August 4, 2014

Maybe Immigration Caps are Unconstitutional, but the Bible Says…

A personal message from Perry Willis, co-founder of Downsize DC and co-creator of the Zero Aggression Project

From time to time, we hear from people who suggest we’re violating God’s law with one of our proposals. Our goal is to persuade people that initiating force against others is both immoral and bad policy. Sometimes, my partner, Jim Babka, is motivated to challenge the prevailing right-statist view to a few of his friends.

I’ve asked Jim to send you one of those brief, powerful essays. It’s printed below. In it, Jim examines the immigration issue from both a Constitutional and Biblical point of view.

Jim did NOT want to publish this essay to Chronicle subscribers. Jim is concerned that believers and nonbelievers alike will be offended. However…

I, as a non-believer, think otherwise. I think my fellow non-believers will want to see this information disseminated. Some, as I did, will see it as a useful tool to share with believing friends. I’m also confident that most Christians will be able to evaluate this material in an honest and adult way. Therefore, we are providing it to you below.

You can share your thoughts about Jim’s article, pro and con, by sending email to comments@downsizedc.org.

And, if you would like to reward this kind of communication, the contribution window is always open!

Title: Maybe Immigration Caps Are Unconstitutional, but the Bible Says…
by Jim Babka

This has happened to me several times. I’ve been told, by sincere believers, that God basically blesses borders. God provided for them and ordained this thing called The State. Therefore, objecting to our current unjust immigration laws is basically to disagree with the Bible (quite a leap!).

The latest incident comes after DownsizeDC.org published the FACT that immigration caps are unconstitutional. If you’re surprised by that argument, as most people are, read to the end, because it’s fully yet simply explained.

When it’s explained, it’s a real cognitive dissonance moment for constitutional conservatives. They pretend to believe in the Tenth Amendment, until, well… It’s no longer convenient to do so. It’s as if they believe, “Why, if the Founders had known that so many new Democratic Party voters were going to flood across the border, surely they would’ve said something more in the Constitution. We must act for them!”

How very, well, “progressive” of them.

But I think this is a teachable moment so… Back to the Biblical portion of the argument, first (thanks to Roger E. Olson for this list)…

Exodus 22:21 You shall not wrong or oppress a resident alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt.

Exodus 23:9 You shall not oppress a resident alien; you know the heart of an alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt.

Leviticus 19:33 When an alien resides with you in your land, you shall not oppress the alien.

Leviticus 23:22 When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap to the very edges of your field, or gather the gleanings of your harvest; you shall leave them for the poor and for the alien: I am the Lord your God.

Leviticus 24:22 You shall have one law for the alien and for the citizen: for I am the Lord your God.

Numbers 15:16 You and the alien who resides with you shall have the same law and the same ordinance.

Deuteronomy 1:16 I charged your judges at that time: “Give the members of your community a fair hearing, and judge rightly between one person and another, whether citizen or resident alien.

Deuteronomy 24:20-21 When you beat your olive trees, do not strip what is left; it shall be for the alien, the orphan, and the widow. When you gather the grapes of your vineyard, do not glean what is left; it shall be for the alien, the orphan, and the widow.

Deuteronomy 27:19 “Cursed be anyone who deprives the alien, the orphan, and the widow of justice.” All the people shall say, “Amen!”

Jeremiah 7:4-12 Do not trust in these deceptive words: “This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord.” For if you truly amend your ways and your doings, if you truly act justly one with another, if you do not oppress the alien, the orphan, and the widow, or shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not go after other gods to your own hurt, then I will dwell with you in this place, in the land that I gave of old to your ancestors forever and ever.

Zechariah 7:10 do not oppress the widow, the orphan, the alien, or the poor; and do not devise evil in your hearts against one another.

Malachi 3:5 Then I will draw near to you for judgment; I will be swift to bear witness against the sorcerers, against the adulterers, against those who swear falsely, against those who oppress the hired workers in their wages, the widow and the orphan, against those who thrust aside the alien, and do not fear me, says the Lord of hosts.

And by the way, we’re ALL aliens…

Psalm 39:12, Ephesians 2:12, Ephesians 2:19, 1 Peter 1:1-2, 1 Peter 2:11-12

Plus, we are to show hospitality to strangers (a command, not advice)…

Romans 12:13, Hebrews 13:2, 1 Peter 3:9

Okay, if you’ve read all the scriptures, you can see that the key question here is about justice. When I suggest that the alien should not be prohibited from crossing the border nor in coming to get a job, my examiner presumes I’m not obeying the Biblical law. Debate with the scriptures; I don’t need to speak for they are clear. But what about the Constitution?

Organized clubs have bylaws. These written rules generally state who can be a member, as well as how one becomes a member. They say who can vote, and who can serve in club offices. Well…

The United States Constitution is no different. It’s a set of bylaws for club membership. Members are called citizens. The Constitution addresses who gets to vote and who can serve in office. The process of becoming a member is called naturalization. The Constitution authorizes Congress to set rules for naturalization.

Yet the Constitution has nothing to offer on the questions of movement or lodging by human beings, nor about their ability to enter contracts. And because of this silence, we turn to the Tenth Amendment. Indeed, there is no enumerated power for “people prohibition.” And the reason it’s not there is that those activities are Pre-Constitutional Rights. That is, they are natural rights. In the modern Biblical view, these rights are given to us by our Creator long before we ever had a Constitution.

Therefore, both Biblically and Constitutionally, the case is clear, unless one really wants to engage in special pleading

Hospitality should be extended to the alien. And…

Our present, arbitrary system of making just some individual persons “illegal,” by basis of their place of birth is the very definition of un-justness.

A PERSONAL NOTE: Many readers will not like the arguments made here. This article covers only one aspect of a nuanced debate and is designed only to put one type of argument to rest. AND no issue, in modern American discourse, causes such an emotional response to the immigration question. Friends don’t always agree. But true friends tell each other truth, then they reason together over the differences. My best friends teach me things I didn’t know before. That wouldn’t be possible if I agreed with them before we spoke. Moreover, the statists would want nothing more than to drive a wedge between friends. If you agree with us most of the time, then I sincerely hope you won’t do the statists any favors by departing over this issue. We take feedback at comments@downsizedc.org.

——
Jim Babka is the Co-Creator of the Zero Aggression Project and the President of DownsizeDC.org.
Permission to quote or reprint is granted, provided all quoted sections are unmodified or intact. Please notify us where you reprinted at comments@downsizedc.org.

If your comment is off-topic for this post, please email us at feedback@downsizedc.org

comments

2 Comments

  1. Penni Bulten
    Posted December 27, 2017 at 1:58 am | Permalink

    You hit the nail on the head with this one. If the standard were actually to hold everyone to the same minimum moral requirement, (as long as you don’t threaten to or harm anyone, or take more than you can carry by hand, you are free to come and go as you please) this would be a great solution: let the land owners themselves deal with those enter their property. OTOH, if the person entering is caught harming another person, he faces real justice: whether that means paying to restore the other’s health, or if he murders someone, the obvious .

    • Jim Babka
      Posted December 27, 2017 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Penni

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