Editor’s note: This post originally appeared on Dr. M. Daniel Carroll Rodas’s personal blog. Permission was given by the author to repost.
The many issues concerning migration are global. It is natural to think that immigration presents challenges to this country, but reports from around the world underscore that the human crises generated by the movement of millions of people from their land of origin is affecting many countries.
It is not surprising that the social, economic, cultural, and security pressures that have arisen because of this migration have caused all kinds of reactions in the nations that receive these outsiders, many of them negative. Here are several links that speak to the multiple crises here and elsewhere.
We begin with the reaction in the United States to the executive action taken by President Obama in November. The response to this order had been very mixed, with some angry not so much at the measures themselves but rather at the way that this was handled politically. The differences, then, sometimes come down to partisan politics. The Pew Research Center has charted these reactions and offers a picture of the state of immigration in the United States at this moment:http://www.pewresearch.org/key-data-points/immigration/. With the poisonous climate in Washington DC, is there any hope for truly constructive reform?
The BBC has reported on two ships full of people, who were fleeing the wars in the Middle East and were trying to make to European shores. Over a thousand desperate people were doing all they could to survive… but the boats had been abandoned by their crews and were left to float adrift in the Mediterranean. Both ships were intercepted by the Italian navy. The first report is from last month, December: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-30643368; the second is from this month: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-30654198. What is Italy to do with these people?
The world also was shocked at the participation of French citizens in terrorist acts in the city of Paris a week ago. Radicalized immigrants struck at their host country.
The challenges regarding global immigration are staggering. How to sort out human need, cultural and political wars, political partisanship, genuine fear, and the rest? And, to do so as a confessing Christian? Simplistic, bullet-point answers are not enough, although, sadly, that is what the media offers to the public here and abroad. We need those who can think bigger and deeper, both in government and within the church. What will this new year bring?
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). A second edition will appear this December. He obtained his ThM from Dallas Theological Seminary and his PhD from the University of Sheffield. Read his Denver Seminary blog here.
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