Rep. Lamar Smith
Rep. Lamar Smith


Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee issued a response on Wednesday to the Immigration Subcommittee's hearing on the Ethical Imperative for Reform of our Immigration System. Members from the subcommittee listened to testimony from mostly pro-Amnesty religious leaders.

A recent Zogby survey reinforced what many of us already know: Americans, including the religious faithful, want America's immigration laws enforced. According to the study of likely voters, 54 percent of Catholics, 61 percent of Protestants and 65 percent of born-again Christians support attrition of illegal immigration through enforcement.

I suspect we will hear today that it is somehow immoral or unethical to enforce our nation’s laws, and that, in fact, we should ignore our laws. For those who want to take this approach, there is just one problem: the Bible contains numerous passages that support the rule of law.

The Scriptures clearly indicate that God charges civil authorities with preserving order, protecting citizens and punishing wrongdoers.

A prime passage is Romans 13:1-7: ‘Let every person be subject to governing authorities.’ Of this passage, the late Father Patrick J. Bascio wrote in his book On the Immorality of Illegal Immigration: ‘Clearly, this is advice to Christians to follow the laws of their nation and to respect the laws of other nations… Although Christianity encourages acts of charity, we cannot be both charitable and law breakers.’

Now, consider Leviticus 19:33-34, ‘When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong.’ Some claim that the passage mandates we welcome any and all foreigners, even those in our country illegally. But this and other passages do not imply that foreigners should disregard civil laws to enter, or that we should overlook it when they do.

View the House Judiciary Website for copies of the testimony.

Illegal Immigration
religious leaders

Updated: Wed, Jul 14th 2010 @ 4:19pm EDT