God's Politics

God's Politics


Noel Castellanos: We Can’t Ignore Our Immigrant Neighbors

posted by gp_intern

If there was ever a time to pray and work for the shalom (or well being) of our nation, it is now. As the people of God – his church – we are being challenged to examine our hearts and the authenticity of our own faith by the presence of undocumented neighbors struggling for survival in our own backyards. Like the religious leaders and fear-filled individuals who walked past and around the man who was laying on the side of road in Jesus’ good Samaritan story, too many of us in this country who claim to follow Jesus are doing the exact same thing – by ignoring the plight of our immigrant neighbors.

Regardless of our political persuasion, at the very least we as believers ought to be loving and merciful and compassionate towards those who are taking care of our kids, mowing our lawns, dry-walling our new homes, picking our crops, serving our meals, fighting in Iraq, and worshipping in our churches. At the very least, we should understand the agony that many of these parents feel; their willingness to do whatever they can to find a better life for their families and children – even if it means risking their lives. At the very least, our hearts should break when we hear about children being torn from their fathers and mothers by immigration raids that are, at best, a cold-hearted attempt to “fix” broken immigration laws. At the very least, those of us who really don’t understand the issues related to immigration reform should take the time to get informed.

In a perfect world, this immigration problem our nation faces would be solved quickly. The truth is, every knowledgeable person I have spoken to about the prospects of comprehensive immigration reform happening soon says the same thing: It has to happen in the next four to six months, or it may not happen for years to come.

What that sort of delay would mean for the men, women, and children who are living and working in the shadows of our society is more fear, more abuse, and more tragedy. For many of us who have been passionately involved in the struggle to reach out to the stranger, as we believe Jesus would have us to do, it would mean more disillusionment with the church and more disappointment with our lack of courage to love “the least of these” as an expression of our deepest faith.

I know it feels overwhelming to get involved (I feel over my head in this everyday). But if the Lord nudges your heart to respond, as he has nudged mine, and you do something to get involved out of obedience to Christ, we will all be amazed at what God can do in the next few months to move hearts and to change laws – because nothing is too difficult for God.

To find out more, please visit http://www.churchandimmigration.org/


Noel Castellanos is the Associate Executive Director of the Christian Community Development Association, and a member of the Red Letter Christians.



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jesse

posted February 2, 2007 at 7:16 pm


I don’t know a whole lot about this issue, but do we really have illegal immigrants enlisted in the army and fighting over in Iraq?



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wayne

posted February 2, 2007 at 7:37 pm


The short answer is yes. I know some personally. I think they have to obtain some form of legal status before they can join up and after serving they can become citizens. Many of these young men and women have lived here their entire life and absolutely view this as their country. They are happy to serve as US soldiers because they often have no real memory of their country of origen. I also know a few who sought to enter the armed forces but were not able but everyone of the people I know grew up dreaming of being a soldier, (in other words it was not just some way to scheme their way to citizenship.) Thanks Noel



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David S

posted February 2, 2007 at 8:24 pm


What part of illegal doesn’t he understand? Every Hispanic who is here legally should be furious with the ones who aren’t. America has always welcomed strangers to become Americans, but there are laws to follow. Why is America the only country on earth that isn’t allowed to protect its borders? Can you imagine sneaking into any other country and then demanding free education, free medicine, free housing, free income and then expecting that host nation to speak your native language?



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Mike Hayes

posted February 2, 2007 at 9:51 pm


David S, Many of us are from families who immigrated at a time when all a person had to do to get in was somehow obtain the ticket (I’m thinking of immigrants from Europe) and show up healthy (no contagious diseases) at Ellis Island and have a little help from family or friends who arrived earlier.



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Payshun

posted February 2, 2007 at 10:09 pm


I know some and worked w/ immigrant rights groups in the past. i say amnesty. p



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fasternu426

posted February 2, 2007 at 11:41 pm


Mexico shoots people that crosses its southern border. Mexico should clean up its act and stop encouraging its poorest to take the dangerous trip to violate American laws. This is part of the problem with wages in this country. An influx of illegal aliens artificially depress wages in professions where little to no skills are required. This causes American poor to have to compete with wages that are too low for them to live on. The best way to fix this is to stop illegal immigration (ILLEGAL being the key word) by punishing employers that knowingly hire and seal the border. Either we enforce our laws or we have none….



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Bktx1

posted February 3, 2007 at 4:58 am


Not an easy answer. Leviticus says we are to provide safe harbor to the alien. That is our human response. But also, the alien in our midst should conform to our ways. I see a reluctance to do that, enabled by our government’s failure to enforce its own laws and a failure to hold Mexico accountable for its disfunctional society.



