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Four Alabama bishops are opposing Alabama’s new law against facilitating illegal immigration. In their litigation, they align with similar lawsuits from the Obama Administration and the American Civil Liberties Union, which apparently also dispute the rights of states to act against illegal immigration.
Even The New York Times, in an August 13 article, seemed a little surprised by the religious forces against Alabama’s new immigration law.
The 4 religious litigants are two Catholic bishops, an Episcopal bishop, and a United Methodist bishop. Perhaps their moral case would be stronger if they explained what legal efforts against illegal immigration are acceptable. But in fact, many religious opponents of immigration law enforcement oppose any meaningful restrictions on immigration. The Episcopal Church’s House of Bishops, along with the United Methodist Church’s Council of Bishops, has virtually called for unrestricted immigration as a Christian mandate.
Just as the Religious Left demands an unlimited federal Welfare and Entitlement State with a cornucopia of benefits for all U.S. persons, so they largely insist these fathomless benefits also must be open to any global person who can reach U.S. shores.
Last year, the Episcopal Church’s bishops, meeting in Arizona in implicit protest against that state’s anti-illegal immigration law, indignantly declared: “We categorically reject efforts to criminalize undocumented migrants and immigrants, and deplore the separation of families and the unnecessary incarceration of undocumented workers. Since, as we are convinced, it is natural to seek gainful employment to sustain oneself and one’s family, we cannot agree that the efforts of undocumented workers to feed and shelter their households through honest labor are criminal.”
In other words, virtually no immigration should be illegal, except for, as they grudgingly, admitted: “drug traffickers,” “terrorists,” and undefined “other criminals.” Otherwise, apparently, the doors must remain wide open at all times, as “our gracious welcome of immigrants, documented or undocumented, is a reflection of God’s grace poured out on us and on all.”
The United Methodist bishops were even more adamant, declaring in 2010 that “welcoming the sojourner is so vital to the expression of Christian faith that to engage in this form of hospitality is to participate in our own salvation.” Protestants traditionally believe in salvation by faith, but the Methodist bishops seemed to propose salvation by immigration activism, insisting “we experience redemptive liberation through relationships with migrants in our communities.” These Methodist bishops reluctantly admitted that “all nations have the right to secure their borders” while deriding U.S. border control as “militarization.” They further intoned: “The solidarity we share through Christ eliminates the boundaries and barriers which exclude and isolate.”
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