“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” Lev 19:33-34a

The whole business of the recent legislation in Arizona is quite disturbing.

I, however, don’t live there. I live in a state that benefits from migrant workers. Every morning on my way to church I pass mushroom houses with lots of Latino workers who could, conceivably be illegals. Nearby, our fruit crops (apples), depend on migrant workers who are primarily Latinos and Latina.

It is unfair, I know, to assume the presence of illegals. What I am saying is that it is fair to assume that a goodly portion of our produce is picked by illegal aliens. More than that, the problem is not so much the presence of the illegal alien, but our relationship to them.

A month ago, one of my favorite Evangelicals, a “Red Letter Christian,” Tony Campolo wrote on the Sojourners Blog on this very subject.

Christians need to be reminded that in the only description that Jesus gave of judgment day, he specifically declares that God will inquire how we treated the alien. God will want to know, according to Matthew 25:35, whether or not we made room for “the stranger” to live among us.

These are challenging words for our nation and all who consider themselves faithful.

I don’t know how I’d feel about this if I lived in Arizona. Next week, I’ll be with my brothers and sisters of Corpus Christi, so I’ll ask my Brother from AZ what he makes of all this. It is pretty clear what scripture says.