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No one has been talking about it recently…so I will…Immigration.

Posted by Chance on April 11, 2006

Of course the title name is sarcastic. The immigration issue has been pretty hot recently. Josh left a comment on my last post asking about immigration. To be honest, I never thought about the immigration issue a whole lot, and not in the context Josh had asked, but it is a good way to think about it.

Mostly, I had focused on the law aspect of it. There are certain laws, they should be enforced, and we should prevent illegal immigrants from coming over. While I still believe, of course, we should follow the rule of law, I started focusing on the issue of “how many people should we let over in the first place?” and “how hard should it be for someone to come over here to work, or to become a citizen?” Much of the free marke t and limited government/libertarian stuff I read support open borders. In a Cato Article from December 2004, Daniel T. Griswold asserts

The reason for the failure is simple. Our existing immigration system is out of step with the realities of American life. Our economy continues to produce opportunities for low-skilled workers in important sectors of our economy such as retail, services, construction, and tourism. Meanwhile, the pool of Americans willing and happy to fill those jobs continues to shrink as the average American worker grows older and becomes better educated. Yet our immigration system has no legal channel for workers from Mexico and other countries to come to the United States even temporarily to fill those jobs. The result is widespread illegal immigration.

This makes sense, and other scholars argue that it is not just the low-skilled jobs, but some of the high-skilled occupations as well, that immigrants tend to fill.

I was thinking from it from a national security and free-market perspective, but Josh implied that it could be a Christian issue as well, and I think he is right. While I do not believe government should be overbearing when enforcing certain “Christian policies”, (i.e. no beer on Sundays, no tattoos, which aren’t necessarily “Christian” anyway) I still believe Christian philosophy should be a factor in facets of government, such as structure, interaction with other countries, etc…

Josh asked”

With the whole Mexican immigration policies, I’ve been hearing the “Whatever you do to the least of these, you do to Me” quote.

Personally, I’ve been challenged by this debate recently. I mean I do want to show hospitality to the least of these, and most who cross our borders are the least of these, but at what price?

A good question. America is far from perfect, and is far from the ideal “Christian nation.” However, by handling the immigration policies the right way, America can aspire to be “the shining city on the hill”, as the late great Ronald Reagan would say. I don’t know the statistics on immigrants. I would not be surprised if many of them just want the free government services offered by the border states, but I think even more honestly want to work, to make things better for their families, to search for better opportunities. I have no problem with the U.S. allowing them those opportunities.

I am admittedly ignorant about the process of citizenship, and also about what it takes to come here and work. I am not asking that the citizenship process necessarily be easier, but at least the process where someone comes to work. If someone comes into this country, and is willing to work, then, for the most part, I have no problems with them coming here.

The main issues I see with immigration is overpopulation, national security, and the rule of law.

Concerning overpopulation, maybe it is not a fear I should have, and it may not be relevant. After all, people are going to come here, illegal or not.

Concerning border security, it is definitely a relevant issue. I think by making it easier to come here to work, it is easier to focus on those who sneak in with evil intentions. I believe in open borders, but not completely open. Be wary of those from hostile countries. I know this is easier said than done, and I don’t know all the details concerning the registration and such of people who live here, but national security should still remain a priority.

Concerning the rule of law, I don’t think such laws should just be ignored. However, I think once decisions have been made concerning what it takes to come to this country and work, I would be willing to let the current illegals stay here, if they are willing to go through the decided process.

Back to what Josh asked, I think that by allowing in those who want to come here, we are allowing them a chance to have a better life. While the U.S. is far from a perfect nation concerning Christianity, it can still minister to these people through example and opportunity as a nation, and it gives the church opportunity to minister to those who come here.

However, saying that last statement makes me wonder if I am looking through this through rose-colored glasses, or however the saying goes. That last paragraph sounded entirely too optimistic. Part of me wonders if “letting anyone in as long as they mean no harm” is too easy. However, perhaps we should have a compassionate stance because they are “the least of these.”

Those are my thoughts for now on the subject.

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