Monday, July 14, 2008

The Question of Immigration

After writing in earlier posts about being a Christian citizen of the United States, I would now like to discuss the question of immigration. This has been a hot topic, although some other issues are getting hotter, so there is a little less discussion these days on immigration. Nevertheless, the issue isn’t going away, so we should examine how people of faith should address this question.

First of all, we should define terms. Those on the left say those on the right are against “immigration.” Those on the right say they are against illegal immigration only. “Immigration” is the coming into this country legally following the proper procedures and acquiring the necessary paperwork and documentation (such as a green card). “Illegal immigration” is entering this country without following proper procedures and acquiring the necessary documentation. That’s why illegal aliens are sometimes called “undocumented aliens” or “undocumented workers.” “Aliens” are people who are not citizens of this country, whether in this country legally or not.

I believe a nation has the right and even the duty to protect and control its borders. Uncontrolled penetration of our borders by illegal aliens can cause all kinds of problems in a society, including the risk of terrorism and importation of illegal drugs and other items. Undocumented workers are constantly at risk of having their lives disrupted if they are found out, and their access to social services may be limited. Now that slavery is finally getting more attention, involuntary servitude is another good reason to have better control at our borders, since most slaves are brought into this country from elsewhere. I’m not just talking about the border with Mexico, but also better control at legal entry points and along the border with Canada.

So I believe a person of faith should support our government’s efforts to control its borders for the good of society. However, viciously hunting down illegal aliens using Gestapo-like tactics, persecuting and abusing them, and denying them basic social services is not something we should condone or support. Probably the best plan is a “guest worker” kind of program that would control and legalize short-term immigration. The number of guest workers would vary depending on need and economic circumstances.

We should support legal immigration, especially for those fleeing religious or political persecution. Immigration must be limited because one country can’t accommodate all those who would like to live here to enjoy our economic benefits. There has to be some limit to the number of people we can accept.

However, because approximately 50 million babies have been aborted in this country since 1973, there’s more room than there would have been without legalized abortion. It reminds me of how we nearly wiped out the American Indian to make room for the European immigrants.

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