Updated: Aug 10
Recently, a friend asked me the following question: “What’s wrong with allowing illegal immigrants into our country? We have everything we need here and they have nothing, so if they want to come here why shouldn’t we let them in? After all, doesn’t the Bible tell us to be kind and accepting toward foreigners?”
I completely understood her dilemma. At first glance, it could appear compassionate to allow caravans of undocumented immigrants into our country. And she is correct—the Bible instructs us to show kindness to strangers. Even churches are weighing in on the debate by displaying signs on their buildings saying, “Love your neighbor. Period.”
On closer inspection, however, enabling criminal activity is not love, not even close.
What’s Love Got to Do with It?
Allowing mass migration into our country from Mexico through opening our southern border has facilitated a humanitarian crisis on a massive scale. At least 650 people, many of them children, died during the first 11 months of 2021 attempting to make the dangerous journey. According to CNN, this is more than any other year since 2014 when the International Organization for Migration (IOM) started documenting these deaths (Flores, 2021).
Contrary to what many may think, these individuals aren’t coming to America of their own volition. Criminal cartels traffick families, women, and children across the southern border daily. Vulnerable populations use their life savings because they are promised a new life in the Land of Opportunity. However, the reality is that once they arrive in the United States they become indentured servants—or worse, sex slaves—working to pay off their debts to the cartels for years, if not decades.
Human trafficking is a multibillion-dollar industry. According to The New York Post, US-Mexico border traffickers could earn as much as $14M a day. Our open border policies not only allow but promote this illegal and horrific activity.
This humanitarian crisis isn’t restricted to migrants, either. The National Center for Health Statistics reported that 932,364 Americans died from fatal overdoses from 1999 through 2020, according to NPR. The vast majority of those deaths have been triggered by illicit Fentanyl which pours into the country through our open southern border.
Those who would like to bundle the immigration issue under the idea of loving our neighbor tend to forget that the United States still has a legal process for granting asylum to those who genuinely need it. But illegal immigration overwhelms the current systems and services already in place, tying the hands of border agents and government institutions from helping those we should be assisting.
According to Chad Wolf, former acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary, we can’t talk about reforming immigration laws until we start enforcing our current ones.
Solutions please, not Slogans
Yes, we are always to love our neighbor, but we shouldn’t confuse the idea of showing kindness and compassion with misdirecting taxpayer funding to criminal cartels to enable them in exploiting the poorest and most vulnerable populations—primarily women and children. That is anything but love.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres” (1 Corinthians 13:4-6).
Not everything that glitters is gold, and not every idea bundled under the umbrella of “love” even remotely resembles it.
A tragic example of what happens when the government tries to institutionalize compassion can be seen in the failed social experiment during President Lyndon B. Johnson’s reign. His administration’s “Great Society Legislation” (mislabeled, once again) did nothing to help minority communities, and in fact, perpetuated generational poverty.
This War on Poverty, as it was branded by the administration, extracted over $240 billion from taxpayers since 1965, yet the poverty rate remained virtually the same, hovering around 15 percent, 50 years later according to the National Center for Law and Justice. How it is even possible that our government spent billions of dollars with nothing to show for it? Click HERE to read more.
More disastrous than the lost opportunity is the staggering toll paid by the black community—the very segment of the population the Johnson administration claimed to want to help. In 1964, nearly 75 percent of black children were born into a married, two-parent household. But in the aftermath of Big Government’s mismanaged social engineering project, the number is now inversed. Today, nearly three in every four black children are born to single-parent households and, tragically, fatherlessness is the number one risk factor for poverty (Parker, 2019). How sad and ironic.
In hindsight, we understand that the controlled demolition of society under LBJ, particularly the black nuclear family, was intentional. It was never about helping struggling families, it was always about securing their vote. Are these illegals also being used as political fodder? Only time will tell.
So, no, rubber-stamping illegal immigration is not the same as loving our neighbors. As society attempts to redefine love and hate for political expediency, we are being gaslighted on an epic scale. We will talk more about this in the coming weeks.
Real Compassion is Apolitical
This does not, however, negate our personal responsibility to show compassion.
In early June of this year, my husband Perry and I were returning from our son’s wedding in California. As we sat in the terminal at the airport waiting for our flight back home, we noticed a Hispanic couple with two young children. When we heard their broken English and saw their unusually large amount of carry-on luggage, we suspected that they were undocumented immigrants being resettled in the Pittsburgh area.
We discovered that, yes, Kane and Vivian were Mexican nationals looking forward to starting a new life in Latrobe, PA. Even though we disapprove of the current administration’s failed migrant policies, this didn’t stop Perry from jumping out of his seat to help the young man struggling to carry a sleeping child while pushing two suitcases. It didn’t discourage him from waiting for the other passengers to exit so that he could help them carry their luggage off the plane, or from escorting them to retrieve the rest of their items at baggage claim.
Here is a simple litmus test: if a so-called act of compassion requires other people’s money to fund it, it’s usually not love; it’s coercion.
But demonstrating true love and compassion is not without personal cost. Even Jesus recognized that the young, enlisted soldiers with the Roman army charged with carrying out orders for his execution were themselves victims of a corrupt system. He understood that these poor young men were simply following orders and had no idea that they were killing the son of God. This is why he prayed for His Father to forgive them because they deserved compassion, not condemnation for the decisions made well above their paygrade.
We are not responsible for our leaders’ reckless overspending and mismanagement, but we’re responsible for our own response to individuals in need. God in His infinite wisdom entrusted caring for the poor to the church—not the government. He knew they would mishandle it.
We know how Jesus responded to this dilemma. How about us?
Thank you for reading “Wednesday Wisdom”! If you missed any recent posts, please feel free to check them out: