What effects do people like Guillermo, who come to the United States to pick our produce for a low hourly wage, have on the overall economy? Does immigration hurt the American worker? Are foreign workers even needed? What about the costs of providing education, healthcare, and other public services to these people? Can our country afford to welcome so many immigrants? Could we afford not to have them here?
From a Christian perspective, these questions ought not to be primary: the scriptural witness is that we are to care for the immigrant stranger living among us, without any caveat that exempts us from this responsibility if it is not in our individual or national economic interest. Furthermore, immigrants contribute much to our society that is not easily quantified, and we err if we reduce the immigration dilemma to one of mere mathematics. God created and delights in cultural diversity, and immigrants have added richly to our communities through their different cultures. Nevertheless, economic considerations are among the most common concerns raised in the ongoing immigration debate in our country, and they need to be addressed.Â – Soerens and Yang (2018) in, â€œThe Value of Immigrants to the United States,â€ Chapter 7 in Welcoming the Stranger, p. 124.
We continue engineering professor Royce Francis’s Monday series on immigration, partly inspired by Royce’s attendance at the InterVarsity Northeast Retreat in 2017. Royce is also training to run a half marathon in support ofÂ World Relief, and today’s post includes a training update for those of you following Royce’s progress in that endeavor.Â If you’ve started reading more recently, or just want a refresher, you may enjoy browsing the series to date. You can also explore Rocye’s Masterclass series on writing here.