Letter: Reader speaks out about immigration

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To the editor:

Lately, all we’ve heard in the media is the ongoing immigration drama and its effect on the families. Children are being separated from their parents in detention due to President Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy. With the outcry from liberals, Democrats and many Republicans, the president has backed off, at least for now. The question remains, was Trump at all justified legally, morally or as a matter of Christian values? It’s not as easy as you think.

Clearly the Bible tells us that we should obey the “higher powers that be.” We should all obey the laws promulgated and enforced by government, which is at least tacitly sanctioned by God, our true Higher Power. Although Jesus was no lawbreaker and came to fulfill rather than destroy the law, He was no legalist either.

When God’s moral law and Christian values are threatened by cruel and heartless enforcement, I’d have to say that Jesus would side with those who advocate compassionate treatment and reunification of families. Pride and nationalism do not trump family values and the Christian values Jesus espoused, which is to say, love. Love your neighbor and your enemies.

Undocumented, illegal immigration is not necessary always to be disregarded by our immigration enforcement officials, but most of us, in fact all of us in a sense, are immigrants. Those who are escaping poverty, corruption, violence and other terrible conditions deserve to strive for a better life.

My qualm as a New Testament scholar is that the countries from which these refugees are migrating are clearly at fault. The governments are corrupt, inept, inefficient and downright unfair in the treatment of their own citizens. Yes, famines and other natural disasters can cause much suffering, but effective governments are there to protect and aid their citizens to minimize suffering.

There is no place in this world for corrupt dictators and lazy, corrupt legislatures. Leaders should lead for the common good and put their lives on the line for their citizens. Each person is entitled to the right to live free of want and free of abuse and corrupt government. Period.

Stephen M. Theriault, Southington

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