Turning Away Immigrants Is Neither Unconstitutional Nor Immoral

BY Herschel Smith
3 years, 12 months ago

Donald Sensing, via WRSA:

Title 8, Section 1182 of the U.S. Code provides in relevant part:

Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.

Bryan Fischer adds the following very informative analysis.

The Constitution gives Congress unilateral authority over the issue of immigration and citizenship in Article I, Section 8: “The Congress shall have Power … to establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization.” In Article I, Section 9 we find that until 1808 the individual States had authority to decide which persons were “proper to admit.” After 1808, deciding who was eligible for immigration into the United States was the exclusive province of the central government. Congress has unilateral authority to decide who it is “proper to admit” to the United States, and there are no limitations on that authority.

There is no constitutional right, of course, to immigrate to the United States. It is a privilege, not a right. And we the people have given to Congress authority to set parameters for immigration for our protection, our cultural unity, and our national security.

This is all well and good, but Bryan gets to the real meat of the issue when he addresses the Biblical data.

For those of us who are evangelicals, there is a second question, which is of greater importance than the first. We not only want to know if an immigration ban is constitutional, we want to know if it is biblical. Did God himself ever impose such an immigration ban?

The answer is yes.  With the fledgling nation on the edge of the Promised Land, God instituted a permanent ban (“forever”) on immigration into Israel from two nations, Ammon and Moab.

“No Ammonite or Moabite may enter the assembly of the LORD. Even to the tenth generation, none of them may enter the assembly of the LORD forever.” ~ Deut. 23:3 (ESV)

This was not an arbitrary ban. It was not imposed on either the nations of Edom or Egypt, as Deut. 23:7 makes clear. There were good common sense reasons for God’s ban on the Ammonites and Moabites. “They did not meet you with bread and with water on the way, when you came out of Egypt … and they hired against you Balaam the son of Beor … to curse you” (Deut. 23:4).

Ammonites and Moabites were not allowed to immigrate because of their historic animosity toward the people of God and their commitment to weaken them and defeat them. Where such conditions exist today, a similar ban on foreign immigration would have biblical precedent.

Now obviously exceptions could be made and were made on a limited basis. Ruth, for instance, was allowed to immigrate into Israel from Moab. Ruth rejected the ancient hostility of her people toward Israel and embraced its culture and its God. “Your people shall be my people, and your God my God” (Ruth 1:17). In other words, she happily assimilated in every way, included in religious matters, to her newly adopted nation.

She was not only welcomed, but found a place in the line of descent that led to the birth of the Savior of the world.

The bottom line: a ban on immigration from nations which have demonstrated abiding hostility toward the United States is both constitutionally and biblically permissible.

This is effective medicine.  Usually when so-called Christians talk about immigration, they wax emotional on the need for us to care for people.  State policy and security are the last thing on their minds when they say things like that.

I often hear Leviticus 19:34 cited – “The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt; I am the LORD your God,” (NASB).  Folks often do this to shame Christians into accepting open borders.

But as the Biblical data above shows, shaming people isn’t on the list of seminary-approved Biblical hermeneutical techniques.  One way to tell that the emotional Christian isn’t thinking through this issue is that she latches onto the problem of the moment, rather than seeing the broader implications of her position.  For example, she may want to take in Syrian immigrants, but she doesn’t give poor Chinese equal numbers, of Kenyans, or Ethiopians (who are more likely to be Christian), or the poor in Bangladesh.

The U.S. can’t take in everyone, and the logical end of the emotional position that wants to take them in is not only the destruction of what wealth remains within family structure in America, it is the destruction of the social, cultural and religious heritage of the country.  There isn’t enough wealth to go around – there isn’t even enough wealth to pay our own bills.  The root problem here is that the Church has no business declaring state policy concerning immigration.  The province of the church is the administration of grace, while the province of the state is the administration of justice.  Confusing the two means the state is involved in redistribution of wealth, and the Church is trying to influence policy concerning national security.

Each of these institutions should mind their own business, and in the case of the state, that means the country’s policy has no business considering graciousness, kindness or love when it comes to immigration.  As Clint Eastwood said, “A man’s got to know his limitations.”


Comments

  1. On December 10, 2015 at 9:52 am, Tommy Attaway said:

    That is a mis reading of Article I Section 9. After 1808 Congress has the authority to limit who the states to admit, not the power to force states to admit such persons as the states may think proper. And while I’m there, one state does not have to admit a person admitted by another state.

    William Rawle in his book on the Constitution was clear on this. As a PA rep who voted for the Constitution, presumably he knew what he was voting for.

