Southern Baptists Fight to Continue Chain Migration

The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) is the progressive-leftist lobbying arm of the Southern Baptist Convention, currently run by former Democratic staffer, Russell Moore. Moore, who serves on the George Soros-funded Evangelical Immigration Table, has released the ERLC priorities for immigration reform, and has committed to helping continue chain migration in the United States. Released in an article entitled ERLC Priorities for the Senate Dreamer Debate, the article insinuates that it is unbiblical to end mass chain migration in America.

The ERLC says:

As with any policy issue, the ERLC believes the final immigration package ought to be pro-family. Therefore, we are concerned about calls to end so-called “chain migration,” which is a misleading way to characterize our nation’s family reunification system. Proposals already floated would make a range of changes, from minor tweaks to wholesale elimination of the family preference categories. We have serious concerns about removing parents and adult children from eligible family preference categories. The biblical command for children to honor their father and mother is a lifelong familial responsibility. In the same way God calls parents to care for their growing children, he also calls children to care for their aging parents. We believe American policy should promote the flourishing of families because family is necessary for the social and economic health of each of us individually.

Cloaked in religious language, Moore’s ERLC in no uncertain terms is actively seeking to hinder conservative legislators from ending key provisions in the subversive Immigration Act of 1965. Prior to this year, immigration policy in the United States prioritized the well-being of the nation, allowing immigration but putting emphasis on accepting those with necessary skills or education that would benefit the nation as a whole. In other words, prior to 1965, someone in a specialized field that has a shortage of qualified applicants in the American workforce would be put highest on priority list. Since 1965 with the passing of that year’s immigration act, emphasis has been placed most highly on bringing relatives of immigrants already in the nation. This is what is known as “chain migration,” a term used widely by demographers – without controversy – since the 1960s.

The ERLC’s argument is that chain migration is “pro-family,” and therefore, the Biblical position on immigration policy is that anything less than chain migration is anti-family and therefore, unbiblical.

How chain migration works under current U.S. policy is that an individual would be allowed to migrate to the United States based upon their merit of skill or education. Once here, however, they may bring their spouse, who will be brought to the front of the line, and their children (grown or otherwise). Then, those individuals, once here, can bring their own family members and so on. So then, it’s not only a matter of bringing wives and children, but inlaws of all shapes and varieties, and eventually distant relatives – all based upon the merit of one, single individual.

Here’s how the system works:

  • 1st Preference: Unmarried sons/daughters of U.S. citizens and their children (capped at 23,400/year)
  • 2nd Preference: Spouses, children, and unmarried sons/daughters of green card holders (capped at 114,000/year)
  • 3rd Preference: Married sons/daughters of U.S. citizens and their spouses and children (capped at 23,400/year)
  • 4th Preference: Brothers/sisters of U.S. citizens (at least 21 years of age) and their spouses and children (capped at (65,000/year)

The reason why this is significant in the illegal immigration debate is because distant relatives of original immigrants may come to see immigration as a right or entitlement, and when they realize that they may, in fact, have to wait years for a visa to become available because of annual caps and per-country limits on several of the family-based immigration categories, many decide to come illegally while they wait for their turn.

What the ERLC is not saying is that their definition of “pro-family” includes adult children, adult siblings, and aging adults, inlaws, and distant relatives. This is the false narrative of the globalist-left talking points. The discussion isn’t about someone bringing their minor children (which is automatically allowed), but relatives of relatives of relatives.

The other issue with chain migration is that it strongly discourages integration into American society. Whereas a single family unit is ordinarily willing to fully integrate into the culture and language of America, chain migration creates pockets of foreign culture and language that allows immigrants to never fully integrate into American society, instead remaining in what amounts to communities of foreign expatriates. Instead of creating the desired “melting pot” of American culture that was fostered prior to 1965, you get a “mosaic” of independent, non-integrated cultures. This is exactly what Cultural Marxists want, to divide America between races and cultures, rather than to unite races and cultures into a peaceful society.

The Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment (RAISE) Act seeks to end chain migration, instead allowing singular family units to come based on their merit. This is the legislation the ERLC is resisting.

The ERLC ended their article on immigration priorities by saying they would like to see the the “Diversity Visa Lottery” continue, which is a program allowing immigrants to come based upon nothing but the fact they’re from an “underrepresented country.” Again, by forsaking a merit-based approval system, current immigration policy – the kind the ERLC is fighting to continue – leans heavily toward nationals that are least likely to integrate into American society.