Sunday, June 24, 2007

On the Immigration Debate, pt. 1

Peace and blessings,

Due to my "i'm glad the semester's over, now i'm going to big chill for a month" mode, the page has not been updated in a little over two weeks. Since beginning Monday I will be working and thus busy, the page will be updated more often as I'll be in "productivity" mode (at least that's the plan, lol).

For a while now, and especially within the last 2-3 years, the immigration debate has probably been the most important wide-scale civil and human rights issue facing the U.S. As with any debate, there are generally two sides that the media "portrays" as being in opposition to one another. One side generaly believes that immigration, especially illegal immigration has gotten so out of hand in the U.S. that it is affecting U.S. - born citizens' ability to receive health and social services, as well as employment. This view holds that the U.S. needs more stringent policies for illegal immigration, and possibly deport immigrants who are currently in the U.S. illegally. The other side generally believes that immigrants, legal and illegal, have and continue to contribute to the economy and culture of the U.S. Moreover, immigrants are first and foremost human beings who, like the everyone else, are doing the best they can to provide a stable, healthy life for themselves and their families. According to this view, any immigration reform should keep these two points in mind.

Actions have been taken on both sides to address this issue. Recently, some states have already
  • passed laws limiting opportunities for illegal immigrants.
  • On the other side,
  • faith-based institutions and organizations
  • are arguing for and taking steps to protect illegal immgrants from ostracism and persecution. This movement is known as
  • the new sanctuary movement,
  • which consists of organizations providing services, shelter, and solace to illegal immigrants.

    Regardless of which side you align more closely with, one thing's for sure:
  • immigration reform must be fair and just for all involved.
  • More on this issue will be coming soon, but I just wanted to try and frame the debate for those who may not be familiar with the issue (e.g. some people may live in a state where illegal immigration is not a serious issue), as well as for those who are aware of the debate, but feel that it is not important to them personally. My goal with part two of this post, will be to hopefully address how this issue is not only important for Christians, but for all humanity.

    What are your takes on the immigration debate? On which side do you align with? How do you think it should be addressed? Weigh in and speekonit...


    Anonymous said...

    Congress currently has no credibility on Immigration reform. The very people who have sat on their collective asses while 12 million people scoffed at our laws are now saying that 12 million people are just too much to deal with, so we should legalize them.

    Now I'm open minded about a number of issues concerning immigration...but this bill cobbled together by the people whose DERELICTION OF DUTY caused the problem is not the answer. Let me suggest instead a phased solution. Split this turkey into it's components and take them one at a time, with each one leading to building of confidence, so the follow on issues will have support.

    1. Secure the border. I don't care how. National Guard...fence...high tech detection...friggin mine field. Shut off the flow of drugs and illegal immigrants FIRST.

    2. Demand proof of citizenship or legal status for anyone who works. $10,000 per worker per day for employers who hire these people.

    3. No welfare for illegals. PERIOD. If they are unable to make it in the US, buy them a one-way economy ticket to their home country.

    Once the above measures are taken, make the case (if there is a case to be made) for a guest worker program. Explain how the people are going to be tracked, and how it will be guaranteed that they will abide by the terms of the program.

    Make the case that we need more immigration rather than less...if you can. Have a public debate...not some "grand compromise" in a back door star chamber proceeding on how this should be done. Publicly debate what's most skills or family the bright light of day.

    Publicly debate a path to citizenship. Should everybody learn English? Should they learn how our government works. Should they desire to become part of the nation, rather than a nation within a nation.

    Do these things and people may well get on board. Fail to do them, and risk getting voted out.

    Unknown said...

    Thank you for your comments. I agree with each of the points you touched on, and how they should be addressed in succession. I really like the suggestion to take this debate publicly, instead of leaving the fate of the debate into the hands of those who at the end of the day, proably don't care about the lives their decisions and policies affect the most. A major step in addessing any issue is making sure that the people who are responsible for changing policy are held accountable by the people whose lives are (most) affected.