Like many other states, particularly in the South, North Carolina has recently been considering legislation that would seek to push undocumented immigrants out of the state. Today’s guest blogger, John Faison, shared these words at a news conference before the House Committee considering enacting this legislation in North Carolina:
Good morning, I am John Faison, a husband, father, community leader, Christian, and a voter. I am grateful for this opportunity to speak out about the North Carolina’s role on immigration. I have listened at each of the sub committee’s hearings as government, business and private citizens expressed their views on the impact of immigration in our state and lives. We heard about its economic and social impact on our state. Opponent and proponents have presented data to support their positions, but what is missing from this debate is: what does God think? I know that some may scoff and say this perspective does not belong in the public sphere, but a majority of North Carolinians report that religion plays a “very important” role in their lives. Our state constitution recognizes “Almighty God, the Sovereign Ruler.”
Beyond the many characters in the narrative of the Bible who were themselves immigrants, God also repeatedly commands His people to love and seek justice for immigrants. Beyond its direct commands, the Bible teaches us that each of us was made in the image of God. As we consider how we as a state should respond to immigrants it is incumbent upon us to recognize that, as image bearers, immigrants have certain dignity and rights regardless of their national origin, race, or legal status. Secondly, from the very foundation of creation, the Bible teaches that the family is the basic social unit of society. I’m convinced that how we respond to immigrants is an issue of Christian discipline. We need our leaders to recognize our own government’s complicity in creating a morally hazardous, dysfunctional system and seek to implement laws that recognize the basic dignity of each person as an image bearer, elevating the family above utilitarian, societal concerns.
It is clear that the immigration process is in dire need of reform. It is the role of the federal government to regulate migration and to defend its borders and laws. We need comprehensive reform on the federal level; we need to demand that our representatives in Washington, DC address this issue, since the States do not have this authority to do so. A patchwork of laws within our state that lack the proper authority cannot adequately and morally address this federal issue. Just as individual citizens must submit to the authority of the State in certain areas of life, the States must submit to the Federal government in regards to immigration.
I believe that we in North Carolina must not follow the path of several other states that have enacted immoral, unjust laws that lack the proper legal authority. As a State we want our response to immigration to be one that is rooted in the proper authority, is just, and is not a knee jerk reaction that demonstrates attitudes that resemble racist overtones of our not too distant past. We in North Carolina want to move ahead together under the primary authority that our constitution defines as “Almighty God the Sovereign Ruler,” and be submissive to the proper authority in the area of immigration which is the Federal Government. We want the governance of our people to recognize the rights that each of us has an image bearer of God, who also commands us to welcome the foreigner.
John Faison is the CEO of Centro Internacional de Raleigh in North Carolina. He is a graduate of Bob Jones University and of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Please note that the views expressed do not necessarily represent those of everyone associated with G92 or any institutions with which the blogger may be affiliated.
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