An Epidemic of Bad Parenting is Killing Kids at the Border, and How Evangelicals Can Help

The bodies of Salvadoran migrant Oscar Alberto Martinez Ramirez and his nearly 2-year-old daughter Valeria lie on the bank of the Rio Grande in Matamoros, Mexico, Monday, June 24, 2019, after they drowned trying to cross the river to Brownsville, Texas.

The reason little Valeria Ramirez is dead is because her father and mother, Oscar and Angie, are bad parents. They took their daughter along with them to commit a crime, despite dangerous conditions and knowing their behavior was unlawful. Then, without taking even the most basic safety precautions, the parents made their final poor decision that led to the death of both father and daughter.

“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea.

Sadly, in this case, the millstone tied around Oscar’s neck was the little child he led into dangerous conditions.

While evangelicals rightfully mourn the loss of these two human beings who are made in God’s image, few realize that evangelical sentiment on immigration is being driven by George Soros’ Evangelical Immigration Table, which is simultaneously helping to fund these dangerous migrant journeys from Central America. The evangelical outlook is tainted by this political football, and on account of it, Christians aren’t seeing clearly.

You see, it’s not the fault of American immigration policy that little Valeria and her father, Oscar, are dead. It’s Oscar’s fault. He tried to enter into a sovereign nation illegally. He knew it was wrong. He knew it was dangerous. He knew it was criminal. And yet, Oscar chose to put his family at risk and suffered the consequences for it.

Surely America can’t be blamed for having national sovereign borders, something invented by God and which the entire Book of Nehemiah is about building. And surely America can’t be blamed for their deaths in our custody, as the Ramirez family were found dead on the Mexican side of the Rio Grande.

No, Oscar and Angie must be blamed. But to do so would require a great deal of moral courage by evangelicals who must insist that parenting comes with responsibilities, and one of those responsibilities is never exposing your children to criminality or unnecessarily dangerous conditions.

While we must sympathize with the Ramirez family for journeying all the way from El Salvador – a trip of at least 1658 miles – and planning to invade a foreign nation illegally by crossing a river without a basic flotation device or being apt at swimming, the reason the United States has borders is so we can manage our nation well enough that it doesn’t turn into El Salvador.

The reason for limiting immigration to the United States is one of national survival, not bigotry. Of our current population of roughly 300 million, nearly 50 million – or one in six people – are an immigrant from another nation. That’s generous by any standard and ranks us among the most immigrant-friendly nations in the entire world. U.S. friendliness to immigrants is only growing, as they made up only ten percent of the population in 1850. Contrary to popular opinion, America is more welcoming than ever.

But no matter the generosity of the American immigration system, the nation cannot simply take in everyone, or else we’ll find ourselves unprepared to take in anyone.

If tragic deaths like this family’s is to be prevented, American evangelicals should act immediately to help end the plague of bad parenting that’s putting so many kids at risk.

First, evangelicals should mobilize south of the American border to help educate immigrants and caravan participants as to the dangers that await them should they choose to act criminally and sinfully, breaking into our nation. As an act of love and compassion, we should give potential criminal trespassers fair warning that they shouldn’t be making such a journey with unlawful intent and furthermore, shouldn’t take along their little ones.

Secondly, evangelicals should sail our mercy ships south of the American border to provide aid and resources to destitute peoples in their own home countries. Becoming a voluntary “refugee” places one at a higher risk of every known early cause of death. Simply put, with extreme exceptions, people are better off improving their lives at home than by taking the arduous trip to live illegally in another nation.

Right now, the bulk of American evangelical resources are being plunged into lobbying the U.S. government for senseless immigration “reform” in which U.S. taxpayer resources would provide a welfare state to criminal invaders. Evangelical resources would far better be spent sailing supplies, food, medicine, and educational resources to these impoverished areas than by importing poverty into the United States.

Evangelicals working for Soros’ immigration forums, like Russell Moore, seem most interested in getting the government to feed and clothe people when really that’s the job of the church. The ERLC and other amnesty-focused evangelical groups should be more focused on helping people’s physical needs than with filling the nation’s boundaries with undocumented Democrats.

Third, evangelicals should stop incentivizing unlawful behavior. It’s sinful to put out a welcome mat for those who have broken into your country and is a violation of Romans 13 and 1 Peter 2. It is disrespectful to our own rule of law and dishonoring to Biblical ethics.

While it’s incredibly popular for evangelicals to signal their virtue with photo ops at migrant detainment centers, that type of pandering actually incentivizes more unlawful and dangerous behavior. One should wonder if the Ramirez family had expected to be helped by do-gooding parachurch ministries or the charity of strangers once arriving on the northern side of the Rio Grande. If so, perhaps those immigrant virtue-signalers are partially to blame for these horrible drownings.

For every child you see in a border patrol detainment facility, they represent two bad parents whose actions got their child separated from them and momentarily incarcerated. If evangelicals really cared about potential illegal immigrants, we would do everything possible to dissuade them from breaking our laws and suffering the consequences.

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