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Mr. Dad

posted February 3, 2007 at 5:09 am


Um, what about their tolerance for we Americans? Mexicans especially, have moved into our country and not even tried in the slightest to become Americans. They do not and will not speak english – LIKE EVERY OTHER IMMIGRANTS TO COME TO THE US – and they will not try at all to curb the violence their culture breeds, etc., etc.. What about THEIR compassion for US? It is time to recognize their in-grained racism against “gringos” and start the lawsuits a-flyin wherever spanish is the soul language spoken. LIKE SAY, in thousands of businesses in America . . . where the racist anti-American actions are as easy to see as the Spanish forced on our populace. The First Amendment was not intended to settle a new country within the United States of whatever the hell we are! Gimme me a break.



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Terry Cotta

posted February 3, 2007 at 12:11 pm


MD, Truth is the first thing raped to death by the Leftists. They are hell-bent to destroy the good America for this Liberal-Progressive form of communism they are driven by. They are using their religion of secularism to establish an insane experiment of chaos that will have America broken into more factions than the USSR. I just hope I live in the best of models and that being the European-American model brought to us by the founders that worked so much better. There is nothing bad in seeing that it was great men that built all of the civilization these immigrants and Leftists are trying to benefit from. They have not created anything, they have only parasitized what was built by European-”Americans,” those men of vision, that brought us the country so many secular progressives want to see turned into Marxist chaos. Welcome to entropy politics-style. Our country will not survive these Leftist social-carcinogens. What will rise from their sickness is a broken and mutilated America. Nothing good can come from what the secular-progressives plan for us.The using of immigrants to destroy America is shrewd, cunning and Marxist without doubt. The poor and needy are an easy target of opportunity to do the bidding of a tyrant. (And those that worship at the alter of abortion on demand are incredible tyrants.) All they require is simple food to drive them in any direction. Good Americans have provided the rope for which the Liberal-Progressive – the Democrat party, the Neo-Marxists – is killing us with. The new wave of hispanic immigratnts are just a knot being applied on that noose.



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nickerson

posted February 3, 2007 at 12:55 pm


Laws dealing with undocumented workers in the US have been avoided and soften by conservatives and their business interest to increase the supply of labor in this country thereby lowering labor costs. This economic 101. Conservative busines interests have passed laws then underfunded organizations responsible for the enforcement of these laws.Liberals for the most part are looking for ways to give the undocumented alien better wages, and living conditions, health care, education for his children.It is important for us answering the call to Christ to take seriously the first Beatitude “Blessed are you who are poor for yous is the kingdom of heaven.” This is universal and applies to the poor in Mexico as well as the US. If you pass laws that control immigration then enforce them but don’t blame someelse for out come.



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wayne

posted February 3, 2007 at 3:49 pm


Is there a group of people that just watch this site for immigration posting? Our immigration laws need to be changed. Those of you who think the undocumented are just mean old Mexicans who do not respect our laws are either closet bigots or you have no heart. You certainly do not know our laws. We do not have any legal pathways for these people to enter the US. None that will allow for them in the ways they need to come or in the ways we need them to come. The only reason they are here illegally is because of that fact. They do not hate you! They do not want to steal from you! They do not want to disrespect our laws. They want to work. You are afraid of a myth. Now a whole bunch of you are going to write in and tell us a million anecdotes about Hispanics selling drugs or stealing. Please don’t. I came here from California by way of Missourri and I have been guilty of all the above. These people are certainly no worse than I was. The Gospel met me where I was and I was changed. I think that need crosses all borders. If our laws were reasonable they would be obeyed! If our laws allowed for an unskilled and uneducated worker to enter legally in the numbers we require and that they need, they would be obeyed. As long as we have the jobs and they need the work people will find a way through our deserts. Why not make it legal and stop al this fear and hate rhetoric? It can’t be making any of you happy. There is another way to pronounce “MINUTE MEN” (mynoote men). Get a bigger heart and you will become bigger people. Get to know someone who came here through our deserts. Hear their stories and understand their situations. It will make you better people and better Americans.



