I would like to preface this by saying that I don’t usually like using the Bible to justify my political opinions. But as a Christian, it’s important to me that I can reconcile these opinions with my faith. As a conservative, this usually isn’t difficult.
There is however one area of policy that I have always questioned – immigration. A message that is repeated throughout the Bible is to show compassion to foreigners. Exodus 22:21 says “You shall not wrong a sojourner or oppress him, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt.” Leviticus 19:33 says “When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong.” These verses, and the many others like them, are often used by liberals trying to play the morality card to defend their open border, anti-ICE policies.
To understand what the Bible says about immigration, we first have to understand what it says about the rights of states to establish autonomy. In Genesis 11, we get the story of the Tower of Babel. Noah’s descendants, rather than scattering and filling the Earth as God had commanded them to do, remained together and began building a monument. When God sees what they have done, he says in Genesis 11:6-7 “Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language, and this is only the beginning of what they will do. And nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another’s speech.” And so, God scatters them throughout the Earth.
The story of The Tower of Babel shows what happens when power is concentrated. This concentration of power via a single nation world results in a shift of focus in man from the greatness of God to the greatness of himself. In building the tower, the descendants of Noah were focused on amassing their own power as a nation and so God scattered them over many nations.
Once we understand that the Bible supports autonomous states, we can look specifically at what is said regarding immigrants. Biblical law makes a clear distinction between the alien, stranger, or sojourner and the foreigner. The former is referred to as a ger in Hebrew, and the latter a nekar. The ger was granted the same rights and accommodations as a native citizen. Both the verses mentioned earlier, Exodus 22:21 and Leviticus 19:33, use the term ger. Deuteronomy 23:7 says “You shall not abhor the Edomite for he is your brother. You shall not abhor the Egyptian, because you were a sojourner in his land.” Here again, the term ger, translated as sojourner, is used because the Israelites were permitted to reside once in Egypt. They were permitted, they were not there against there against the Egyptians wishes. In fact, the Pharaoh welcomed them into Egypt.
The foreigner, or nekar, however is not afforded these same privileges. In Exodus 12, which lays out the institution of Passover, the nekar is not permitted to eat it while the ger is. Deuteronomy 23:20 says that “You may charge a foreigner interest, but you may not charge your brother interest, that the Lord your God may bless you in all that you undertake in the land that you are entering to take possession of it.” Clearly, the nekar is not regarded in the same light that a native or ger is.