God's Politics

God's Politics


Why Did Elvira Risk Deportation by Leaving Sanctuary? /by Alexia Salvatierra/

posted by God's Politics

I sat with Elvira Arellano at a press conference last weekend with representatives of our sanctuary families in Los Angeles. Several of the reporters asked her if she believed that she was the Rosa Parks of the immigrant rights movement. Her response was simple and clear – “I am Elvira Arrellano, just a mother who does not want to be separated from my child nor to take him away from his country.”
Of course, she is now deported and has to face the terrible choice of being apart from her son or keeping him from all of the benefits and opportunities that are his birthright as an American citizen.
Why did Elvira risk deportation by leaving sanctuary? Elvira’s stated purpose in risking deportation was to renew attention to the plight of the hundreds of thousands of families like hers – families that are facing the threat of being broken by a broken immigration system – and to issue an urgent call for comprehensive immigration reform.
We have been asked repeatedly about the impact of Elvira’s arrest on the New Sanctuary Movement. Across the country, the impact is consistent. We are saddened by her arrest, and we know that many immigrant families are experiencing greater trauma and fear as a result. However, her courage is also inspiring the families in sanctuary and their allies to strengthen our efforts to make visible the unjust suffering of children and their families.
We are committed to continue and to expand the New Sanctuary Movement because we believe that true immigration reform will require that many more native-born Americans and immigrants across the nation understand the contribution of immigrants to our society, the path to a humane and effective immigration system, and the current suffering of families.
We believe that this understanding will only come when non-immigrants know immigrant families personally as members of the same human family, beloved by God.
We believe that by continuing to make visible the faces and stories of immigrant families facing deportation, in the light of spiritual principles and moral values, we will, in God’s time:

  • Change the hearts and minds of those who currently want to deport immigrant workers and their families.

  • Inspire supportive community members to active and ongoing civic participation.
  • Heal immigrant workers and their families who are traumatized by the current waves of hatred and rejection and enable them to participate actively in education and advocacy.


Rev. Alexia Salvatierra is the executive director of CLUE (Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice), an organization of religious leaders in Los Angeles county who support low-wage workers in their struggle for a living wage, health insurance, fair working conditions, and a voice in the decisions that affect them.



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Mike

posted August 27, 2007 at 12:10 pm


This young woman was a prior deportee. Which made her a Felon in cviolation of 8USC 1326(a). And if I am not wrong she had a conviction for social security fraud. Not the most inticing poster child for Immigration Reform.



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mikeknowslegalstuff

posted August 27, 2007 at 12:23 pm


Not 8USC 1326(a)!!?? Oh the humanity…



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charlotte ward

posted August 27, 2007 at 12:23 pm


I have a Swiftian solution to the immigrant problem: Until they can be deported,hire illegals to do a much needed civic restoration project: let them chisel Emma Lazarus’s verse from the Statue of Liberty, since it is no longer applicable. Pay them sub-minimum wages and house them in refrigerator cartons while they wait. (Surely enough rich people are buying new refrigerators!)



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Tr4p

posted August 27, 2007 at 12:34 pm


So what’s the answer? Should every immigrant who has come into this country illegally, and has a child be granted citizenship? I’m not trying to be mean or sarcastic, I understand it’s a humanitarian issue, but what is the answer? If we allow Elvira to stay here, won’t that encourage every pregnant woman who wants citizenship to jump in front of those who are trying to enter legitimately and enter illegally?



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kevin s.

posted August 27, 2007 at 12:52 pm


Tr4p,
Hitler liked to pick and choose who got to be a citizen.
I mean, the discussion is headed there anyway, might as well just jump right too it.



