Com­ing to Amer­ica: The im­mi­gra­tion fac­tor

The Kutztown Area Patriot - - OPINION - By Mary Can­tell

Ev­ery once in a while there are Face­book memes and com­ments posted whose pur­pose is to point a fin­ger at Chris­tians for not hav­ing more com­pas­sion to­ward for­eign­ers who wish to come to Amer­ica. Im­mi­grants have been com­ing to Amer­ica — legally — for decades; how­ever, the mind­set of the post­ings sug­gests a cart blanche im­por­ta­tion — le­gal or not.

While prior ad­min­is­tra­tions have im­posed lim­its on the im­port of im­mi­grants for what­ever plans and pur­poses were deemed nec­es­sary; i.e., Pres­i­dent Jimmy Carter’s ban specif­i­cally on Mus­lims that lasted over a year-and-a-half, the quo­tas set forth lately from the cur­rent ad­min­is­tra­tion have been met with op­po­si­tion.

While no one called Mr. Carter a racist, some today would cry, racist, bigot, hater … when Pres­i­dent Trump is­sues a ban on a few se­lect coun­tries for only a lim­ited time. Re­ally? Is this the mo­ti­va­tion for the U.S. govern­ment ... to be racist? Could there be an­other mo­tive to con­sider?

These same in­di­vid­u­als who post these Face­book memes and de­nounce presidential man­dates are the same ones who take quotes out of scrip­ture and use them as a cud­gel to beat Chris­tians over the head. Let’s con­sider Leviti­cus 19:33-34. In this verse, Moses says to Is­rael that as they were once im­mi­grants to a for­eign land, in the same way, they are to love them and not mis­treat them. Moses was ab­so­lutely in line with God’s teach­ings.

How­ever, some would use this one verse, taken out of con­text, to judge Chris­tians. These no-pre­text-no-con­text-lov­ing gospel spew­ers think they can have an “ah hah” mo­ment by the means of call­ing out Chris­tians as be­ing hyp­o­crit­i­cal for not be­ing more crit­i­cal to­ward the im­mi­gra­tion ban, al­beit tem­po­rary, from Pres­i­dent Trump.

What these peo­ple don’t take into ac­count is that the for­eign­ers Moses was re­fer­ring to in Leviti­cus had to ac­qui­esce to rules for be­ing a part of the so­ci­ety and cul­ture of the land into which they were go­ing. They were made to con­form to these as man­dated and thus made to as­sim­i­late into the Jewish cul­ture.

As for Amer­ica’s im­mi­gra­tion, time and again the sto­ries of our ancestor’s ar­rival on the shores of Up­per New York Bay’s El­lis Is­land, the for­eign­ers were look­ing for a bet­ter life and had the in­ten­tion of be­com­ing Amer­i­cans. They came here legally and Amer­ica is blessed to have them. Though, today, things are dif­fer­ent.

While I be­lieve Amer­ica is one of the most gen­er­ous and wel­com­ing places on earth, the sim­ple fact is there is a strong ten­dency for out­siders to take ad­van­tage of our sys­tem. Many come over just to earn a buck. They have no in­ten­tion of adopt­ing our lan­guage or our cul­ture. Not to men­tion the fi­nan­cial risk im­posed on Amer­i­can cit­i­zens when bulk num­bers of im­mi­grants pour into their cities … when the fi­nan­cial bur­den falls upon the tax­pay­ers who are then forced to carry the fi­nan­cial load of feed­ing, hous­ing and ed­u­cat­ing them. And as far as as­sim­i­la­tion, ask Dear­born, Michi­gan, how that in­te­gra­tion is go­ing here in Amer­ica af­ter the in­flux of thousands of Mus­lims who ad­here to Sharia law. Or Min­nesota, on how peace­ful the state has be­come since im­port­ing for­eign­ers.

As a Chris­tian, I am ab­so­lutely obliged to kindly treat ALL peo­ple with com­pas­sion. Ev­ery­one should. For peo­ple with whom I come in con­tact daily, this is what I’m called to do. Yet this has lit­tle or noth­ing to do with im­mi­gra­tion and speaks to a big­ger po­lit­i­cal pic­ture where scrip­ture is be­ing used as a weapon to meet a cul­tural end.

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