Southern Baptists affirm the importance of the rule of law and the responsibility of government to uphold and enforce the law. In 2011, the Southern Baptist Convention issued a resolution that stated, “the rule of law is an indispensable part of civil society and that Christians are under biblical mandate to respect the divinely-ordained institution of government and its just laws, that government has a duty to fulfill its ordained mandate, and that Christians have a right to expect the government to fulfill its ordained mandate to enforce those laws.” (Romans 13:1-7.)
At the same time, the Scriptures compel Christians to show compassion and justice for the sojourner and alien. The same resolution in 2011 notes, “The Scriptures call us, in imitation of God Himself, to show compassion and justice for the sojourner and alien among us.” (Ex. 22:21; Deut. 10:18-19.)
- Government can and should pursue both security and compassion. Southern Baptists have asked the government to:
- Prioritize efforts to secure the borders.
- Hold businesses accountable for compliance with the law.
- Implement, with the borders secured, a just and compassionate path to legal status, with appropriate restitutionary measures, for those undocumented immigrants already living in our country.
Immigrants who were brought into the country as minors should be treated differently. These so-called Dreamers are not culpable for breaching federal law. The ERLC continues to have reservations about the use of an Executive Order to address this problem. However, we are generally supportive of DACA’s aims. As a country, we ought to be able to provide a fair and just solution for these individuals. Pro-family advocates must seek to find ways to keep immigrant families together. We recognize the need for effective enforcement of federal law. At the same time, the federal government should pursue a policy that achieves justice without separating wives from husbands and children from parents.