  2. On December 10, 2015 at 10:01 am, Fred said:

    There is no higher crime among men by our constitution.

    Article III Section. 3. U.S Constitution-
    Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court. The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.

    When someone declares war and to seek your end then war is declared whether we seek it as well or not. We are at war. It’s the “adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort” part that is in fact treason by the executive branch. If supporting IS is already treason then importing them to kill us, rape our woman, change or children’s way of life, and destroy our property is what?

  3. On December 10, 2015 at 6:43 pm, Archer said:

    When someone declares war and to seek your end then war is declared whether we seek it as well or not. We are at war.

    Or, as someone else pointed out (and I’m paraphrasing): Peace requires two willing parties. War only needs one.

  4. On December 10, 2015 at 10:06 am, Mike said:

    I still don’t understand the
    scenario:

    -Trump–a USA citizen speaking freely about an opinion with no power to enforce
    and he’s demonized.

    -Obama-Has
    power to enforce and is ACTUALLY implementing what Trump proposes by banning a
    religious group of Syrian CHRISTIAN refugees and the media is silent, why? Not
    only is Obama banning, but he’s deporting them—-crickets!

  5. On December 10, 2015 at 6:59 pm, Archer said:

    It’s quite simple, really. You’re expecting the media to report both points of view equally and objectively, but the media are no longer objective; they’re shills for the Democrat/Socialist/”Progressive” party.

    As such, Trump, running as an eee-ville Republican, has his every word scrutinized, taken out of context, misquoted, and demonized. Obama, on the other hand, has their endless support, blessings, and cover.

    What’s not to understand?

  6. On December 10, 2015 at 11:56 am, Pat Hines said:

    The 1952 Act did give power to the executive to block any and all immigrants he decided were wrong for the US.

    https://history.state.gov/milestones/1945-1952/immigration-act

  7. On December 10, 2015 at 8:57 pm, Billy Mullins said:

    Herschel, Muslims coming here are not “immigrants” they are COLONISTS! Immigrants are eager to learn the ways of their adopted home, to integrate and perhaps assimilate — which does not require relinquishing their heritage or forgetting their roots. Colonists, by contrast, bring their culture with them and live under their own laws. Their loyalties lie elsewhere. I am convinced that the Muslims coming are no more “immigrants” than the Europeans who came to settle the new world. If we don’t put the quietus to this influx of Islamists, we are going to find ourselves FAR WORSE OFF than the indigenes of the Americas who survived the coming of the Europeans.

  8. On December 11, 2015 at 3:29 pm, Archer said:

    No, not “colonists”.

    Colonists are willing to live alongside the indigenous people, or at worst, relocate them. If the Muslims coming to America would set up their own communities and stay within them, then they’d be “colonists”.

    But they don’t. They venture outside their communities, influence the American government, and try to change the rules to their liking, for EVERYONE.

    Ergo, they’re not colonists, they’re INVADERS.

    At the risk of running afoul of Godwin’s Law, the Nazis didn’t send troops into France in order to set up German communities that would keep to themselves. No, they sent troops into France in order to destroy it and seize control of the nation. Which of these two scenarios sounds most like the Muslim “immigrants”? Or, for that matter, the Mexican illegals?

    Just my $0.02.

  9. On December 11, 2015 at 8:29 pm, Billy Mullins said:

    So the folks at Jamestown or Massachusetts Bay or Plymouth COLONY were not “Colonists” but “Invaders”? From everything I can find invasion – by humans as opposed to more civilized creatures – involves military military actions to conquer the indigenes of the area invaded. The Spanish and Portuguese did precisely that. The English, French and Dutch who came here as colonists, not invaders. (Of course the descendants of the indigenes who were here then might well disagree with me on that.) My thesis is that Muslims are coming here today for the purpose of colonizing the U.S. They are every bit as much colonists as the Europeans who came here in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. I repeat my warning. Remember how “well” that turned out for the indigenes of North America.

    BTW, the Muslims immigrating here are participating in hijrah. Because hijra is a form of jehad, it is, in a sense, warfare. But is not warfare by means of military activity. It is stealth warfare without military activity. To emigrate in the cause of Allah – that is, to move to a new land in order to bring Islam there, is considered in Islam to be a highly meritorious act. These colonists are storing up treasures for themselves in the Muslim version of heaven.

    (Sidebar question: If a martyred male jehadi gets 72 virgins, what does a martyred FEMALE jehadi get? Inquiring minds want to know.) ;)

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This article is filed under the category(s) Immigration and was published December 10th, 2015 by Herschel Smith.

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