Summary: Today we have no issue that is more sensitive and do we hear more debate than immigration. While we all have opinions on this issue the only opinion that should really concern us as believers is to discover the truth and direction from God’s word for our
“ON STAR” GUIDANCE SYSTEM– Part Two
Immigration: The Real Issue of Boundaries and Borders
Deuteronomy 10:16-22 - ©Dr. Larry L. Thompson
60 years ago, after the PT 109 boat was destroyed and the 11 survivors swam to a nearby island, a young JFK walked back out into shark infested waters with a battery-powered strobe to try to signal for help and to rescue a fellow soldier.
As we lift the strobe light of God’s Word today, this sermon ventures out into some shark infested waters; today we will continue our “ON STAR” series by addressing an issue that seems to make national news on a daily occurrence. Today we seek biblical direction on the issue of Immigration. Open your Bibles to our key text today: Deut. 10:16-22 – We will read this text shortly:
1. CLARIFYING IMMIGRATION (Deut. 10:16-19)
We understand immigration is one of the most difficult issues in our nation today; however, we must first establish the premise and remind ourselves that America is an Immigrant Nation! We are a nation of immigrants just as God reminded Israel that too were immigrants in Egypt.
“Circumcise your hearts, therefore, and do not be stiff-necked any longer. 17 For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. 18 He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the alien, giving him food and clothing. 19 And you are to love those who are aliens, for you yourselves were aliens in Egypt.” Deut. 10:16-19
The arguments regarding immigration today seem to obscure rather than clarify the issue of this very difficult question. For instance; it is important to clarify the definition of terms that I will use in this morning’s ON-STAR message.
Immigration: An individual who enters and settles in a country or region to which they are not native. The United States admits between 700,000 and 900,000 legal immigrants each year.
Illegal Immigration: An individual moving to or settling in another country or region, temporarily or permanently without the government’s authority or without legal documents permitting the individual to settle in that country. There are 12 million illegal immigrants in America today and that number is growing by 500,000 annually.
The real issue that is confronting our President and our Congress is the issue of illegal immigration and the potential impact this has on our nation. The National Research Council has estimated that the net fiscal cost of immigration in the United States ranges from $11 billion to $22 billion per year.
In less than 50 years, the U.S. Census Bureau projects that immigration will cause the population of the United States to increase from its present 288 million to more than 400 million. Immigration accounts for virtually all of the national increase in public school enrollment over the last two decades. In 2005, there were 10.3 million school age children from immigrant families in the United States.
The issue of illegal immigration really begin to be a major political issue following the 9/11 terrorist attack on America. Suddenly, immigration that was once considered almost an “open border policy,” was now given immediate attention by our government. All of the 9/11 highjackers were considered illegal and according to our immigration laws would have been denied visas.
Center for Immigration Studies Director of Research, Dr. Steven Camarota explains that: “Because every part of our immigration system has been exploited by terrorists, we cannot reform just one area, but must address the problems that exist throughout. The solution is not to single out Middle Easterners for exclusion or selective enforcement. Instead we need to more carefully check the backgrounds of all visa applicants, better police the borders, strictly enforce the law within the country, and, most importantly, reduce the level of immigration to give government agencies the breathing space necessary to implement fundamental reforms.”
For the first time in our nation’s history, politicians and leaders throughout America and coming to grips with a basic question: “How do we continue to be a land that opens our arms to those who are looking for freedom and opportunity and yet at the same time be protective to those whose only goal is to disrupt and destroy the America that was birthed by our founding fathers?”
Allow me to show you why this issue is so very difficult and why there no consensus regarding immigration in spite of continued political dialogue through the year. We have always prided ourselves on the slogan found on the Statue of Liberty welcoming immigrants from all over the world: "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"