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Jim

posted February 4, 2007 at 12:22 pm


David S: What part of illegal doesn’t he understand? ” Answer: The whole word “illegal” David. I don’t understand it. Can you explain to my what moral law these people have broken? They have no opportunities in their home country. They come here to be able to feed their families. It is a higher law that they are obeying- caring for their families and getting a better life. I’m sure that if you were dealt the same deck you would do the same. Maybe you’re part of the group that says that they should stay in Mexico, Guatemala or wherever they came from and struggle to make a better life there. Short of a revolution, which invariably be violent, nothing is going to change down there. That argument ignores the role our country has played in aggravating the situation in many of these country. Have you bothered to investigate the effect NAFTA has had on migration? It has resulted in the loss of many jobs in the agricultural sector in Mexico. They came here. You would too if the average weekly earnings for you were $40. These immigrants may opt not to join some violent group and come to America for work and a means to support their family. In sum, I reject the label “illegal” for these people. They are good, honest, hardworking people. Sure there are bad elements in any group. But don’t hurt good people by judging them all based on anecdotes about bad elements within their group. I as a white person would not appreciate being hated simply because some whites put on KKK costumes and burned crosses and lynched people. Don’t do the same to our Hispanic (and other immigrant group) brothers and sisters simply because their mere presence here makes you unhappy. There has been enough baiting and phairiseeism surrounding this issue.Maybe we should listen to the words of a guy who had some pretty good ideas- Do not mistreat the alien among you- GOD. I would posit that when you have unjust laws that keep them down and do not give them any reasonable opportunity to function in society on an equal footing, you are violating both the letter and spirit of that rule. So, yeah, David there are parts of the word “illegal” that I do not understand. What part of “compassion” do you fail to understand? Peace, Jim



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Terry Cotta

posted February 4, 2007 at 12:45 pm


Liberals for the most part are looking for ways to turn America into a Marxist communist country. Look at how they fawn over hugo Chavez.



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wayne

posted February 4, 2007 at 3:41 pm


terry cotta I am no liberal and have never fawned over anyone. You seem to be tthe one who marches “lock step”. Oh and by the way as a conservative I agree with Jim and everyone else who disagrees with you on this subject. Get out of the eighties or the sixties or wherever you have gotten stuck in time. People are just people. You need not be afraid of them especially when they are poor. Anyone who is afraid of America becoming a Marxist Nation is more than just a little out of touch with reality. Even Russia is more likely to become a Facist state than a Marxist one, but both of these detestable governments develop by means of the kinds of fear you espouse, not by having open borders, (which I do not think wise). Just being a good conservative I know that people who want to work and will work hard to better themselves and feed their kids are the type of people I want here. Being a Christian just makes the decision to allow them to come legally much less complicated. Manage the borders with a logical guest worker program and stop using terms that are just modern versions of the “N” word like illegal.



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kevin s.

posted February 4, 2007 at 8:04 pm


That is ridiculous. Illegal is not a modern version of the n-word. Illegal is not an ascription to any particular race or nationality. It is a reference to the legal status of the person who lives in our country.Keep in mind that the residence of illegal aliens in our country inhibits the residence of legal citizens. To say they are illegal is not a moral rebuke, but rather a practical assessment of their status.



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Timbuktoo

posted February 4, 2007 at 8:47 pm


Kevin S: “That is ridiculous. Illegal is not a modern version of the n-word.” Nobody said it was. Now try addressing the argument that was made. Kevin: “To say they are illegal is not a moral rebuke” Yes it is. Give me one example of saying that something or somebody is “illegal” where it has a neutral moral connotation. You can’t because then it would, at best, be an oxymoron.



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David S

posted February 4, 2007 at 10:34 pm


Jim, I understand compassion. Campassion is not teaching people they can break any law they want in order to accomplish their goals. Compassion is not feeding generations from food stamps and government cheese to keep them down so they will continue to vote for a certain party. Compassion is not allowing a group to maintain all of their language and culture so that they can force the host nation to become like them instead of the other way around. Liberal “compassion” is the same kind that has infected the Church with it’s feel good Gospel that insists we tell no one that what they are doing is damaging them spiritually because it might hurt their feelings. This nation allows for more than any other in regards to freedoms and acceptance, yet it will never be enough for the liberals. Illegal means against the law. If that makes someone feel bad, then they need to change what they are doing. If you enter our nation illegally, you are here immorally. It has nothing to do with skin color, since many liberals like to paint all conservatives as bigots. It has to do with follow the freaken law, do it the right way and live here with a clean conscience. Peace right back at you.



