Recently, several counties in North Carolina have begun passing resolutions discouraging undocumented children, including unaccompanied minors, from attending schools in these counties. These children, who often have no family in the United States and do not speak English, are the most vulnerable and the “least of these.” These counties are making it clear that unaccompanied minors are not welcome here and will receive no support. Even though the children are already here among us, such resolutions would put up additional barriers to make life impossible for them in this country. Such resolutions run contrary to the U.S. Constitution, to the State Constitution, and to our fundamental belief as Christians to support children.
As Christians, we shouldn’t be passing resolutions of exclusion, but rather resolutions of welcome. We should be following the examples of other cities, such as San Francisco, Atlanta and Columbia, SC, which have issued resolutions and statements calling for humanitarian response for children coming to their communities. We cannot reject those who come to us out of the fear that they may overwhelm our educational system or drain our resources. By doing so, we would sacrifice the beauty that comes when the Kingdom of God grows. Being Christian means that we are required to demonstrate love and compassion rather than fear of scarcity and exclusion of others. Since we know God will provide for us, we do not need to worry about not having enough for ourselves, as well as for those to whom we give shelter and nourishment. We are the people who do not neglect the stranger and we are the people who do not turn away children from our communities.