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Thursday, June 28, 2007

Immigration questions

I give up.

I was going to remain silent on this one, but I can't stand it.

Today, the US Senate is to continue its debate on immigration legislation.

What is there about this issue that has galvanized some Christians into making this issue even more important than abortion? I really don't understand this, or I'm afraid I do.

Their arguments say that we shouldn't reward criminal behavior. OK. We shouldn't. However, we shouldn't create a system which expects, and depends on criminal behavior, which is what we have now. "Silent amnesty," as Senator McCain has put it. We expect immigrants, some of them illegal, to die for us in Iraq, build our roads, clean our buildings, serve our meals, take care of our children, and, probably most critically, plant, care for, and harvest our crops. There is no easy way, perhaps not even a difficult way, to check on who is legal and who isn't, because documents are so easy to fake.

That system needs to be fixed. We need documentation that can't be faked, or at least is more difficult to fake. We need some way of accounting for and controlling the illegal immigrants we have now. We need to stop the awful waste of human life that endures degradation, and a lot of other things, to get here to work. We need to stop the hypocrisy that cries out against amnesty, but accepts lower prices for goods produced by illegal immigrants.

The current bill is not perfect, but it's a lot better than what we have now. We have a situation full of exploitation and hypocrisy, and we need to own up to it and try to fix it.

I am a member of The Wesleyan Church. My District of that church has a few Hispanic churches in South Carolina. We are trying to reach out to immigrants, whether they are legal or not. I think that is the right approach.

Some other ideas, mostly not mine:
Give all non-citizens who get advanced degrees from accredited universities a green card, along with their diplomas, and offer them a path to citizenship.

Increase the minimum wage, so that citizens will be more likely to do some of the work we now tacitly expect immigrants to do.

Find and deport all immigrants who are felons.

After some of the other problems have been fixed, or at least changed, stop the system that automatically makes the US-born children of illegal immigrants citizens.

Embrace, admire, and honor anyone who wants to work hard in this country.

It is my fear that much of the anger against illegal immigrants is because some of us don't want anyone who doesn't talk, look, and think like us living near us. That attitude is unworthy of US citizens, and certainly unworthy of Christians.

Thanks for reading.

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