I live as an alien in China and have for 30 years. So, I have some thoughts on foreigners and how God calls us to see and treat them. The Bible has some specific words on this. It appears God’s message is care for the alien. See here:
And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt.
28 At the end of every three years, bring all the tithes of that year’s produce and store it in your towns, 29 so that the Levites (who have no allotment or inheritance of their own) and the foreigners, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns may come and eat and be satisfied, and so that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.
20 When you beat the olives from your trees, do not go over the branches a second time. Leave what remains for the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow.
God cares for the alien like he does the orphan and the widow.
Each of these has/had specific economic and social struggles and thus we should care for them. Before we came to faith, we were foreigners to God’s kingdom.
Care for the Alien, God Does
So, in two ways God sees these people. They are alien to the kingdom or aliens in a foreign country. All need welcome.
I did not come to China as a refugee. That would have been so much harder. Yet, I have been treated better and worse in China due to being a foreigner here. Being a white American is attractive to the Chinese, and my mixed race children are super attractive to the Chinese.
However, Chinese would come and want to touch our children uninvited. It was hard for us and the children to handle. I can never just slip in and out of a store. Unavoidably, I am different. I can never just fit in. Further, I struggled for 28 years with visas and work permits usually on an annual basis. We cannot get work that Chinese can get.
My Chinese will never be native. People will talk to me like I an stupid if I do not understand, when in fact, I just did not know that word. They will stereotype me from the moment they see me and also mark me as someone they can cheat as I am less familiar. They make unfair assumptions about me.
I have been to the places where foreigners in the US go to work on their legal life in the US. These are not pleasant places, and I am ashamed to see when they are treated less then us.
God Loves Them
I see that God sees this. The Bible often notes the faith of foreigners or puts them in a good light like Ruth who surely had an accent.
Jesus saw the spiritual foreigners like sheep without a shepherd. He loves each and is kind to them. He treats the nationalist Hebrew leaders harshly.
How do we see the two kinds of foreigners around us? Do we see them as God does?