Danny Carroll: 'Immigration Reform: Can the Bible Help Us?'

By Danny Carroll On November 23, 2013

(Photo : Latinos Post/Selena Hill)

The "March for Immigrant Dignity and Respect" in Brooklyn, NY on Oct. 5, 2013.

As discussions in Congress about immigration reform heat up, Christians should step back and ask how the Bible might inform their own view on immigration. Could the Bible have something to contribute to the national debate about changing immigration law?

Where do we begin the discussion? For many people, the place to begin is Romans 13. This is a very important passage, but it will be dealt with in another study. Here we start with a fundamental question that should guide the evaluation of any law: What kind of values do we want to be reflected in the laws of our country?

To answer that question we turn to Genesis chapter one. There we are told that human beings are made in the image of God. This means that each person has infinite value in God's sight and that each human being has tremendous potential. This truth reminds us that any discussion about immigration ultimately is about people.

We need to ask: Do our immigration laws honor the worth of immigrants as human beings? And, do our laws facilitate the realization of their great potential for this country? To look at legislation from this perspective gives the discussion a constructive direction. Laws will focus on respect and on facilitating their contribution to society (such as at the workplace and in education).



M. Daniel Carroll R. (Rodas) is distinguished professor of Old Testament at Denver Seminary and the national spokesperson on immigration for the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference. He is the author of Christians at the Border: Immigration, the Church, and the Bible (Baker Academic, 2008). He has a ThM from Dallas Theological Seminary and his PhD from the University of Sheffield.

This and other Evangelical Perspectives on Immigration represent one evangelical perspective on immigration-that of the author-and not necessarily the views of every member organization of the Evangelical Immigration Table or every signatory of the Evangelical Statement of Principles for Immigration Reform. 


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