Monday, April 26, 2010

The One About Immigration

From my other blog

A few weeks ago, a man came into the library where I work and asked a simple question; he said, “how does someone become a citizen?” I wish I could have answered the way someone would have answered my Canadian ancestors, and said, “Simply cross the line and prosper well—welcome to the land of dreams and prosperity!” That America closed its border a long  time ago.

The person who wanted to become a citizen was illegal—a common story in California. She had been in the country with her husband (also here illegally) for over ten years, and had children who had been born in this country; her youngest son barely spoke a word of Spanish, and is as American as they come.  So what is the answer to her question? It’s easy—pack up and move back to her country (Mexico), because you cannot become a citizen of the United States if you are here illegally. Her youngest son would be able to sponsor her in about six years also.

Why am I writing this? If you hadn’t heard by now, Arizona’s governor has passed new legislation to make anyone in Arizona who is in the states illegally, a criminal—which means prison time, a fine, and a one way ticket back to Mexico. It also means my wife, a born and raised United States citizen, can be questioned on suspicion of being in the United States illegally because she looks Mexican—most states call that racial profiling of the worst kind, but Arizona believes that questioning American citizens is not only socially responsible, but their right.

So back to the family above—if they lived in Arizona, they would be charged as criminals, fined, and returned to Mexico. And their ten year old, who is American and barely speaks Spanish? 

Why are they doing this?  Because they are criminals! Because they broke the law and now they must pay! Because they are wasting American tax dollars!  And because they are a bunch of arrogant, racist, white dicks who don’t want dirty Mexicans contaminating their land.

Here’s one fact people don’t talk about. It is a documented fact that immigrants actually do not hurt the economics of America—in many respects they help it. America loves taxing, so don’t think for a second that just because you are here illegally you don’t pay taxes—the federal government has absolutely no problem collecting money from these so-called criminals. You want to know how badly immigrants hurt the economics of this country? Read this article.

The fact is if you are a wealthy Mexican, you’ll have no problem getting into this country; if you are a smart Mexican and the country can benefit from your brain, you’ll have no problem getting into this country. The problem is those two types of Mexicans are not the ones who make good Americans. The ones who make good Americans are the one who come here with the dreams of a better life—who want nothing more to contribute to the diversity that makes this country so great—the ones who will be happy with living as middle-class citizens. And those are exactly the ones who don’t stand a chance of ever getting her the legal way.

Does it make you a criminal to want a better life for your children? Arizona thinks it does. And if you think it does then why don’t you get yourself out too? It’s easy to forget that Americans forcefully planted themselves on this soil, and continued to illegally revolt against the English government to steal this country away from the king (who had stole it from the Indians). But I guess you have some justifiable excuse for why that was okay. The fact is people shouldn’t be here illegally—in ideal world the government would grow a pair and figure out how to make it possible for our neighbors South of us to immigrate to this country—and how to make it possible to grant citizenship to the ones who are already here.

What does this have to do with Christianity? Arizona citizens are largely in favor of this bill, and there’s bound to be just a few Christians in that state. If any of you are reading this post, then consider what your state is doing. These people aren’t criminals! You don’t need a green card to be American—you just need a dream of something greater. Don’t fear them—embrace them! If you want to protest the fact that they are here illegally, then give them a chance to become legal. Consider the fact that they are here illegally because they don’t have any other options—they are not stealing from your state! They are contributing to it. Are there people who cheat the system? Of course! But there’s American’s who cheat the system too. There are always going to be cheaters, but deporting them won’t stop that.

Social responsibility isn’t a naughty word; it’s a Christian word—it means as Christians we are supposed to care for everyone—American or non. It means if there’s someone who wants to come to this country and dream, then we should help them build—not put up barriers to stop them.

I’ve heard a lot of Christians get upset because we don’t want prayer in schools or the Ten Commandments in courthouse. I get upset when I see Christians turning their back on people who want nothing more than freedom.


Reno said...

Huzzah! This is a very well written post, and I agree wholeheartedly. But then, I'm Canadian so that doesn't really count for much XP

Scott Douglas said...

Well if you are in Arizona, they could technically question you about being here illegally!

Carol E. said...

I agree 1000%. (And I am a Christian who is trying hard to learn more about this issue so that I can speak about it with a modicum of intelligence.)

stacey d. said...

i so agree!!
in my family we love Jesus like good southern people, but my family cares more about prayer in schools or keeping gays from marrying than the fact that our city has the highest percentage of hungry children in the nation.
it blows my mind!!