Immigration confusion
Religion & Liberty Online

Immigration confusion

There’s been a lot of talk in recent days about the question of immigration, both legal and illegal. A number of issues are involved, including questions about national security, economic concerns, and cultural values. Most recently the Minutemen have begun border patrols and are looking to extend their efforts to the northern U.S. border. You may also remember a scuffle when President Bush put forth the proposal for a guest worker program.

The Acton Institute has published two pieces that are relevant to the policy questions surrounding the question of immigration. Both are authored by Dr. Andrew M. Yuengert, the John and Francis Duggan Chair of Economics at Seaver College, Pepperdine University. Dr. Yuengert wrote Inhabiting the Land, volume number 6 in the Christian Social Thought Series. This book is a defense of the case asserting the right to migrate put forth by John Paul II. Yuengert provides an excellent economic analysis of migration that is consistent with the Christian concern for the dignity of persons.

The second item is a much shorter distillation based on the longer CSTS monograph. “The Stranger who Sojourns with You: Toward a Moral Immigration Policy,” the Winter 2004 issue of Policyforum is freely available online.

Here’s an excerpt:

A significant consequence of international solidarity is the recognition of the rights of immigrants not as a trade-off of the host country’s common good for the benefits of migrants but, rather, as a requirement for the full development of the host nations society. Indeed, the full development of any social group, including a nation, requires that it be properly oriented toward the common good of the larger society of which it is a part. The human person needs community in virtue of his social nature, and this need will orient him toward the common good in order to contribute to the preservation of his community.

Jordan J. Ballor

Jordan J. Ballor (Dr. theol., University of Zurich; Ph.D., Calvin Theological Seminary) is director of research at the Center for Religion, Culture & Democracy, an initiative of the First Liberty Institute. He has previously held research positions at the Acton Institute and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, and has authored multiple books, including a forthcoming introduction to the public theology of Abraham Kuyper. Working with Lexham Press, he served as a general editor for the 12 volume Abraham Kuyper Collected Works in Public Theology series, and his research can be found in publications including Journal of Markets & Morality, Journal of Religion, Scottish Journal of Theology, Reformation & Renaissance Review, Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Faith & Economics, and Calvin Theological Journal. He is also associate director of the Junius Institute for Digital Reformation Research at Calvin Theological Seminary and the Henry Institute for the Study of Christianity & Politics at Calvin University.