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Jim

posted February 5, 2007 at 12:04 am


David S:Why you use this issue to launch a diatribe against liberals, I don’t know.You level the accusation that my ideas are ridiculous. I respond that yours are mean spirited.Whoever prevails on this immigration debate remains to be seen. But I can guarantee you that 12 million undocumented aliens aren’t leaving. So instead of pontificating like a pharisee, you may want to devote some of that energy to seeing how you’re going to get along with them. (It’s that love your neighbor thing Jesus talked about. Kinda stinks when its funner to lump them all together as a group and have disdain for them all, right?) And yes, you will have to use some of that “compassion” that you seem to know so much about, I leave you the last word. Peace, Jim



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Terry C.

posted February 5, 2007 at 4:40 am


Where is the compassion of the Mexican that comes TO AMERICA and sets up a Mexico here on OUR soil? And of course where is their compassion for setting up a system that is a failure “in” Mexico? Americans are not running to live and work in Mexico? Where is the compassion of the diseased Mexicans bringing us their diseases? Don’t they have to care for others too?



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kevin s.

posted February 5, 2007 at 6:22 am


“Nobody said it was. Now try addressing the argument that was made.” Huh? then how do you interpret this? “stop using terms that are just modern versions of the “N” word like illegal.” Perhaps you didn’t read that particular comment. “Yes it is. Give me one example of saying that something or somebody is “illegal” where it has a neutral moral connotation. You can’t because then it would, at best, be an oxymoron.” He illegally tranported the girl, who was sentenced to death by hanging in Iran for having been raped, to safety. Obviously that’s a different example, but let’s not deflect the real dialogue here.



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Timbuktoo

posted February 5, 2007 at 11:16 am


Kevin S: Look into your own life. You will be judged by the standard you are judging others. Yours is a harsh standard. You will be judged harshly. You have made mean-spirited, bitter and harsh postings. One day you will be judged by that standard. Try the rule of love. You will live longer and have more peace. May God bless you, your family and your friends. Life is good, Kevin. Don’t waste it like this.



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Donny

posted February 5, 2007 at 11:49 am


Nice sentiments Timbukto, Pretty hard to do if a plague is brought to our land by disease carrying “illegal aliens” hiding in plain sight. Why can’t MEXICO provide for their own people? And where is the “compassion” in the Mexicans that fly a Mexiacn flag on American soil in every state in OUR union? It is time for Mexicans and their supporters to stop being racists (La Raza?) and bigots towards AMERICANS IN America!!!If Mexico is so great that its flag must fly high, then create a better Mexico IN Mexico. Don’t bring Mexico to a successful country called the United States of America, when it is clear that Mexicans DO NOT want to be United with Americans.Spanish Only . . . is pure racism.



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Timbuktoo

posted February 5, 2007 at 1:47 pm


Donny: Don’t fall into the trap of hate. Reach out. Learn. You will find that you really will like these people. I am not going to go down the path of rebuking you for your provacative post. I am going to call you to higher ground. You are fully capable of it.Peace and blessings to you Donny.



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kevin s.

posted February 5, 2007 at 4:15 pm


“Yours is a harsh standard. You will be judged harshly. You have made mean-spirited, bitter and harsh postings. One day you will be judged by that standard.” You didn’t even deal with what I said. You just called me a meanie.



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Timbuktoo

posted February 5, 2007 at 4:27 pm


Kevin to you, I say what I say to Donny: Don’t fall into the trap of hate. Reach out. Learn. You will find that you really will like these people. I am going to call you to higher ground. You are fully capable of it.Peace,



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HASH(0x1182a27c)

posted February 5, 2007 at 7:12 pm


Immigrants do not lower the wages of native born workers: Statement by Alan B. Krueger, Bendheim Professor of Economics and Public Policy, Princeton University (signed by many Nobel Laureates and hundreds of leading economists and academics). “…Confident predictions that immigrant inflows have depressed the wages and employment opportunities of U.S. workers, particularly of the less skilled, belie an unsettled and often unsupportive research base. The best available evidence does not upport the view that large waves of immigrants in the past have had a detrimental effect on the labor market opportunities of natives, including the less skilled and minorities.”



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kevin s.

posted February 5, 2007 at 7:27 pm


Timbuktoo, Now you are simply condescending.



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HASH(0x1182e1bc)

posted February 5, 2007 at 7:29 pm


Payshun – amnesty is as helpful a word as illegal in this context – both should be omitted from the debate. Kevin – What you said does not reflect deeper motivations which is probably why Tim ignored it and addressed your real issue. What you said, though, still is not the equivalent. In your example you label one’s actions as illegal – something I don’t have a problem with – what is unacceptable is the labeling of a Human Being as an illegal human.



