They say politics makes strange bedfellows. USA Today recently ran an opinion column by Dan Darling, the Vice President for Communications at the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. Mr. Darling’s column illustrates just how strange immigration politics is getting.
He posits, “Imagine if immigration activists stood up for the unborn and pro-lifers stood up for Dreamers. Perhaps this could spark a new human dignity movement.” Thus, he casts both immigration and abortion as issues of human dignity. However, while Darling makes his moral stance on abortion very clear, he never furnishes any moral justification for excusing the mass violation of our immigration laws. That’s because there isn’t any.
His asserts, “If we are truly pro-life, we should care about what happens to the child whose immigration status is imperiled and is in danger of being separated from family and community.” But that’s just illogical drivel. Deporting illegal aliens simply means returning them to the country of their birth, where they are citizens. So how exactly does turning a blind eye to blatant violations of the Immigration and Nationality Act prove that one is “truly pro-life”?
If anyone is responsible for illegal aliens being separated from family and community, it’s the illegal aliens themselves. Strangely, though commentators like Mr. Darling never question their decision to leave behind family and community in their country of birth. Apparently, in Mr. Darling’s world, the desire to live in the United States is all that counts. There is no obligation to seek the American dream through lawful means.
And anyone who understands immigration law knows that the “status” of the recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) has not been “imperiled.” They were given a temporary reprieve from deportation, not permanent residence. Even the Obama administration acknowledged that DACA was not a permanent amnesty.
The clock has run on that temporary reprieve. And it is time for those approved for DACA to acknowledge that they are now facing removal only because their parents made a conscious – and legally culpable choice – to cut the immigration line and enter the United States as uninvited guests. Claiming that the United States has a moral obligation to reward such illegal behavior is patently offensive.
The fact that the representative of an ethics-centered organization, like Mr. Darling, can’t see this is baffling. What’s even more puzzling is how he could rationally arrive at a skewed interpretation of Christian doctrine that seeks to absolve trespassing illegal aliens of all moral and legal responsibility for having chosen to violate the immigration laws of the United States.
It seems that Mr. Darling has forgotten the Biblical injunction found in St. Paul’s Epistle to the Romans 13:3, “Do you want to be unafraid of the one in authority? Then do what is right, and you will have his approval.” When it comes to immigration, Mr. Darling (and religiously-minded illegal aliens) might do well to take St. Paul’s advice.
Selective obedience to the civil law simply turns the religious institutions that should serve as our moral guideposts into advocates for lawlessness. And we should all rue the ethical confusion that will inevitably result when churches and political advocacy groups wind up in bed together on the immigration issue.