This is Pastor Tim’s article which appeared in the Evening Leader on Tuesday, May 16, 2023
Like I’m sure many of you have been, I have been following the story coming from the southern border, and it has broken my heart. I have seen the video of people crossing the Rio Grande just to get into the United States. What that tells me is that the situation they are leaving has to be so terrible they are convinced their only option is to leave their home and come to a foreign place.
There are two schools of thought as to what we should do about the border. First, we should allow them to come in unimpeded and have programs in place to assimilate them into the United States. We would have a way to vet and screen them, making sure they are safe and we are safe as they become citizens. The other school of thought is to build a wall big enough that no one can cross so the people know there is no way they can enter and will be discouraged from attempting to come over illegally.
Anyone who is willing to be honest will tell you that there are pros and cons on both sides of this argument. The problem is, we as a nation, have specifically chosen to do neither, and it has put both the immigrants and our country in danger.
By neither erecting the border wall nor having the proper programs and facilities in place to welcome people, hordes of people are coming across. We don’t know who they are, and they have no protection or assistance once they get here. No one is safe under this scenario. To me, this has opened the most evil enterprise this world has ever known: human trafficking. I firmly believe in a God of Grace and Mercy, but I also believe in a God of Justice, and because of that, those responsible for trafficking people for sexual exploitation are going to burn in the hottest pit in hell for all eternity, and that almost seems too merciful to me.
We owe it to the people who are desperate to get away from their current situation, and who want to come into our country to ensure traffickers and coyotes do not take advantage of them. We aren’t doing these people being exploited any favors when we make no attempt to protect them from those who wish to profit off of their harm. By leaving the border open without proper monitoring and patrolling, these people fall victim to some of the most evil people on earth.
Years ago, I helped build a church in Tijuana, and I also have trained fire fighters in a remote village in Guatemala. I have been to the border, and I have firsthand experience of the situation in Central America where despair is a daily experience of many of the wonderful people I met. They are looking for a way out, and we need to provide one or we need to deter them from coming our way at all. By leaving the dangerous option available and making pitiful attempts to regulate what is happening on that border, we are enriching people who are exploiting desperate people because they are crossing the border with no proper welcome from us. Either we need to roll out the red carpet or we need to slam the door. This sort of pocket veto we are doing is putting too many people at risk.
Not only are we placing the people coming north at risk, but the border towns, like El Paso, are dangerous places to be because the town lacks the resources to police and care for that many refugees. We can’t expect those little towns to be able to garner enough resources to handle the flood of people. Those who are coming are not coming to El Paso, they are coming to the United States. If we are going to allow unregulated amounts of people to cross the border, that is a cost and a burden we will all have to bear together. If we are not willing to do that, then we need to make it clear by closing the border and stopping what is happening there now.
Join me in praying for those poor people who are caught in the middle. Both the Americans who live along that southern border as well as the people who are crossing that border. These people are our brothers and sisters. They deserve any help we can give them, even if that help is a clear message to not risk coming north. The lack of clarity we currently have is putting people in danger.