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Payshun

posted February 5, 2007 at 8:22 pm


Anonymous, This is not a debate. this is people’s lives. Amnesty and integration into this great American experiment should be extended (out of compassion and justice alone.) I realize it’s polarizing as it should be but it’s also the right response. No one said doing the right thing would be easy or popular. As a matter of fact it seldom is. Donny, Please learn something before you speak because you come off as really ignorant.Saying La Raza are racist is like claiming Mother Theresa hated the poor. La Raza is about ethnic empowerment not hatred of white people. So please get your facts straight before you type on your keyboard. Actually better yet get off your lazy butt and go to a meeting or too.I did and I found that they weren’t making plans to kill whitey or hate white people. Instead they were making plans to make sure janitors were unionized, planning food drives and helping people. p



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kevin s.

posted February 5, 2007 at 8:28 pm


“- what is unacceptable is the labeling of a Human Being as an illegal human.” Would you feel better if we called them criminals? I’m not sure of your point here. Either way, there is a vast gulf between calling someone illegal (which is shorthand for their residential status, and not an assessment of their value as human beings) and calling them the n-word. Drawing that comparison does not elucidate the conversation.Why it is mean spirited to bring that up, I have no idea.



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W.Sanderson

posted February 5, 2007 at 8:43 pm


Those who would use the Word of God to justify the support of the illegals who come to this country pick and choose word and verses and either take them out of context or pervert what is being stated please spend some time and read Romans the 13th chapter, The meaning of Blessed are the poor(you forgot the word Spirit)for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. All Christian are to obey the Laws of the Land no exceptions,unless you are ready to accept the consequences which I believe should be prison.



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Timbuktoo

posted February 5, 2007 at 8:51 pm


W.Sanderson: “Those who would use the Word of God to justify the support of the illegals who come to this country pick and choose word and verses and either take them out of context or pervert what is being stated”"All Christian are to obey the Laws of the Land no exceptions,unless you are ready to accept the consequences which I believe should be prison.” You too have been selective in your verses. You happened to select the same one Hitler did in WWII to convince the Christians that they should obey the laws regardless.Sorry, I’ve seen the results of that mentality. It may work for you. It will never work for me.



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Timbuktoo

posted February 5, 2007 at 8:54 pm


Kevin S: “Timbuktoo. Now you are simply condescending.” Interpret it as you may. I stand by it.



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ronnie

posted February 5, 2007 at 9:02 pm


nickerson, just a point of clarification, but a significant point, none-the-less. The 1st Beatitude, (Matt.5:3) does not say “Blessed are the poor”, it says “Blessed are the poor in spirit”. There’s a big difference in those 2 statements. The Bible speaks often about the poor, and the responsibility of God’s people to help the poor, but Matt.5:3 is not one of those verses.



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HASH(0x11833970)

posted February 5, 2007 at 9:20 pm


Kevin – Ningun ser humano es ilegal. Payshun – I respect the mentality, but because lives hang in the balance we must be cautious with our messaging – there is real hope for comprehensive reform this session – throwing around terms like ‘amnesty’ will only hurt the cause not help it.



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Payshun

posted February 5, 2007 at 9:47 pm


Anonymous, What reform is this? Are we talking guess workers passes? If that’s what we are talking about then we need to really examine other options. p



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getreal

posted February 6, 2007 at 3:07 am


What about there intentional and ever continuing abuse and drain of our resources that all of us pay into when we need it. They don’t contribute any money yet they get all the free services. They have as many kids as they can to suck our system dry. Yours & mine social security retirement income we have paid into our whole lives wont be there we it time. I HAVE NO PROBLEM with them wanting a better life. But Like other immagrents YOU COME HERE AND BECOME AN AMERICAN LEARN ENGLISH PAY TAXES BECOME AN AMERICAN CITIZEN. yOUR EITHER AN AMERICAN OR YOUR NOT. NO SUCH THING AS AN AFRICAN AMERICAN OR MEXICAN AMERICAN. iF YOU WANT THE TO LIVE IN A AMERICA BE AN AMERICAN OR GO BACK. THIS IS AMERICA NOT MEXICAN AMERICA



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MB

posted February 6, 2007 at 1:30 pm


So much anger spewed from so many of the comments on this post. What a shame.We have two borders one with Canada and one with Mexico. We don’t have Candadians flocking across our border desiring to work here in America. Why is that? Could it be that in Canada people have a better opportunity to better themselves because they make a wage in which they can sustain themselves and their families. Obviously Mexico doesn’t. This is the one of the reasons that they are flocking across our borders. A desire for a better life. I find this difficult to hate in a human being. I also find it hard to believe that Mexicans are not proud of their heritage and given an opportunity to provide for themselves and their families they would stay in Mexico. But being proud of ones heritage does not provide for their families. So they come here. They come here to make better lives for themselves and for their children. Again I find it difficult to find fault in that. If America wants to change the influx of our Southern border then we have got to step up to the plate and help, negotiate, talk with leaders in power across our Southern border. Until Mexico is a viable economy and the workers are making enough to make ends meet they will continue to come, out of necessity. If we as a nation were willing to speak with the leaders and talk about economics in a way which is good for all not only would many go back home but we could also have relationship we our Southern neighbors as we have with the Canadians. And personally with this supposed “War on Terror” we are in – I desire my Southern neighbor to be my friend.Obviously, for some this will come over as being socialist, communists oh yea, Marxist – wasn’t that it – but to me it only makes common sense.



