First, the biblical standard for immigrants is that they obey the laws of a nation (the general standard for all, discussed above). Obviously, this relates to abiding by a nation’s decision whether or not to admit an alien, and on what terms and conditions. It also includes an assimilationist ethic. Foreigners duly admitted into a particular society are expected to assimilate, not impose their own customs, language, etc. and remake the receiving society in their own image.
Scripture passages such as Deuteronomy 16:9-15 illustrate the biblical assimilation ethic. Here, the Lord establishes for the Israelites the Feast of Weeks and the Feast of Tabernacles. These were religious observances, but also civil laws. In both cases, these laws required resident aliens to participate in the observance of these holidays. Likewise, the Fourth Commandment, calling for observance of the Sabbath day, also binds the resident alien (Deut. 5:14). Thus, in their public life, those aliens granted permission to reside in a nation owe a moral duty to the accepting nation to abide by its laws and assimilate to its customs. Such is morally responsible individual conduct in the context of immigration.
Second, forcing oneself on an existing nation is both unjust and unjustifiable. In other words, illegal immigration is morally wrong. Lawbreaking aliens bear moral responsibility for their unlawful actions.
Labels: illegal immigration