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Beth Davidson

posted August 27, 2007 at 12:53 pm


At the time of Jesus, adultery was a crime punishable by death – and there is little to no mention of deportation or section 8USA 1326A in the NT. Isn’t it ironic that suddenly – the natural instinct to provide for one’s self is a {gasp} felony and adultery is no longer a crime – and often the catalyst for celebrity?
The fellas hanging out at the law library looking for hair-splitters so they could run Jesus out of town for contradicting “The Law” thought they finally had him with that adulteress woman. But two very important things were said when they brought her before my savior:
1) Those among you without sing – cast the first stone.
2) Go and sin no more.
This country is a gift from God. Our system government endures because we have the power to modify legislation when human dignity demands it. If it were not so – we could never have abolished slavery, women would still be treated as second class citizens, and laws mandating segregation will still divide us into two… or three societies.
So if you don’t like the thoughts of hungry people breaking 8USA 1326A to share in the blessings of God – then change the law! That’s the essence of being an American, and our call as God’s children.



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kevin s.

posted August 27, 2007 at 12:53 pm


Too it?
To it…



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Mike Grello

posted August 27, 2007 at 1:03 pm


Tr4p asked:
“So what’s the answer? Should every immigrant who has come into this country illegally, and has a child be granted citizenship?”
You mean act like this is a human trafficing problem? Behave as if people are immigrating to the US because our noe-liberal economic policies destroyed their native countries, both economies and democrocies? Our response to the global situation that created this crisis should be “I am so sorry, my greed and indifference caused me to ignore overt and covert acts that made you country unlivable, what can we do to help?” It is effective to focus on the minor point that people come over here ignoring our man made artificial laws and borders, in allowing us to ignore that we are breaking God’s laws about idolotry and welcoming the stranger among us. How dare we wear our “affordable” sneakers while forgetting that the children making them are beaten and raped. And how can we plead innocence of the reality that draconian immigration laws are valuable tool in enslaving and exploiting millions of our brothers and sisters? In the seventies they used to say Christians are dead men on furlough to underscore that your “superiority” is the least important component when deciding an issue, I think it is about time that we decide that the vaction, which has turned into a prosperous retirement, has gone on long enough. We should reaquaint ourselve with Jesus’ words to the Laodicean church “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.”
Do such thoughts of indifference to the poor even belong in the body? I say no!



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N.M Rod

posted August 27, 2007 at 1:05 pm


Many used to be a hardshell Christians – readers of World Magazine, supporters of Focus on the Family, Southern Baptists, defense industry supporters, War Jesus believers – then a strange thing happened. They got excluded or marginalised, and no one among their hardshell Christian brethren cared.



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Beth Davidson

posted August 27, 2007 at 1:19 pm


“Many used to be a hardshell Christians – readers of World Magazine, supporters of Focus on the Family, Southern Baptists, defense industry supporters, War Jesus believers – then a strange thing happened. They got excluded or marginalised, and no one among their hardshell Christian brethren cared.”
Speaking from experience, many of us were pandered to by media outlets and politicians who claimed to be defenders of our faith… crusaders against the “progressive secularization” of our country, while slowly interjecting bits and pieces of an immoral agenda that I find offensive as a woman, mother, and Christian.
Lately, I am reminded of the little saying made popular even in secular circles… “What Would Jesus Do?” and forget about what everyone else’s opinion on the matter is…



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Chuck Geshekter

posted August 27, 2007 at 2:22 pm


kevin s writes: “Hitler liked to pick and choose who got to be a citizen.”
Actually, it’s well documented that Hitler allowed the Aryan Immigration Purity Chancellery (“Arischer Immigration-Reinheitchancellery”) a great deal of autonomy. Could have been because its head, Franz Otto van Rückständekopf, was an old and trusted comrade from the Munich days.



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Bill Samuel

posted August 27, 2007 at 3:20 pm


From time to time, we hear an undocumented immigrant’s story, like we have of Elvira. It is usually compelling. If you go and talk to a number of undocumented immigrants, you’ll find that the few stories we do hear are not much out of the ordinary. There are millions of compelling stories out there.
Most undocumented immigrants are decent people coming out of desperate circumstances trying to find a way forward to live in dignity and provide for their families. They are our brothers and sisters for whom we should have compassion. We should appreciate our own situations of being much more advantaged than most of the world’s people, and our hearts should be full of compassion for those who haven’t had the advantages we have and are striving just to have the minimum for a decent life.
I can’t see Jesus seeking to push hard working decent folks out of the country because they are from another country and lack the imprimatur of a bureaucracy for permission to come into a place where they may find a decent life.
What if we devoted all the law enforcement resources dedicated to dealing with people with status violations on the very small proportion of immigrants who are criminal and anti-social? Wouldn’t this country be far better off?



