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.

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