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Steve T.

posted February 6, 2007 at 2:51 pm


A NEW law should be enacted that would make it open season on ALL illegal immigrants. Americans should be allowed to protect their country at any cost, even the lives of those who would break our laws and then demand rights. Fucking beaners. Shoot first and ask questions later people! And as for the bleeding hearts like Noel Castellanos, they should be exiled to Mexico so the can fight for the cause there.



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Randy

posted February 6, 2007 at 3:15 pm


Unfortunately the last comment by Steve T is all too typical of “Christian ” compassion .I am an atheist, but I never entertained the idea of “open season” on religious folk, no matter how irrational I think some of them are! I am also an American living in Mexico and I can say the the Mexican people have been amazingly warm and welcoming to me. We share values that all humanity have in common.I know many Americans who have retired here and have not made ANY attempt to learn Spanish ( even for giving ORDERS to their maids) or try to learn even a little about the culture or history of their adopted country. Even though I am not a Christian I believe that the author of this article deserves to be congratulated for bucking the all too common trend of hate from religious leaders. We are brothers after all.Thank you Noel. I saw a bumper sticker the other day that says it all for me: SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND HATE…..



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kevin s.

posted February 6, 2007 at 4:00 pm


“Obviously, for some this will come over as being socialist, communists oh yea, Marxist – wasn’t that it – but to me it only makes common sense.” It’s not Socialist. The problem is that Mexico is slow to embrace free market principles. Actually, things have been slowly improving there since the inception of NAFTA (I know that people here hate all things trade agreement). Inflation is down, exports are up, and unemployment is down. The primary difference is in rural areas, where the income gap is most prominent. It will take decades of growth and smart electoral decisions (no Hugo Chavez types) to mend the gap. In the interim, we cannot afford to sustain two economies. That is just reality. We cannot take the 40, 50, or 60 million new immigrants who will wish to work here.



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Steve T.

posted February 6, 2007 at 5:10 pm


Randy, I’m no Christian. I don’t believe in some pie in the sky God. You don’t know me. I said what I said and I’m sticking to it. You can have all the illegal aliens come live with you, we AMERICANS don’t want them here in America. I served 6 years of active duty on a US Navy submarine and feel I have the right to excersize my rights. So, get over it asshole.



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Pamela Wiltz

posted February 6, 2007 at 5:26 pm


Early immigrants to this country came in on a quota system, sometimes waiting a number of years before they were allowed to come over here. They wanted to be Americans, they learned English, became legal citizens. While they may have spoken the old language at home, they knew English. They may have continued special traditions of the Old Country, but they embraced the American ones as well. They worked hard and paid taxes and stoood on their own feet and did not expect the government to take care of them as the illegals do. They need to be sent back and then come into this country as did all the other groups, on a quota system. If they do not want to become citizens, then send them back and let someone else who does want to come into the country. Maybe if they are sent back, there might be more money available for the legal citizens of this country to receive health care!!!!



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Payshun

posted February 6, 2007 at 5:51 pm


See that racist diatribe is the problem. The notion that everyone learned english when they came here is a joke. It did not happen at least not as widespread as people assume.Let’s look at Long Island New York and the Italian immigrant population that came during the last century. You will find plenty of older grandmother/father types that don’t speak a lick of english.That changed w/n a generation but again many cultures that come here don’t learn english. Not only that but since when does one have to speak English to be American? I mean seriously the fear, vitriol and hatred against people that do pay into the system is really sad and shows that racism and xenophobia are alive and well today. Thanks for showing that. Like we need more of it. p



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Timbuktoo

posted February 6, 2007 at 6:00 pm


Steve T: “You can have all the illegal aliens come live with you, we AMERICANS don’t want them here in America. ” Pamela: “Maybe if they are sent back, there might be more money available for the legal citizens of this country to receive health care!!!!” Statements like these makes one ashamed to be an American. If that is what being American is all about, please call me anything BUT American.



