Thoughts on Immigration Discussion

“When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were once foreigners.”

(Leviticus 19:33-34)


One pastor cited this Leviticus quote regarding how we are to treat immigrants.  My thoughts are this:

“Resides among you in your land,” implies peaceful co-existence and a certain amount of adaptation to the adopted country. Repeatedly in Scripture foreigners who chose to live among God’s people were expected to follow the same rules- i.e. observing Passover, observing Sabbath, etc. When they did, they were to be treated as native-born, with all the rights and privileges.  Reminding us that we were “once foreigners, too” implies that, as foreigners, we have also been assimilated and are part of the citizenry now.

When some immigrants are coming and disregarding our culture- not following the immigration laws and other laws, are doing harm to our nation and its people, and bringing ideology that seeks to destroy our nation and our faith, there is a need for some discernment and examination of the attitude about immigration, processes, and protections.

The Bible does tell us to welcome and assimilate foreigners. Those who come with motives other than to reside peacefully should, however, be appropriately identified and restricted.

Jesus also said to give to Caesar what is Caesar’s…..keep the law, pray for leadership, dwell at peace.

Even the Jews were told to live at peace and go about their lives as a good example while in exile in Babylon.   There do seem to be some qualifiers for foreigners who choose to live among citizens of other nations as well as the direction to be hospitable on the part of the native-born.