being born in the United States, a child automatically becomes an American citizen eligible for a range of welfare and public-assistance benefits.”[11] He continues, “Mexican mothers frequently come to the United States just to give birth. Ambulances from Mexico routinely bring patients to American hospitals because they are aware of the U.S. treatment mandate.”[12]
In these cases, an appeal is often made to the Fourteenth Amendment. Senator Jacob Howard, who was the coauthor of the citizenship clause to the amendment, wrote in 1866, “Every person born within the limits of the United States, and subject to their jurisdiction, is by virtue of natural law and national law a citizen of the United States.” That seems to “seal the deal” even if we grant that Howard’s intent was to prevent states from denying citizenship to newly freed slaves. However, if we read further, Howard goes on to add, “This will not, of course, include persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers accredited to the Government of the United States, but will include every other class of person.” Judges tend to interpret this however they wish and it has come to mean that anyone born in the United States is an American citizen. This is highly unusual. Four of our six children were born in Holland. Even though I was a student and then later a pastor in a Dutch-speaking church, those four children were all Americans. Tancredo is right, therefore, when he states that America is one of the few countries—maybe the only country in the world—that has such “birthright-citizenship” laws.[13]
After all this, Moran is still willing to say, …our disposition toward the undocumented should be welcoming and grateful.”[14] To make matters substantially worse Moran continues and says, “They have come to our aid, and we have become dependent on them. They raise our crops, chicken, and tomatoes. They cook our food, wash our dishes, and build our houses. How blessed we are. The next generation will treat our wounds, teach our children, represent us in court, and preach the gospel to us.”[15]
Let’s break this down. Does Dr. Moran truly expect us to believe that illegal aliens flooding into our country, taking jobs from the lower level income groups, filling our ERs to overflowing with people who know that they can get free medical treatment have truly come to our aid? A quick review of the bullet points above should be sufficient to convince us otherwise. Saying that having somewhere in the neighborhood of 10-15 million illegals in our country is a blessing is tantamount to calling evil good.
In addition, it is not a foregone conclusion that the illegals will be treating our wounds, etc. in the next generation. Many statistics demonstrate clearly that a disproportionately high number of children of illegal aliens do not even finish high school. Surely, some will rise above their educational disadvantages, but that is hardly the point. Medical lawyer Madeleine Pelner Cosman revealed in her report “Illegal Aliens and American Medicine” that violence by illegal immigrants served as one of the largest causes of financial loss to emergency departments around our country.[16] Cosman went on to say in her Spring 2005 report (The Seen and the Unseen), “many illegal aliens harbor fatal diseases that American medicine fought and vanquished long ago, such as drug-resistant tuberculosis, malaria, leprosy, plague, polio, dengue, and Chagas disease.”[17]
What is glaringly missing from Dr. Moran’s article is a strong, healthy emphasis on legal immigration. It is mentioned, but certainly not emphasized. There are rules—the rule of law—that must be followed in this country if America is still to be the shining light on the hill she has been. Everyone entering this country must play by the rules. The concept of law casts no aspersion on a person’s country of origin; it simply states the laws of the land that the Church of Jesus Christ should be more than willing to uphold unless they are contrary to Scripture. To this point, I have heard no substantial biblical argument that our current immigration laws are out of gear with the Bible.
Other parts of Dr. Moran’s article comprise what I call “truth by declaration.” That is to say, Dr. Moran merely makes a statement and we are supposed to accept it unreflectively. For example, he writes, “The deportation of 11 million people, equivalent to the populations of Chicago and New York combined, is not feasible. Nor would it be humane.”[18] My initial response is: why not? Granted that it would be a daunting task, it is still an option for some. It would take quite a while, but it is not as if it could not be accomplished. What is inhumane about deporting illegal aliens, especially in a post-911 world and where a diabolical plot to blow up ten airplanes was just thwarted? Mexico has sealed its southern border but ours remains porous. One of the best and easiest ways for terrorists (undocumented insurgents) to cross over into the United States is via Mexico.

Like many, I concur with Dr. Moran’s plea for mercy. Of course we should offer food, clothing, water, and other necessities of life to those who are here illegally—and then send them back to their country of origin. Dr. Moran also suggests giving them “language instructions.”[19] Giving ESL classes requires more time and gives the semblance of permanence. If and when the immigrants return to this country legally certainly we should offer them ESL classes.
Dr. Moran also explains that his home church in Key Biscayne recently hosted a Cinco de Mayo celebration to assist children of migrant farmers. I have no problem with doing that. Children often merely follow their parents. Our hearts go out to children, as they rightly should. But if the family makes the choice to come here legally they should truly become Americans. A Cinco de Mayo celebration smacks to me as the beginnings of multiculturalism. The illegal families are a different, separate story.
