Evangelical Christians largely reject Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s hardline rhetoric on immigration. That’s the claim from two evangelical leaders in a recent op-ed at The Christian Post.
Dan Darling serves as Vice President for Communications at the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. Matthew Soerens co-authored the book Welcoming the Stranger: Justice, Compassion & Truth in the Immigration Debate. Together they claim that a plain reading of scripture calls their Christian brethren to turn from “the Darwinist rhetoric” employed by Trump and certain other Republican candidates. They write:
For Christians, no human being is a burden: each has been created with unique gifts to serve the common good. And every human soul has value to God, regardless of his or her utility to society. However, economists almost universally affirm that, on the whole, immigrants contribute significantly more to the economic wellbeing of the United States than they take out — though the economic benefits of immigration would be even greater if our laws were reformed, removing restrictions that prevent immigrants from fully thriving.
As people defined by our commitment to the authority of the Bible, Evangelical Christians cannot be reflexively anti-immigrant. After all, Jesus himself was a refugee who, with Mary and Joseph, fled the persecution of a tyrannical government to seek safety in Egypt. The people of Israel, millennia earlier, were mistreated as foreigners in Egypt, and God commanded them, after delivering them from their captivity, to remember that experience as immigrants and to welcome and protect those who came subsequently as immigrants into their land.
Darling and Soerens go on to express support for reforms which “both secure our borders and restore the rule of law by establishing a [pathway to] citizenship.”