Our founders based our nation on the rule of law. But now lawlessness is becoming the rule. One of the Bible's definitions for sin fits here: "Sin is lawlessness" (1 John 3:4).
The border crisis is a strong case in point. Congress said no to the DREAM Act, but the president has a phone and a pen, and he says yes.
So now tens of thousands of young people are pouring in through our porous borders down south in hopes of having a chance at the American dream---a dream eluding many already here.
During this administration, there has been a decrease in enforcing the borders; and therefore, people from south of the border have been encouraged to take advantage of the opportunity.
Writing for The Daily Caller, Neil Munro points out: "If you came illegally to the U.S. seeking asylum in 2013, you had better than a four-in-five chance of successfully filing an asylum claim…" The title of Munro's column says it all: "Leaked Data Shows 10-Fold Increase In Obama's Asylum Approvals."
Meanwhile, CBSDC quotes Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson as saying: "Our border is not open to illegal immigration…" But actions speak louder than words.
The news source added, Jeh Johnson "said staff told him that some of the immigrants [at a holding center] told them they were surprised to be detained." Some sources are even noting that many of the "children" are 14-17 year old males, some with ties to the notorious M-13 gang.
Central American families are being separated and uprooted. Diseases are running rampant. It's a humanitarian crisis. What is this current border meltdown all about? It seems to me:
·For the Democrats, it's all about more voters. It's all about their political base. As George Bernard Shaw once said, If you rob Peter to pay Paul, you will have always have Paul's vote.
·For the Republicans (the country club type, not the values voters), it's all about cheap labor. Some big corporations and mega-wealthy businessmen clamor for the same thing.
This is a nation built on immigration, and the Bible tells us to be kind to the stranger and foreigner amongst us. Lest you dismiss me as a xenophobic bigot, please note that I have nothing---zero, zip, nada---against legal immigrants. In fact, I'm married to one.
She played by all the right rules. It was not an easy process, but it was doable. When we got married in 1980 in her home country (Norway), we were both grad students about to finish our course work in the states.
When we tried to return the U.S., she was not allowed to go with me until I could prove I had a source of income. I got a job and proof of income, having to postpone my studies for later; and she was able to join me about a month later. She eventually became an American citizen.
Fast-forward to 2014 and our current border crisis. The president has sent repeated signals to illegal immigrants that we have all kinds of free stuff available here. For example, one source reported that the Obama administration reached an agreement with the Mexican government to run radio ads promoting American food stamps.
But there's no such thing as a free lunch. Someone has to pay for it. Many of us have to hold down two jobs to keep up with our expenses. Will we now have to take on a third job to pay for the social services for all the illegals? Open borders and our growing welfare state seem to be on a collision course. How can we afford to have open borders without true welfare reform?
As a Christian, I have deep compassion for those seeking a better life. Writing for The Gospel Coalition, Felix Cabrera captures the dilemma well: "Crossing the border between Mexico and the United States without the proper permission certainly violates the law, and we must not ignore this fact. We are not encouraging parents to send their children to the United States. It is not only illegal, it is also dangerous, putting their children's lives at risk."
He adds, "However, we need to ask, 'Why do these parents feel the need to send their children to the [U.S.]?' …We must understand that in many Latin American countries violence is rampant and governments are corrupt. Too often, parents cannot find sufficient work, and there is not enough food to feed their children…Parents are desperate for a better future for their children."
Any of us can understand that. And this humanitarian crisis gives a great opportunity for the church to help these people caught in the middle, and many churches are helping.
But that doesn't mean that encouraging dangerous illegal immigration is morally the right thing for the president to do---allowing all this suffering and upheaval---just to achieve a political goal. As a friend of mine put it, "Lawlessness is the issue here, and it's negatively affecting both the immigrants and the Border States---and ultimately all of us."