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Today, I received the following email blast from my Congressional Representative Mike Bost:

Without question, we have a national crisis occurring on our southern border. I have long said that we will never be able to secure our nation until we start fully enforcing our immigration laws and closing existing loopholes.

For too long, migrants from other countries have abused and exposed current immigration laws to gain access to our country, costing taxpayers billions of dollars. That is why I recently voted against legislation that would have hamstrung our agents working at the border, broadened loopholes and failed to fix the crisis. I will continue to ensure our laws are enforced and that our border is protected.

I paused my evening to write the following:

Your most recent email to your constituents was hyper-focused on crafting inflexible rules on immigration.

I do not care so much to “combat” illegal immigration as I care that those who are being held are being treated humanely and with compassion. Separating children from families and not giving any of the incarcerated refugees basic necessities (personal hygiene items, proper clothing, showers, food) lacks that compassion. There is a lack of care to God’s children being detained at the border.

In Matthew 2, scripture says that Jesus, Mary and Joseph were refugees in the land of Egypt in order to escape danger. If Jesus had come into this country without proper paperwork, would you separate Jesus from his parents? Would the agents keeping watch hold back hygiene items, medicine, food, proper blankets and clothing, etc. from Jesus and his parents?

My grandfather was a refugee to this country. Like some of your other constituents, I am a descendant of the Armenian Genocide. In the early 20th century, the powers-that-be in this country deemed our ethnicity as white so that they could become citizens. If not, I may never have been born, and my grandfather could have grown up in a country without our freedoms.

Many of our ancestors were immigrants and refugees. Because my family was afforded a place here, I believe we MUST do the same for our neighbors. Leviticus 19:33-34 states this: “When an alien resides with you in your land, you shall not oppress the alien. The alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.” Repeatedly in scripture, we are told to take care of the foreigner/alien, orphans and widows. We people of Judeo-Christian faith have no excuse but to take care of the people that are being detained at the border.

Please make it a first priority to see that refugees/immigrants/asylum seekers are treated with the kindness that we are to treat our friends. Being rigid in the way our neighbors to the south are treated reflects poorly on our country. If you truly love our country, you must truly love our heritage – a heritage of immigrants and refugees who have found home here.