A grocery store in Louisiana (Mac’s Fresh Market) recently sent out their usual weekly coupon flyer, but this time Mac had more than just ground beef on sale.  The flyer stated: “Heaven has a wall, a gate and a strict immigration policy. Hell has open borders. Let that sink in.” Mac also posted it on the store website and Facebook page.  You can imagine the reaction and calls of “racism”, “hateful to foreigners”, “judgmental”, and “un-Christian”. A few defended his right to free speech and Mac didn’t apologize. Let’s examine his statements from both a political immigration policy and religious perspective.

Heaven has a wall, a gate and a strict immigration policy:  From a political perspective, it is logical that a country’s citizens should be deciding who, how many and under what circumstances people should be entering the country.  The decision belongs with the duly elected lawmakers, and not with the immigrant. The problem with illegal immigration is Americans are left out of the decision when someone willingly circumvents the law and crosses a border or overstays a visa.  Immigration levels should be modified up or down based on the needs of this country, not the wants of foreign citizens. A wall and a gate are needed to prevent chaos and adherence to the country’s rules.

Hell has open borders:  Open Borders, from a political perspective refers to having very little control, regulations and\ or enforcement of national borders which allows anyone who can get here, to stay here.  It also invites people to take advantage of the system, which is what is happening today. Liberals like to argue about immigrant rights and being compassionate. Let’s be clear, no one has the “right” to come to this country and it is American citizens who have the right to decide immigration policy.  And the compassionate part? Of course people want to come to this great country of ours, so I understand why it is compassionate for them, but you never hear politicians talk about the impact of immigration on our poorest citizens. Politicians talk about caring for the poor, and representing their interest.   However, if any support abolishing ICE, open borders, giving amnesty to those who have arrived illegally and lenient deportation policies (e.g., DACA), it will harm the poorest of our citizens. Here’s why:

Do you think migrants marching towards the border are highly skilled doctors and lawyers that will pay a lot of taxes?  Not exactly. Most illegal immigrants haven’t had good access to healthcare, are poor, uneducated and are only qualified for low skilled jobs.  That’s not racist, it’s a fact. That’s why they want to come to this country. But no one wants to talk about the effect this has had on American citizens.  Politicians who lecture us about being compassionate to the plight of migrants are prioritizing the wants of foreign citizens over U.S. citizens. Where is compassion for the American citizen whose job is now being performed by an illegal immigrant?  Liberals love to talk about how they want the minimum wage raised to a “living wage” (which is never fully explained) but what do you think happens when you flood the labor market with low skilled workers? Wages are suppressed because employers have more than enough workers to choose from.  They don’t have to pay more to attract good employees. It is the simple principle of supply and demand. This hurts unskilled American workers, especially the inner city black community. Where is the compassion for them? And where is the compassion for the American taxpayer whose tax dollars are used for the education, healthcare and other social services of foreign citizens?  Those are tax dollars which are not being spent on American citizens. Progressives argue that illegal immigrants are contributing to the economy. Well, if you use a simple definition of “net economic contribution” as totaling the taxes you pay vs. government services you use, the math doesn’t add up. Adding more poor people to the economy doesn’t make the country wealthy; it’s a drain on the tax base.  And don’t forget about all the money send back to foreign countries by illegal immigrants; that’s not helping our economy either. If you desire a merit based immigration policy where priority is given to newcomers who will economically benefit the country, what do you think you will be labelled? You guessed it, a racist again. Massive illegal immigration into this country is not helping our poor, it is making their lives worse as their jobs are gone, wages suppressed, and taxpayer funded education and healthcare dollars spent elsewhere.  I am not saying being poor from a foreign country makes you a bad person, rather a purely economic argument on the negative impact to the poor in our own country.

And what happens when low skilled jobs are replaced by automation?  You never hear politicians talking about what happens when taxi drivers are replaced by automated cars, kiosks replace cashiers and robots replace fast food workers.  It’s already starting to happen, yet our political leaders have no plans to help the soon to be displaced low skilled workers. We already have plenty of citizens who are in need, yet no one seems to be looking out for them.  There is a criminal element of illegal immigrants, and who do you think they prey on? You guessed it, those citizens and immigrants in the poorest neighborhoods. This country has taken in more immigrants, both legal and illegal, including refugees and asylum seekers than any other country, yet all you hear from liberals is that anyone who wants control of the border and have an orderly immigration process is a racist.  The name calling is not helping to solve the real problems this country faces.

From a religious perspective, I interpret Mac’s statement to mean that not everyone gets into heaven and while you may think that you deserve to be in heaven, it isn’t your decision.  Hence, if heaven has a wall, gate and a policy, entrance may be granted, but it isn’t guaranteed. Heaven is the ultimate destination and your entrance will be determined on how you lived your life.  It is really pretty straightforward. You can debate all day about how good or how bad certain behaviors are, whether forgiveness was granted, but I don’t see any debate about the decision maker; it’s God’s.  Hell doesn’t have borders. It is hard to do the right thing, and vices such as selfishness, greed, anger and lust are way too easy to fall into. Vices are easier than virtues. We are all sinners and no one is perfect, and God knows that, but so does the Devil.

And finally, from a business perspective, Mac’s statement was a terrible idea.  There is never a need to alienate half of your customers. We are seeing more and more companies trying to influence consumers with their version of morality.  I don’t need lectures from Starbucks, Target, Gillette, Facebook, Twitter, Nabisco or Big Mac.