June 17, 2019 | Karen Hardin
I attended a city councilor’s meeting last week. The room was packed with people on both sides of the issue regarding the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) 287(g) Program. You may find this is an issue in your city as well.
Why is this issue important? For starters, removing this program ties the hands of local area law enforcement from protecting its citizens and is the pre-cursor step in positioning a city to become a “sanctuary city.”
By definition, the program “enhances the safety and security of communities by creating partnerships with state and local law enforcement agencies to identify and remove aliens who are amenable to removal from the United States.”
This program, (287(g)), was added to the Immigration and Nationality Act in 1996, which authorizes the director of ICE to work with state and local law enforcement agencies. It did NOT happen under the Trump administration, but has been in place for almost twenty-five years.
So why is it that suddenly liberals are so outraged over it? Because it hinders their agenda.
In essence, the program allows local area law enforcement to protect the citizens of their community from illegal acts by illegal aliens, allowing them to begin the deportation process if needed.
That issue is a hot-button in our society today because we have become a society which offers unsanctified grace.
Unsanctified grace is when we offer mercy apart from holiness. It applies grace to an issue, but does not require repentance or righteousness. Unsanctified grace does no one any good, and actually causes harm by preventing real repentance. It is the open door to lawlessness.
The Bible warns us of the danger of lawlessness and how it will increase in the last days.
Because of the increase of wickedness (also translated as lawlessness), the love of most will grow cold. (Mt 24:12)
The actual Greek word for wickedness in that verse is “anomia,” which means violation of law. And yet there are many Christians today who believe that it is “unchristian” or hateful if we refuse to allow all migrants, who are pressing in at our borders, to enter or if we deport illegal immigrants who are already residents. Let’s take a closer look at this.
The vehement attacks, name-calling, and rage by people—some Christians—who are against the deportation of illegal immigrants when they break the laws of our land is confusing. I have had numerous comments on my Facebook page claiming that deporting an illegal immigrant—even those who have committed murder—is “ungodly, uncompassionate and racist.”
As American citizens, why wouldn’t we want our local officials to have, and exercise, the authority to deport illegal aliens who have committed crimes in our cities so they can protect law-abiding citizens?
As I have asked this question on social media, I have been called hateful, unchristian, and a host of names that I won’t repeat here. However, I have yet to receive an answer to the question above: Why wouldn’t we deport an illegal alien who commits a crime in our land? Why do they consider it “loving” to allow a criminal to remain in our country in violation of our law? How is that love?
In defense of illegal immigrants, Christians and non-Christians alike quote Scripture to reinforce their position and yet balk at Scripture that nullifies their position.
We must remember the Bible is consistent with itself. We can’t cherry-pick Scriptures, but must remember they all work together to reveal the Father’s heart.
Many, who in defense of illegal immigrants, cite verses such as Deuteronomy 10:18, which says, “He executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and shows His love for the alien by giving him food and clothing.”
No other country on the planet gives as much welfare assistance to other countries or those who cross into their borders. Even illegal aliens have immediate access to some forms of assistance the moment they arrive. No other country does that.
Yet while we are mandated to be kind to foreigners, the Bible never elevates them above the citizens of the nation in which they lived. Furthermore, it required that foreigners adopt the practices and laws of the land in order to “take part like one born in the land.”
Exodus 12:48, 49—A foreigner residing among you who wants to celebrate the Lord’s Passover must have all the males in his household circumcised; then he may take part like one born in the land. No uncircumcised male may eat it.
The same law applies both to the native-born and to the foreigner residing among you.
Throughout the Bible, the Lord made a distinction between His chosen people and those who didn’t honor Him. (Ex 8:23, Ex 9:4).
It also reveals that those born in the land have greater protection than the immigrant who comes into the land: From a foreigner you may exact it, but your hand shall release whatever of yours is with your brother. (Dt 15:3)
We must realize that God doesn’t change. He is a God of mercy just as much as He is a God of justice. We cannot proclaim one and ignore the other.
I believe the answer to the immigrant issue is found completely within the Bible if we will look at God’s heart. In essence, we are all “immigrants” into the Kingdom of God, but when we accept the Lord and choose His ways (and laws) through the sacrifice of His Son, then we become legal citizens.
That is called grace and requires repentance and acceptance of God’s ways.
Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. (1 Jn 3:4)
Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance? (Rom 2:4)
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. (2 Pt 3:9)
We enter God’s Kingdom in the one way He prescribes—through receiving the gift of salvation in Jesus Christ. Because of this, we receive His Kingdom and benefits. Those who refuse His Way will not inherit His Kingdom or benefits. What happened when Lucifer rebelled and would not follow the laws of Heaven? He was kicked out.
It is the model God set in place.
Let us stop offering unsanctified grace as we work to resolve this immigration issue. May we find the balance of being “kind” to foreigners, without forfeiting justice and kindness to the citizens of this land.
Karen Hardin is an intercessor, author, minister and literary agent. Her work has appeared in USA Today, World Net Daily, Crosswalk.com, Charisma, CBN.com, The Elijah List, etc. For additional information you can contact her at www.prioritypr.org or www.karenhardin.com.
Don’t miss our July First Friday Prayer Conference Call. Our special guest is Bill Wells, Mayor of El Cajon, California (not a sanctuary city.) His perspective on what the immigration crisis is doing to California is fascinating. Call (712)775-7430 (no code needed), or join us on Facebook LIVE or Zoom webcast at 1215 ET, Friday, July 5, 2019.
Share what you think about Christian perspectives on immigration. Leave a comment.