The 12 million people who unlawfully reside the country? Call them “illegal immigrants,” not “undocumented workers,” the pollsters say.
Strip out the empathy, too. Democrats used to offer immigrants “an earned path to citizenship” so hardworking people trying to support their families could “come out of the shadows.” To voters, that sounded like a gift, the operatives concluded.
Now, Democrats emphasize that it’s “unacceptable” to allow 12 million people to live in America illegally and that the government must “require” them to register and “get right with the law.” That means three things: “Obey our laws, learn our language and pay our taxes” — or face deportation…
“When [voters] hear ‘undocumented worker,’ they hear a liberal euphemism, it sounds to them like liberal code,” said Drew Westen, a political consultant who has helped Sharry hone the message through dial testing. “I am often joking with leaders of progressive organizations and members of Congress, ‘If the language appears fine to you, it is probably best not to use it. You are an activist, and by definition, you are out of the mainstream.’”
1. Jesus was an immigrant. While Jesus was just a small child, Joseph and Mary were forced to flee from Palestine to Egypt because of the genocidal decree issued by Herod. He spent many years in Egypt, and his family returned to Palestine after Herod died. When God deigned to put on humanity, it was in the cultural dressings of an illegal immigrant. Not only is God not far from those on the margins of society, he himself was on the margins of society in the person of Jesus.
2. All humans are created in the image of God. Jesus exhibited an incredible ability to cut through the prejudices of society. He loved the people that no one else seemed to be able to love. Paul said the gospel tears down every dividing wall that keeps people at odds with one another, whether racial, social, gender, or economic.
3. Ancient Israel was meant to be a place hospitable to the alien, sojourner, and immigrant. After Israel entered Palestine, God commanded them to care for immigrants and wanderers, because that’s what they themselves had been for so many years (Ex. 23:9; Lev. 19:33-34).
4. We are all immigrants and sojourners in the world. As Christians, our primary allegiance is to God and to God’s kingdom. We are first and foremost citizens of heaven. Oftentimes immigrants understand this intuitively because they are outside the dominant power culture in the country to which they come. White Christians living in the suburbs of America (like myself) are wise to recognize this implicit advantage immigrants have in living as though they are aliens and sojourners in the world.