Immigration Politics Makes Strange Bedfellows

They say politics makes strange bedfellows. USA Today recently ran an opinion column by Dan Darling, the Vice President for Communications at the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. Mr. Darling’s column illustrates just how strange immigration politics is getting.

He posits, “Imagine if immigration activists stood up for the unborn and pro-lifers stood up for Dreamers. Perhaps this could spark a new human dignity movement.” Thus, he casts both immigration and abortion as issues of human dignity. However, while Darling makes his moral stance on abortion very clear, he never furnishes any moral justification for excusing the mass violation of our immigration laws. That’s because there isn’t any.

His asserts, “If we are truly pro-life, we should care about what happens to the child whose immigration status is imperiled and is in danger of being separated from family and community.”  But that’s just illogical drivel. Deporting illegal aliens simply means returning them to the country of their birth, where they are citizens. So how exactly does turning a blind eye to blatant violations of the Immigration and Nationality Act prove that one is “truly pro-life”?

If anyone is responsible for illegal aliens being separated from family and community, it’s the illegal aliens themselves. Strangely, though commentators like Mr. Darling never question their decision to leave behind family and community in their country of birth. Apparently, in Mr. Darling’s world, the desire to live in the United States is all that counts. There is no obligation to seek the American dream through lawful means.

And anyone who understands immigration law knows that the “status” of the recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) has not been “imperiled.” They were given a temporary reprieve from deportation, not permanent residence. Even the Obama administration acknowledged that DACA was not a permanent amnesty.

The clock has run on that temporary reprieve. And it is time for those approved for DACA to acknowledge that they are now facing removal only because their parents made a conscious – and legally culpable choice – to cut the immigration line and enter the United States as uninvited guests. Claiming that the United States has a moral obligation to reward such illegal behavior is patently offensive.

The fact that the representative of an ethics-centered organization, like Mr. Darling, can’t see this is baffling. What’s even more puzzling is how he could rationally arrive at a skewed interpretation of Christian doctrine that seeks to absolve trespassing illegal aliens of all moral and legal responsibility for having chosen to violate the immigration laws of the United States.

It seems that Mr. Darling has forgotten the Biblical injunction found in St. Paul’s Epistle to the Romans 13:3, “Do you want to be unafraid of the one in authority? Then do what is right, and you will have his approval.” When it comes to immigration, Mr. Darling (and religiously-minded illegal aliens) might do well to take St. Paul’s advice.

Selective obedience to the civil law simply turns the religious institutions that should serve as our moral guideposts into advocates for lawlessness. And we should all rue the ethical confusion that will inevitably result when churches and political advocacy groups wind up in bed together on the immigration issue.

About Author


Matthew J. O’Brien joined the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) in 2016. Matt is responsible for managing FAIR’s research activities. He also writes content for FAIR’s website and publications. Over the past twenty years he has held a wide variety of positions focusing on immigration issues, both in government and in the private sector. Immediately prior to joining FAIR Matt served as the Chief of the National Security Division (NSD) within the Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate (FDNS) at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), where he was responsible for formulating and implementing procedures to protect the legal immigration system from terrorists, foreign intelligence operatives, and other national security threats. He has also held positions as the Chief of the FDNS Policy and Program Development Unit, as the Chief of the FDNS EB-5 Division, as Assistant Chief Counsel with U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement, as a Senior Advisor to the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman, and as a District Adjudications Officer with the legacy Immigration & Naturalization Service. In addition, Matt has extensive experience as a private bar attorney. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in French from the Johns Hopkins University and a Juris Doctor from the University of Maine School of Law.


  1. avatar

    It’s laughable for Obama to now be on the campaign trail talking about divisiveness in this country. Anyone who wasn’t born yesterday knows that he set race relations back by a half century. In his first few months in office he said that he hadn’t seen “all the facts” in the arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates but he said police acted “stupidly”, whereas a lot of whites said when you break down your own front door to get in, don’t refuse to show a cop an id when he shows up to check it out. And so followed every interaction between cops and black suspects. We all saw a video of Michael Brown robbing a store and assaulting a clerk. yet Obama constantly portrayed him as some victim.

    I guess it wasn’t “divisive” when Hillary told tens of millions of Americans they were deplorable and irredeemable because they wouldn’t vote for her. Why am I not 50 points ahead she asked. Because you’re a tone deaf idiot.

    If you needed a clue why Jeb never registered more than a blip in the primaries, you only have to listen to his brother GW’s “globalism” garbage yesterday. First of all, W’s invasion of Iraq, based on nothing but lies about WMD. has us in a 14 year war with no end in sight, and supported by guys like McCain and Graham. There is nothing in the preamble to the constitution that suggests we are supposed to support and defend the world, or that we anyone entry to this country. Welfare and mass immigration of undereducated foreigners are not a formula for success.

  2. avatar

    “Selective obedience to the civil law simply turns the religious institutions that should serve as our moral guideposts into advocates for lawlessness. And we should all rue the ethical confusion that will inevitably result when churches and political advocacy groups wind up in bed together on the immigration issue.”

    It is shocking that many, if not all, mainstream religions encourage the suicide of American culture by advocating for the resettlement of “refugees” who have no desire to assimilate into and absorb the same culture that gives them safe haven. Granted, there are some legitimate cases, but most so-called refugees simply economic migrants stamped with the official imprimatur.

    The Catholic and Lutheran religions receive hundreds of millions to effect this cultural displacement. The Mormons fall all over themselves in opening their arms, time, and wallets as I’m sure do other religions.

    Why can’t we exert as much effort in helping the downtrodden in America and push to preserve American culture?

  3. avatar

    Well, for some outfit that will reject you if you don’t adhere to their beliefs, how did they come up with this concept??? Did not they realize that any good catholic from south of our border has a problem with the truth. Is this the American branch of the Southern Baptist Church??? Did he happen to ask the membership how they felt about illegal immigrants?? MAGA