Immigration: Fairness or Grace?

By Julie Roys


Americans value fairness. After all, our nation began when colonists objected to taxes they deemed unfair. So, it’s no wonder that Americans today object to illegal immigrants receiving social services at legal taxpayers’ expense. That’s simply not fair.

At the same time, as Christians, fairness is not necessarily an ideal to which we aspire. After all, God’s granted us amnesty, so to speak – and reprieve from deportation to a dreadful eternal destination. Plus, as American Christians, we’ve been blessed materially far beyond what’s fair. While 80-percent of the world lives on less than ten dollars a day, we enjoy one of the highest per-capita incomes in the world. Jesus said to whom much is given, much is required.

Still, this is no small nor easy issue. According to a 2010 study by the Federation for American Immigration Reform, illegal immigrants cost the average American household about 11-hundred dollars annually. And, considering that the U.S. is experiencing a recession, perhaps putting some limits on American generosity is reasonable. After all, we must consider our own citizens too.

Hardliners advocate deportation. Yet, not only does this lack compassion, it’s simply impractical. According to a study by a UCLA professor, deporting 11-million illegal aliens would cost the U.S. a whopping 2.6 trillion dollars over 10 years. However, this same study shows that offering illegal residents a path to legal residence, while securing our borders, would add 1.5 trillion dollars to the U.S. Gross Domestic Product. This strategy also would increase tax revenues.

True, offering legal residence to those who entered the U.S. illegally may not necessarily be fair. And, perhaps, these immigrants should pay a penalty for for violating the law and taking advantage of American taxpayers. Yet, we Americans, especially believers, must remember how much we’ve been given – and forgiven – and must extend grace.

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2 thoughts on “Immigration: Fairness or Grace?”

  1. God’s “amnesty” for is contingent upon our “following His law”.
    Several years ago I heard rep. Bob Dornen of Cal. suggest that one of the best ways to help our immigration problem in particular from Mexico was to help the people of Mexico find a way to build Mexico into a place they wouldn’t have to feel as though they need to “deport” themselves from in the first place.
    Beyond that, for those who have come here illegally, there should be some sort of way to help them stay and assimilate; contingent upon “repentance”. Many who are here have no real intent to seek legal status-not all, but many. those who do wish to become legal must suffer through the “process”, but they do it.
    It is a blessing to have a place people can go to find that beacon of hope where freedom still rings, but freedom requires a moral code, which we call laws.

  2. Steve, you pointed out one often forgotten leg ofthe solutions: economic development in te poor countries, to take away the situations that would drive people to choose to break a law. What you pointed out is most likely the reason why we never talk about the problem of undocumented Canadian immigrants.

    Conservatives ar emade up of Social, Economic and law & order. Julie pointed out the economic realities that would make sense (why take mony away from citizen taxpayers for a broken government system, when we can reform it, and have people WILLINGLY pay fines and fees to help pay for a working system?). And social conservatives like the Southern Baptists & other evangelicals have debate, prayed & voted on positions that seem to avor thing slike the DREAM Act and fines (NOT amnesty).

    I hope there can be positive change soon!

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