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Timbuktoo

posted February 6, 2007 at 6:04 pm


Pamela: “Early immigrants to this country came in on a quota system, sometimes waiting a number of years before they were allowed to come over here. ” FACT: At the turn of the century during the big Ellis Island years there were not the long waits. Millions flowed into the country without long waits. Feel free to idealize the past but making past generations out to be more morally correct or virtuous than the present ones coming serves no purpose. I’m convinced that with the attitude you are now displaying you would have had equal disdain for the past immigrants you are now extolling.



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Timbuktoo

posted February 6, 2007 at 6:42 pm


P.S. That part about being ashamed to be called American if that is what being American is all about. Add the term Christian to that as well. If people who make such hateful statements call themselves “Christian”, I would rather burn in hades than be part of anything that they are part of.



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kevin s.

posted February 6, 2007 at 8:35 pm


This has been, by far, the least enlightening debate on any issue I have seen on this blog. People who can’t learn to disagree without wild-eyed attacks bring nothing to any adult discussion.



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Timbuktoo

posted February 6, 2007 at 11:45 pm


Kevin S: “This has been, by far, the least enlightening debate on any issue I have seen on this blog.” Kevin, thank you for being a key element in making the debate what it was! See ya!



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wayne

posted February 7, 2007 at 1:05 am


Every term used by Americans to describe Latin Americans who have entered into this country has been negative. Growing up in Southern Califonia’s Orange County when it was the home of conservative America I heard all of them often and used them frequently, I am sad to say. This latest term “illegal” is the same. Kevin no one uses it as just a descriptive term, You may claim to but if you are being honest you are certainly in the minority. I have known many people in my family who used the “N” word and said they meant no harm. It wasn’t true then and it isn’t now. Further the word over simplyfies the problem and implies a motive to the undocumented that is probably not true. If my children are hungry and I steal a loaf of bread I am a thief but I am also a father who may be doing the only thing I can to feed my family. Many people are afraid of this migration of people coming over the border. Some have a right to be, especially those who live near it and have had many situations that were dangerous or in the very least felt that way. Most of us just feel this “change” going on. The culture of our city’s is being affected. We are running into people who do not share our language, and then there are the gangs and drugs. Certainly there are reasons to fear on some level but the headlines are fanning these into unreasonable stances. People who say “they won’t make any attempt to even learn English” are examples of this. The statement is patently untrue but it is probably the way they feel or the way it seems to them. If there are 12 million undocumented persons here the rest of us number 300 million. I think our culture will win that battle. If 500 thousand come here every year that is still only one sixth of one percent of 300 million. It will take forever for them to out number us. If you are afraid of Islamic fundamentalists then you had better be prepared to protect the northern border with Canada because that is the easiest one to come through not the soutwestern deserts. Manage the borders. Know who is here and why they have come. Treat them fairly and they will either go home after they have worked here awhile or they will assimilate. If they have a hard time learning the language their children will certainly do so. In time just like all the others who have some here they will look like us, talk like us, and will in fact be us.



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Timbuktoo

posted February 7, 2007 at 1:13 am


Well put, Wayne.



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Timbuktoo

posted February 7, 2007 at 3:10 am


Headline from CNN: Klan growing, fed by anti-immigrant feelings, report says Sure can see that in this room!



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kevin s.

posted February 7, 2007 at 5:15 pm


“Klan growing, fed by anti-immigrant feelings, report says Sure can see that in this room!” Yes, we can see the KKK growing before our very eyes on the Jim Wallis blog. That makes worlds of sense.Wayne, if we can’t use the term illegal immigrant to describe those who are in this country against our laws, perhaps we can conjur a term that you do not see as equivalent to the n-word. I am unconcerned with whether our culture can win the battle, but at the current rate of immigration, we could be looking at trying to support 40-50 million additional people. What is your solution? Shall we simply open our borders? If not, then should we not enforce our laws? Or do you think we should continue to pursue a course that establishes law, but is indifferent to its violation?



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Payshun

posted February 7, 2007 at 5:52 pm


How about we nationalize folks over the next 5-10 years? So that we can slowly absorb people into the larger country. p



