The TV host David Letterman jokes that if you ask a Native American how many illegal immigrants there are in the US, they'll say it's about three hundred million. Just like in the US, immigration has a long and mixed history in New Zealand. Right now people are unsure whether more immigration is good for New Zealand or not.
Now the Bible doesn't tell us how much immigration we should allow into our country, but it does tell us how to treat those who come here.
We are told to show hospitality to immigrants, to include immigrants in our families & households, and to protect immigrants from oppression.
I've been an immigrant in the UK, and I know what it's like to be treated differently because of the way I look and speak. And I also know how wonderful it is when Christians showed hospitality and kindness to me. In New Zealand, one of my friends recently told me the story of a refugee from a closed country who has opened his heart to Jesus because of this.
Jesus travelled far from his home to rescue us, at great cost to himself. Whatever policy we support around immigration numbers, my hope is that we will show refugee and immigrant people generous hospitality which mirrors our love for Jesus, even if it comes at a cost to us.