Shane Idleman on What I Saw at the US-Mexico Border

The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily reflect those of BCNN1. Opinions expressed are solely those of the author(s).

Why has the issue of illegal immigration dominated the conversation in our nation over the years? I believe there are, at least, three reasons the border issue is at the forefront of politics:

  1. It’s a legitimate crisis.
  2. Some want open borders to add voters to their party.
  3. It’s hard to balance justice and compassion.

The main question for me was: How does our government address a legitimate issue, show compassion, and administer justice while guarding the American public. So, to find the answers, I recently had the privilege of touring our Mexican border with other California pastors, including Jack Hibbs and Tony Perkins.

What I found was both remarkable and disheartening. Remarkable in that I was able to see firsthand the care and compassion demonstrated by our Border Patrol and Customs officers — the task is enormous. And disheartening because these truths are not being adequately told to the American people and, instead, are being twisted for political gain. If we don’t control the true narrative, a false narrative will be controlled by others. This is why I spend a great deal of time writing articles.

Five Things You Need to Know

Here are five things that really caught my attention based on my day at the busiest border crossing in America and the fifth largest in the world — San Ysidro.

1. The media is clearly twisting the facts. Remember the large caravan that tried to come into America? The border facility that I visited is not set up to receive 7,500 people at once. Some of the negative captions you saw of people sitting under bridges was actually to provide shade while Customs assessed the situation. And the “kids in cages” photo was actually taken in 2014. I hope you caught that —2014, before our current president was in office.

One of the biggest shocks came when I was able to talk to the officer who had firsthand knowledge of the woman who was supposedly told to drink from the toilet. The officer on the scene actually said the opposite: “We don’t want them drinking out of toilets.” I’m very disappointed in the lawmakers who twisted this. The standard of living that Customs provides is noteworthy. Immigrants receive four meals a day, and kids are never left alone. Doctors who can provide medication are also on staff. Special meals are even served to people who have dietary restrictions. Granted, there are some disheartening conditions that I wish I had answers for, as in the case of the Matamoros refugee camp on the Texas-Mexico border. But the big lesson for me was that we must acquire our information from reputable sources.

2. Building a wall is not mean-spirited.  I’ve never heard a good argument as to why there shouldn’t be a wall marking boundaries and securing them. Most of us go home to secure borders every night. We lock our doors, shut our gates, and build walls along our property lines. Is that mean-spirited? Of course not. Even hospitals, courthouses, and countless other locations have borders consisting of boundaries, perimeters, and dividing lines. (Wayne Grudem wrote an exceptional article about what the Bible says about border walls.)

Be clear on this point: The push toward open borders is more about votes than about truly helping people. We need not look any further than Venezuela to see the destruction of open borders; it was the final nail in the coffin. When you combine socialism (something all Democratic presidential hopefuls openly support) with open borders like Venezuela, it’s not sustainable. Venezuela was thriving just a little over 20 years ago. Now it finds itself crumbling from within and dealing with deplorable conditions, largely because of open borders with Colombia. They did not steward their sovereignty correctly. We cannot make the same mistake.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Shane Idleman