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wayne

posted February 7, 2007 at 9:11 pm


Kevin When you have a law that you find doesn’t work you should change the law. When people came over our southern border just to pick crops we didn’t mind all the “law breaking.” Cesar Chavez did but most of us didn’t care at all. Now it’s different somehow? Why? Is it because all that cheap labor isn’t so cheap? Is it because all these “Mexicans” don’t have the common sense to stay in the southwest where they belong?My solution would be to manage the borders with a guest worker program. It would allow for people to come legally who cannot do so now. It would also allow them to go back to their home country, which most of them would want to do. For years this is the way we handled it, not that it was perfect, but it was better. Today they are trapped, and it is these laws that are forcing them to stay. Ironically are desire to keep them out has led to this large problem. Many would stay now, as it has become home to them. They have had children and made a life for themselves despite our hatred and fear of them. The current system of laws and the inability or lack of ability to enforce those laws has created the problem. As far as a term you could use, I would prefer “undocumented worker” but if the fear of the alien is still resident in your heart then even that will become an “N” word. That is why I allowed that perhaps you do not mean to be demenaing in YOUR usage of the term “illegal”. It is this fear that we Americans need to address.Many of the posts here have referred to people draining our system and not paying taxes. Neither of these are true as a rule and when they are true it can often be attributed to our laws again. A worker who is forced to work under the table can’t very well pay taxes. For you to get mad at him for that is more than a little wrong. If these people were coming here and not finding work and if our unemployment rates were not so low I might have some different notions on the subject but neither of these are true today. Crops in California went unpicked this year. That isn’t because we had 500,000 Mexican nationals come over the border, it is inspite of the fact that they did so. That just points to the real need we have for these workers. If we have the need for workers and they have the need for work let them come legally. All the other problems with language and melding them into our society are the problems we have always dealt with in regards to immigration. They make things tough but your fear of them only makes it tougher. It does not bring any solution but makes any solution harder to come to.



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Timbuktoo

posted February 8, 2007 at 1:57 am


Kevin: “”Klan growing, fed by anti-immigrant feelings, report says Sure can see that in this room!” Yes, we can see the KKK growing before our very eyes on the Jim Wallis blog. That makes worlds of sense.” What do you think of this quote from above: Steve T.: “A NEW law should be enacted that would make it open season on ALL illegal immigrants. Americans should be allowed to protect their country at any cost, even the lives of those who would break our laws and then demand rights. Fucking beaners.” I guess that that hate speech didn’t offend you Kevin or you simply ignored it. How convenient. Yes, Kevin that ugly racist element does exist. Face it.



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kevin s.

posted February 8, 2007 at 3:27 am


“I guess that that hate speech didn’t offend you Kevin or you simply ignored it. How convenient. Yes, Kevin that ugly racist element does exist. Face it.” I saw it. It’s trolling for attention, which I am not going to give it. I am aware that racism exists, but you insinuated that I was guilty of it by way of hateful speech. By and large, the comments on this board (conservative or liberal) do not constitute racism.



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anon

posted February 11, 2007 at 12:20 pm


just checking



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wayne

posted February 12, 2007 at 12:15 am


it is just trolling and it got my attention. These guys give even the minoote men a bad name.



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wayne

posted February 15, 2007 at 4:38 pm


just checking in



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dlw

posted April 2, 2007 at 7:10 am


One thing we could do is to help to set up an income transfer for all Mexican citizens living in Mexico of a hundred dollars a year, to be distributed on a monthly basis.This would reduce the demand among them to migrate to the US. It would also help out many local economies, where nowadays people cannot find jobs.Another step would be for us to commit to helping all immigrants in our borders to vote in their nat l elections. If we had done that for Mexico s last election, it would have a made a diff and they d have a president who is committed to drastically reducing extreme poverty in Mexico. It would force the gov t to change its policies, regardless, as immigrants would doubtless want reforms at home that would stave the demand for others to migrate.dlw



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Glen

posted May 11, 2007 at 9:18 pm


Thanks, Noel, for the article. I am curious if there is someplace online where there is a reasonable discussion of solutions or progress on the migration issue. I found this with a Google search.I look forward to any comments that are helpful. I still think that De Soto’s book on capitalism has some of the most foundational thought that would lead to solutions–think: “extra-legal.”



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Proinmigrant

posted July 21, 2007 at 1:01 am


Thanks, Noel for the article regarding this complicated Issue.
Most of the comments are by xenophobics that doesnt’s understand the life and purpose od Immigrants.
Many saying regarding justice. Do we really appliied the justice to Mexicans when we Invaded their Country and take their land that we claimed know is ours.(California, Texas, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, etc., Do we? Do you know that in 1932 thousands of Mexicans Americans were deported without cause just because the depression at that time. Do we implemented justice here when other people from Other Countries just pass the border without passport like Australia, Spain, UK.
Do you know that Mexico is the second importer after Canada? Many just playing xenophobic sentiment rather than being more rational. And most of undocumented immigrants do not receive free services. Just go by facts and not by anchor media xenophobics that just want to increase racism in our Country.
http://proinmigrant.blogspot.com/



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