My family and I lived in Holland for ten years. During that time we celebrated numerous American holidays, but we did not expect the Dutch to hold a special celebration for us on those days. We were in Holland; we spoke Dutch; we wore Dutch clothing, ate Dutch food, sent our children to Dutch schools, and pretty much fit into the culture. What I am saying is aptly summed up in the following: In 1915 President Woodrow Wilson spoke these words to newly sworn-in American citizens: “I certainly would not be the one to even suggest that a man cease to love the home of his birth and the nation of his origin. These things are very sacred and ought not to be put out of our hearts. But it is one thing to love the place where you were born, and it is another to dedicate yourself to the place to which you go. You cannot dedicate yourself to America unless you become in every respect and with every purpose of your will thoroughly Americans. You cannot become thoroughly Americans if you think of yourself in groups. A man who thinks of himself as belonging to a particular national group in America has not yet become an American, and a man who goes among you to trade upon your nationality is not worth to live under the stars and stripes.” I wholeheartedly agree.
Dr. Moran concludes his article in this manner: “In summary, it is not un-Christian to say that immigration laws should be changed and enforced consistent with today’s realities. It can be argued—as I do—that this would be the ‘most Christian’ response to the legal aspects of the issue. Our disposition should be one of hospitality to the new immigrants—appreciating their contributions to our society and serving them with Christ’s mercy and protection. Rather than being threatened by their presence, we should maximize the situation. It’s hard to imagine a more strategic disciple-making opportunity.”[20] Where to start?
No, it is not un-Christian to say that immigration laws should be changed, but that is hardly the thrust of Dr. Moran’s article. We might argue that the laws should be changed but we must also be prepared to follow the proper steps to get them changed and to obey the existing laws of the land until those laws are changed. If, by popular vote, the laws do not change, then we must be equally prepared to live according to those laws.
The phase “enforce consistent with today’s realities” is more than disturbing. It could mean reverting to situation ethics or ignoring the laws altogether. What are “today’s realities?” Who defines them? What is the difference between today’s realities and today’s perceived realities? Does Dr. Moran mean that we should simply accept the status quo?
His sentence “It can be argued—as I do—that this (changed and enforced consistent with today’s realities?) would be the ‘most Christian’ response to the legal aspects of the issue” is left wide open to a variety of interpretations. Does Dr. Moran mean that the “most Christian” thing is to continue to allow illegal immigrants to flood into our country and then welcome then and consider ourselves blessed? I certainly hope not, for that would be a very naïve and short-sighted approach. The problem is that we are left to guess at what Dr. Moran means.
Should we set up disciple-making booths in the desert or at our borders? Who will man them? Should they be manned 24/7 since a number of illegals tend to come across under the cover of darkness?
I am all for reaching out to the legal Hispanic immigrants in America, helping them, extending mercy where mercy is needed, and getting them integrated into American churches. From experience, I have seen the destructive forces at work when ethnic groups tend to stay together and not to integrate into their respective cultures. Whatever “strategic planning” the PCA and MNA enter into, it must be with a view to upholding the laws of this land. That, too, is a strategic disciple-making opportunity.
In order to take the debate to another level, I’m re-posting an article on my blog site ( that deals with a biblical approach to aliens.

[1] byFaith, Aug. ’06, pp. 30-36.
[2] The Stranger in Your Midst: Attitudes and Actions toward Undocumented Aliens in the United States. Emphasis mine.
[3] Towards an Ethical View of the Undocumented Alien. Emphasis mine.
[4] Moran, Is It Right, 31.
[5] J. Allen Thompson uses the same language.
[6] Moran, Is It Right, 31.
[7] See Samuel P. Huntington, Who Are We? The Challenges to America’s National Identity, (NY: Simon & Schuster, 2004) & The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order, (NY: Simon & Schuster, 1996).
[8] For further annoying enlightenment see David Kupelian, The Marketing of Evil, (Nashville: WND Books, 2005), especially pp. 83-14 & Tom Tancredo, In Mortal Danger, (Nashville: WND Books, 2006), Part 2: Our Broken Immigration System where in chapters 8-16 Tancredo discusses Our Porous Borders, The Myths of Immigration, System Breakdown, Politics of Immigration, Breach in Security, Mexico’s Lawless Border, The Economics of Mass Migration, The Threat to Our Health System by Illegal Immigration, and Environmental Impact from Illegal Immigration.
[9] Moran, Is It Right, 33.
[10] Ibid.
[11] Tancredo, IMD, 166-167.
[12] Ibid., 167.
[13] Ibid., 170.
[14] Moran, Is It Right, 33.
[15] Ibid. Italics mine.
[16] Cited in Tancredo, IMD, 165.
[17] Ibid., Note: Chagas disease (also called American trypanosomiasis or the “kissing bug disease”) is transmitted by the reduviid bug, which prefers to bit the lips and face. The protozoan parasite that it carries, Trypanosoma cruzi, infects 18 million people annually in Latin America and causes 50,000 death. The disease also infiltrates America’s blood supply. No cure exists!
[18] Moran, Is It Right, 34. Emphases mine.
[19] Ibid., 36.
[20] Ibid.