borderhopping.jpgPresident Obama reportedly plans to offer an effective amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants through executive orders and without congressional authorization in a plan he will announce today and detail on Friday.

How will church officials who backed legislative legalization respond? How should Christians react to what critics call unconstitutional and Caesarian? The Evangelical Immigration Table waged a well-funded but unsuccessful lobby campaign to persuade Congress to back mass legalization. How can Christians, particularly Evangelicals, advocate for an effective national consensus on immigration policy?

Church elites and other religious activists who back mass legalization as a Gospel imperative will be tempted to support executive amnesty. Some already have. Others should be more prudent.

Even if mass legalization were a just cause, Christian teaching always warns of unintended consequences. What if executive amnesty poisons American political life and precludes future lawful legislation on immigration? What if subsequent congressional action defunds or effectively neutralizes executive amnesty? What if the courts after prolonged litigation ultimately rule against executive amnesty? What if illegal immigrants, rather than gaining security from executive amnesty, are instead left in further limbo and become hapless pawns in national political and ultimately judicial conflict?

Shouldn’t Christian — especially church — voices argue for lawful change and, where possible, some level of sustainable national consensus rather than political brinkmanship?

Mass legalization failed in the last Congress because opponents did not trust promises of securing the border. Executive amnesty certainly will increase distrust exponentially.

Church elites and activists focused on immigration might be more helpful if they focused on creating consensus and trust, starting with their own constituencies. Such a consensus requires prioritizing security and rule of law, without which any eventual lawful legalization process becomes politically impossible.

Church bodies in the U.S. addressing immigration would do well to avoid legislative specifics and instead offer broad principles that affirm rule of law, social order, security, human dignity, and economic opportunity for all Americans.

2 comments
  1. 1 in 4 American workers are currently unemployed or underemployed. Meanwhile, 2 out of every 3 new jobs created during the Obama “recovery” went to an immigrant.

    American’s average wages have been declining against inflation for 15 continuous years! Some 50 million people are currently receiving food stamp assistance. Already tens of millions who can’t afford to live who now purchase health insurancethey cannot afford and do not want or need (mine is $450/month… contrast this to my $25/month auto insurance from Insurance Panda… or my $15/month renters insurance from Eagle… both private-enterprise!

    Most working Americans are in the midst of a MASSIVE economic crisis, yet the only thing our government wants to do is add another 20 million or more poor immigrants into the system?!

    This is insanity. Our government’s first priority should be to improve economic conditions for Americans, not accommodating ILLEGAL AILENS.

  2. This administration’s intentions we’re finding out is NOT for the benefit of this country, on the contrary, he is bound and determined to break us and bankrupt us all with his insanity. It’s been his intentions for years, some are just figuring this out. He’s been an empty suit from the very beginning, steeped in the politics of Sal Alinsky – read his playbook. It’s all there. But the low-information voters still don’t get it. Most play the race card and it’s been working so why quit now?? It’s going to get very ugly.

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