Acton Institute Powerblog

Immigration Confusion

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There’s been a lot of talk in recent days about the question of immigration, both legal and illegal. A number of issues are involved, including questions about national security, economic concerns, and cultural values. Most recently the Minutemen have begun border patrols and are looking to extend their efforts to the northern U.S. border. You may also remember a scuffle when President Bush put forth the proposal for a guest worker program.

The Acton Institute has published two pieces that are relevant to the policy questions surrounding the question of immigration. Both are authored by Dr. Andrew M. Yuengert, the John and Francis Duggan Chair of Economics at Seaver College, Pepperdine University. Dr. Yuengert wrote Inhabiting the Land, volume number 6 in the Christian Social Thought Series. This book is a defense of the case asserting the right to migrate put forth by John Paul II. Yuengert provides an excellent economic analysis of migration that is consistent with the Christian concern for the dignity of persons.

The second item is a much shorter distillation based on the longer CSTS monograph. “The Stranger who Sojourns with You: Toward a Moral Immigration Policy,” the Winter 2004 issue of Policyforum is freely available online.

Here’s an excerpt:

A significant consequence of international solidarity is the recognition of the rights of immigrants not as a trade-off of the host country’s common good for the benefits of migrants but, rather, as a requirement for the full development of the host nations society. Indeed, the full development of any social group, including a nation, requires that it be properly oriented toward the common good of the larger society of which it is a part. The human person needs community in virtue of his social nature, and this need will orient him toward the common good in order to contribute to the preservation of his community.

Jordan J. Ballor Jordan J. Ballor (Dr. theol., University of Zurich; Ph.D., Calvin Theological Seminary) is a senior research fellow and director of publishing at the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion & Liberty. He is also a postdoctoral researcher in theology and economics at the VU University Amsterdam as part of the "What Good Markets Are Good For" project. He is author of Get Your Hands Dirty: Essays on Christian Social Thought (and Action) (Wipf & Stock, 2013), Covenant, Causality, and Law: A Study in the Theology of Wolfgang Musculus (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2012) and Ecumenical Babel: Confusing Economic Ideology and the Church's Social Witness (Christian's Library Press, 2010), as well as editor of numerous works, including Abraham Kuyper Collected Works in Public Theology. Jordan is also associate director of the Junius Institute for Digital Reformation Research at Calvin Theological Seminary.


  • Hedley

    In his former role as Cardinal Ratzinger, the pope spoke against the accession of Turkey to the EU (
    His reasoning is not on all fours with the libertarian approach to immigration the Acton Institute appears to favour.

  • Tom Tancredo is hallucinating to be the next President of the United States. This lunatic racist says that Latino and other immigrants are coming across our borders to kill you and your children. Tancredo avoided service in Vietnam by obtaining a medical deferment for mental health reasons. Obviously he is still mentally ill. How could such mentally unstable people sit in the highest law office of the country prapagating hatred and he talks of impeaching Bush. Non sense. Tom Tancredo is a liar, a pathetic loser and a lunatic racist. Shame on the people who elected him and he should be impeached from the Congress for prapagating hatred and racism.

    Giving freedom to Afghanistan, Iraq is fine but what about the eleven million people at home who live in shadows under abuse and fear. As long as there are millions of Undocumented Immigrants in the United States, every educated American is a traitor who use their services knowingly or unknowlingly and still ignore their plight. As long as people continue to die at the borders and people live in shadows under abuse and fear, America cannot be called the land of freedom, liberty and justice.

    Thank You, God Bless America
    The function of freedom is to free someone else