Immigration Reform 2013: Faith and Economics: Why Christians Should Support Immigration Reform by Peter Crabb
By Peter Crabb, Evangelical Immigration Table On November 18, 2013
Dr. Russell Moore speaking at an Evangelical Immigration Table press conference, Washington, D.C., July 24, 2013.
In Luke Chapter 10 Jesus confirms the Law-we must love the Lord with all our heart, soul, and strength and love our neighbors as ourselves. He goes on to show that even strangers are our neighbors. We learn here and in other parts of the Bible that we must show love to immigrants whether or not they serve our economic interests. Fortunately, immigration reform is not a situation where our Christian faith must trump our economic incentives. Immigration, both authorized and unauthorized, has economic benefits for all. Economists often disagree, but on the subject of immigration reform there is a strong consensus over both the theory and evidence. Reform of the United States' current immigration policy can be done in a way that respects the God-given dignity of every person, protects families, and ensures no loss to taxpayers.
In Deuteronomy chapter 10 God gives specific instructions for how we are to treat foreigners living among us. We are to not only love them, but provide food and clothing. Why did he make such a demand of the Israelites? Because they too were once strangers in a land. In Matthew chapter 25 Jesus commands us to invite strangers in, feeding them and ministering to their physical needs. Immigration is a policy debate where both our faith and economic knowledge line up. The U.S. has a strong heritage of welcoming immigrants, and much of our economic success can be attributed the skills, creative ideas, and work ethic immigrants brought with them.
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Peter R. Crabb is Professor of Finance and Economics at Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa, Idaho. He holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Oregon and an MBA in Finance from the University of Colorado. His research in economics and finance is published in the Journal of Business, the Journal of Microfinance, and the International Review of Economics and Finance, among others.
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.