Christians should be first in line decrying family separation and other inhumane practices occurring on the border. If we are pro-life, we should not only want to see an end to abhorrent policy. We should demand an end to the practice of dehumanizing immigrants. After all, isn’t it the dehumanization of the unborn that enables so many to think abortion is okay in every case?
It may be true, for example, that a fertilized egg doesn’t resemble a human.
It may be true that a fetus cannot live outside the womb until after 21 weeks.
It may be true that an unplanned pregnancy can wreak havoc upon the dreams and reputation of a mother.
And it may be true that raising a child with deformities or disabilities is incredibly scary and difficult.
But every one of us began our lives at conception. That’s a fact even though abortion is legal.
And that’s why those of us who are pro-life cannot endorse family separation or any practice simply because it’s legal.
As we all have heard over the past week, separating families is traumatizing, like abortion is traumatizing for so many women who come to regret their decision. I have no doubt there are mothers at the border who now regret their decision to migrate, but to maximize their regret by taking their children away was cruel. And we have yet to hear how and when these families will be reunited.
I fear that Christians who defend strict immigration policies have been negatively influenced by lawmakers and pundits who depict immigrants as animals, invaders, and criminals. Donald Trump started the trend of disparaging immigrants when he said Mexico was not sending us “their best.”
Similarly, unborn babies are described in ways that veil their humanity in the name of creating a “best” scenario for mothers in crisis pregnancies. The terms zygote, products of conception, and incompatible with life no matter how scientific or legal, have a desensitizing effect, making it easier for the pro-choice community to ignore the fact that an abortion ends human life.
This is why Christians must pronounce without equivocation that immigrants are made in the image and likeness of God. They have and will contribute to our nation as immigrants have done throughout American history. Much like mothers facing an unwanted pregnancy, immigrants are desperate, not evil.
It may be true that illegal immigration is a crime.
It may be true that MS13 wreaks havoc on our dreams of safe communities.
It may be true that changing demographics in our country feels incredibly scary for some.
And it may be true that previous administrations made immigration reform more difficult for us.
But just as we would advise a woman facing a crisis pregnancy that her child is a gift, not a burden; we must also remind ourselves that immigrants are not an “infestation” of our country. We must not allow anyone to stoke our fears. We must not allow our desire for personal comfort to drive our thinking.
The situation on the border is an unplanned pregnancy for our nation, and dehumanizing immigrants is an abortion of our values. Christians should be first in line to say so.