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The tricky issue of immigration

Posted by Chance on March 11, 2008

Concerning immigration, I am far from an expert in this issue. But I wanted to pen down my thoughts on issues as I see them. There are three parts of the issue I see.

1) Who do we let in?
2) What do they have to do to be let in?
3) What do we do with the people who are here illegally?

Concerning 3) I’m really not sure. This has been a point of contention among the Republican nominees. I don’t want to reward breaking the law. At the same time, there are issues of practicality to consider. How much would it cost, and how effective would it be to deport a large number of illegal aliens? I would think, a lot, and not very. I’m not saying we should do nothing, I just don’t know what exactly.

2) Again, I’m not sure. I think it should be fairly easy for those who want to come here to actually come here. There could probably be some requirement that somebody in the family actually get a job within a certain amount of time.

Concerning the English language, well, that’s a whole other ball of wax. I don’t think there should be an official language, but at the same time, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask that immigrants know some basic English for everyday tasks, i.e. passing a drivers test. Concerning schooling, a purpose of schools are to teach people to be somewhat functional people, so I do believe English should be taught to all students. I know this issue seems more complicated the more I talk about it, so I’d be interested in a teacher’s or school administrator’s perspective on this issue.

1) This is the one I have the strongest opinion. I think the primary concern here is national security. I would support not letting someone in if there was a reasonable concern about the person from a homeland security perspective. I tend to take the more libertarian/free market position that immigration should not be capped based on economic issues. Yes, there is a real human face to this issue that concerns people losing their jobs. However, I also believe that the market is self-regulating in this aspect in that we have the immigrant inflow because of a vacuum in parts of the work force. Also, I believe the net effect for the economy is positive, even for the everyday person.

Also, some people want to cap immigration for cultural considerations, but I don’t think this is a fruitful, or even desirable exercise. From a Christian perspective, there are concerns about other religions or cultures contrary to Christianity seeping into America, and that is a legitimate concern. However, I just don’t think turning away outsiders is the right approach. America has been the land of opportunity for those seeking a better life, and I think we should continue to be so. I like Ronald Reagan’s vision of America being a “city on the hill.”


5 Responses to “The tricky issue of immigration”

  1. Mr. Mack said

    Well, you’re right, it is a tricky situation. I would suggest that, prior to addressing the concerns you posted about, you might first research what s done through policy to adversely impact Mexico and other countries. An example would be our insistence that Mexico allow us to export our cheap, subsidized corn to them, effectively putting their farmers out of business. Before we signed NAFTA, we made them do that. Also, we tend to do business with corrupt governments if it favors us financially. So, yes, there are plenty of moral considerations. Also, yes, there are some national Security concerns, but how do we expect to find out who is here if we insist on keeping them in the shadows? Securing our Southern borders is a sleight of hand policy if ever there was one. Our Northern borders are almost completely unmanned, and larger. The 9/11 hijackers came here with VISAS. Most undocumented people arrived here legally, then overstayed their visas. (which btw, is not a crime)
    Anyway, glad to see a level headed approach to the issue. be well.


  2. treewrestler said

    I think as hard as it might be deportation allways has and is still the only answer to illegals. Our economy is quickly turning third world, everywhere Ive seen these giant influxes of immigrant workers it seems to be the middle class that goes first, I also am a libertarian but first an American and in America a citizen should not be forced to compete with a non-taxed immigrant for thier livelyhood.

  3. Randy Barnett said

    After our short discussion over in Neil’s blog, I wasn’t sure I was going to like what you had to say. I was pleasantly surprised. You’ve done a great job of showing respect for the law and grace to the individual.

    I would differ a little on who we let in. For economic & diversity reasons, I think we should let some people in on work visas (we do this today). Say engineers, doctors, etc. As a general rule, we should allow a certain number of people in and I believe that should be somewhat balanced across the nations (some percentage from Mexico, some from Albania, etc). We can’t let everyone in, so this seems as good a way as any to “ration” it out.

    Oh, I agree with Mack that closing the southern border is a ruse. That seems more of a racist reaction than anything. Lots of show and no real enforcement.

  4. Dan Trabue said

    From a Christian perspective, there are concerns about other religions or cultures contrary to Christianity seeping into America, and that is a legitimate concern.

    I imagine that you know that, from a Biblical perspective, all the laws and talk would seem to favor grace towards the “foreigners” in our land. And there are plenty of harsh words (mainly in the OT) for those who deal harshly or unfairly towards foreigners.

    For instance, the Israeli “welfare rules” (ie, their laws for how to deal with the poor and marginalized) lumped foreigners in with the widowed, orphaned and otherwise needy. Jesus’ great-great-etc-grandmother Ruth was a recipient of that sort of grace and welcome extended to foreigners (she was a Moabite).

    Needless to say, while there were laws/commands/rules set up telling Israel to keep from worshiping the gods of foreign nations, there were no rules making immigration illegal.

    Not that I’m saying that we ought to base our laws on Israel’s, but just for what it’s worth.

  5. Dan Trabue said

    I said:

    Ruth was a recipient of that sort of grace and welcome extended to foreigners (she was a Moabite).

    Indeed, she may have starved to death were it not for Israel’s policies towards the poor and foreign and, as Jesus’ ancestor, would our Savior have even been born????

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