Why conservative Christian theology prohibits deporting Dreamers

Dear Joel,

There are a million reasons why deporting young adults who entered the US as children without proper documentation is a terrible idea. It sends people into the shadows of society. It’s going to cost a ton, both in terms of the cost of deporting and the loss of these people to the US. It wastes the talents of some of America’s best people. It’s cruel. It’s racist (of course–this is why it exists at all).

But here is another reason:

If you think that the parents of these young people committed a crime by bringing them here (and you aren’t connecting undocumented immigration with US foreign policy or an economic system that relies upon undocumented labor), you are punishing those children for the crimes of their parents.

If you are a conservative Christian, you should support undocumented children because Jesus was an immigrant child. And because welcoming the stranger is the story of faith. It is the most important rule ordering our relationships to other people in the entire Bible.

Image result for undocumented children

Above, Trump supporters, who probably consider themselves good Christians, hold a sign saying “Deport and Build the Wall.” The logic here is that we can punish children for their parents’ actions. You can argue that, I suppose, but it’s antithetical to Protestantism’s primary way of understanding the death of Christ. 

But, hey, if you missed that somewhere in your Christian formation, or maybe all you understand about Christianity is substitutionary atonement, perhaps this will make sense: God doesn’t punish people for the sins of their parents (It’s CENTRAL to the idea of substitutionary atonement–you stand alone before God.). And the US government doesn’t punish people for the crimes of their parents.

Rebecca

 

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