Blessed Are The Illegal Immigrants...

"Blessed are they that are illegal, pushed down, and treated as inferior for they will one day be leaders, own property and see their children's children be treated equally." What would Jesus say to this downtrodden group in our day? As I thought through the Sermon on the Mount and the tremendous political implications of what he was saying in his day, and really highlighted the way immigrants, especially illegal immigrants, are treated in our country.
In preaching this past Sunday, I found myself in the wonderful text of Exodus 2-3. The parallels between the illegal immigrant cultures in this country and the Israelites in Egypt are immense. The Egyptian economy put the children of Israel at the bottom of the social rung making them do the jobs no one else would do. However, when Moses tried to free them, Pharoah would have nothing to do with it because he knew his economy depended upon the cheap labor of these Israelites. This seems to be the same issue facing us in our day. And often, it is those who follow this "Christianity USA" that endorse such ideas about immigrants in our country. Some want them to be deported and the rules to become more strict. Others don't want the immigrants deported and want to open up the borders because our economy depends upon cheap labor, especially in our world of outsourching.
Into this fray enters the gospel and the Biblical text. God hears the cries of these downtrodden people (who often cried to Moses saying "We would have been better off in Egypt." They did not know that God had better plans for them!). Why can we not treat these groups with dignity, pay them a good and fair wage, and extend the kingdom of God instead of choosing between these two equally horrible dichotomies of thought? Perhaps God would not have needed to take Israel out of Egypt if the Egyptians had been treating the Israelites with respect, dignity, and equality.


  1. In a world full of illegal immigration and terrorism, I cannot agree with those who want to have open borders for any and all to come to the U.S.

    I have absolutely no problem with people wanting to come to the U.S. for new opportunities and a better life. As long as they do it legally. Illegal aliens are federal criminals who should be prosecuted as such. They are undocumented individuals of whom we know nothing about.

    Today, we cannot permit this sort of openness. The world is much more dangerous than we gave it credit for 5 years ago. If an immigrant wants to come to the U.S., please do it illegally and do not become criminals just to come to the U.S.

    Our economy can survive just fine without illegal immigrants (contrary to typical liberal beliefs).

  2. Yeah, you are right. I do disagree. First off, I'm betting that most of the terrorists that are causing trouble in our country (if you can actually point them out to me) ARE here legally. Renting vans and stuff is easier with proper and legal ID. Secondly, I don't know that treating immigrants "...with dignity, [and] pay[ing] them a good and fair wage..." means "open borders for any and all." Is there no room for a workable tracking plan that helps immigration work smoothly, rather than sending it under cover of night into locked 18 wheelers? Lastly, you can also bet that if a decent wage were offered, along with a humane working condition, there would be more competition for the jobs available, and supply and demand might help the whole situation even itself out.

    Yeah, I think we're walking like Egyptians.

  3. ken your wrong about the economy surviving without illeagal aliens. and thats not just a liberal view. go out and ask any farmer. their conserative for the most part and for the most part they recognize that the agriculture econ. of this state would collapse with out the migrant work force that has its share of illeagal workers. also go ask victor hansen, who has an open invitation to the george bush white house for christmas parties and is a favorite of dick channey. he'll tell you the same thing. or you could just read mexifornia. and trust me hansen is not a liberal.
    and justin welcome to the world of liberation theology. enjoy your stay

  4. I do not believe at all that the economy would collapse. Change yes...but collaspe no. But the economy changes on all sorts of things. Look at the rising costs of produce just based upon raising fuel prices. If wages increased, the agriculture market would change too. I don't doubt that.

    Open borders and illegal immigration has been a problem in the U.S. (particularly California) for a long time. Something must be done about it. I do believe that the U.S. is a land of immigrants, but people who do so legally.

    Just like if I was to go to another nation for a visit or extended stay, I need to follow the legal processes to do so. I do not just go there, set up camp, and expect them to start doing things for me when I am there illegally. Just as I must follow the law, other must do so too.

    If you believe the law to be immoral or unjust, make efforts to change the law. But until it is changed, it will go enforced.

  5. Wow, this post received a much different response than I would have considered. Frankly I am shocked by how much disdain Christians would have for sharing the overabundance of wealth our country used to have until Bush went spend-crazy. If we weren't fighting 40 wars, we would have still our 432 billion dollar surplus, and I would give to at least two groups of people more than religiously. Mexicans and Canadians are illegal for one reason alone: a man drew a line in the sand and said "this is ours, thats yours." As far as the Mexicans go, it was far worse than what happened to the Indians, and continues to this day when talks of citizenship for Mexicans become beligerent.

    My very best friend preaches each Sunday to a Hispanic congregation, he himself has parents that crossed the border, and in his congregation there sits people who "break the law" every day. This law they break, why is it there? Is it to "protect and serve?" I don't believe so. Mexicans, up until the last 5 years have sat in a country ruled by drugs, and corrupted government, fearing for their family and their way of life. I would hope that the US citizens would understand this, and understand that the only thing that makes them "Mexican" and us "AMERICAN" is a line drawn by a man, not by God.

    I am not speaking of intercontinental aliens (Arabs, the French, etc.), but if God put them on the same rock as us, who are we to decide which side of the rock they get, dilapidated, horrible, and which side of the rock we get, lush and beautiful.

  6. The more we come to the reality that we are " all " aliens, that this planet that we want cut up and divide with borders...that separate wealth and poverty, the haves and the have nots, colour, race and religion...is really a global village. That my neighbour is a mexican, an african, a russian, a japanese...a muslim, a christian, a budhist...will I love that neighbour as much as I love myself. Suddenly borders and lines disappear...there are no illegal immigrants.

  7. Jaded CM, et al. who would oppose illegal immigrants/immigration -

    I wonder if you have considered your own history of immigration. Would you, from where you sit today as a privileged likely middle-class American Christian with all the power and freedom that you could ask for, wish that your ancestors be prosecuted on account of their "illegal" acquisition of the American West? Probably not. I mean, if you did, where would you be? Most of us accept the birth of our nation as one of Manifest Destiny, or progress, or civilized colonization or something to that effect. Likely justified. But to go to that extreme, to prosecute, to demand reparations, is preposterous in most American minds. But what the Native people of this place (North America) say if honestly asked?

    And how about this for irony. Most of the "illegal" immigrants coming up from Mexico are Oaxacan people - and within that most are Trique, Mixtec, or some Puebla Indigena. So my question for you Jaded CM is, isn't this so called "illegal immigration" a sort of leveling of the imperialist playing field - a sort of poetic justice flying in the face of your comfort and freedom?

    I too think you have missed Fresh Dirt's point. He was arguing based on a CLEAR Christian ethic that we act as hosts to and lovers of these strangers and aliens. We are called by Christ to be ambassadors, to embrace the stranger, to welcome in the “other.” To simply call them illegal and cut the issue along clear black and white lines like you have is shortsighted and perhaps a bit blind to God's Kingdom work here on Earth.

    Last thing. I have worked with migrant farm workers in the Northwest for several years, with a ministry called Tierra Nueva. The founder/director of that ministry has recently written a book that might help us in our ministry to these particular "others" - it is called "Reading The Bible With The Damned", by Bob Ekblad.