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kevin s.

posted August 27, 2007 at 4:10 pm


“What if we devoted all the law enforcement resources dedicated to dealing with people with status violations on the very small proportion of immigrants who are criminal and anti-social?”
Many of the “pro-immigration” advocates also oppose laws that would allow police officers to garner information on immigration status from lawbreakers. Such is the mania surrounding this issue that even the most reasonable enforcement option must absolutely be opposed.



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Beth Davidson

posted August 27, 2007 at 4:59 pm


The recently defeated reform legislation included provisions for informant visas. The anti-immigration crown opposed that law when clearly it would mean bringing people out of the shadows and under the rule of law while and helping identify the dangerous criminals, abusers, molesters, drug dealers, gang-bangers, human traffickers, etc. who WOULD NOT have been eligible for any type of legalization. Why wasn’t that a good idea? Beats me.



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Kevin Wayne

posted August 27, 2007 at 4:59 pm


As long as I’m a decendant of Euopean immigrants who were’nt exactly invited here by the Native Americans, I gotta say anything about it with my hands in my pockets. Of course, several of our Conservative friends here are in that boat also, but do you think it will cause them to strike a mellow note. Aw hell no!



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jurisnaturalist

posted August 27, 2007 at 6:01 pm


My main problem with this post was “all of the benefits and opportunities that are his birthright as an American citizen.”
Birthright? Birthright?!?
Birth-privilege is more like it.
Rights know no borders. Rights know no collectivization. They are inherent to the individual.
With this in mind, no one has a right, or lacks the right, to be an American citizen. Citizenship is a privilege.
But, most Americans have a revulsion to the concept of privilege.
“Privileged? Me? (insert mock modesty, eg: I’m grateful to live in a free country…) But I wouldn’t say I’m privileged!”
And we are right to have a distaste for privilege. It usually connotes someone receiving a favor based on political connections, rather than on merit.
So, we tend to reject institutions or legal structures dependent upon privilege rather than rights.
Unless it means taking away OUR privilege. Then we get angry. We fuss and holler. We are more protective of our privileges than we are of our rights. It’s what sets us apart from other people. It’s what makes us better than them.
To be an American citizen is indeed a blessing, but it should not be a privilege. Or, rather, Americans’ rights ought not to be protected by the state more than or less than the immigrants’. This much we have direct specific scripture to backup.
The best we can do is to make citizenship as little about privilege as possible, and as much about rights as possible.
In this structure, immigrants would be welcome, but neither they, nor anyone else, would have a justified claim on the life, liberty, or property of anyone else.
We would have to do away with welfare, social security, pro-marriage laws, drug prohibitions, foreign aid, foreign armed intervention, affirmative action, firearms restrictions, trade barriers, trade subsidies, corporate welfare, patents, public utilities, unemployment insurance, the federal reserve bank,
and all other institutions which base their decisions upon privilege.
Now, pick your pet issue. The one which you champion above all others. Who is privileged by your issue? Is it you? Is it someone you have compassion for? Most likely it is. I’d love to hear of counter-examples.
If we really want justice it requires an awful lot of courage and a strict adherence to protection of rights, and a steadfast renunciation of privilege.
Nathanael Snow



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Payshun

posted August 27, 2007 at 6:06 pm


Beautiful post.
p



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Anonymous

posted August 27, 2007 at 6:14 pm


Beth said
“The anti-immigration crowd…”
Paul Responds
We are not against immigration. We fully recognize that we are a nation of immigrants. For the most part, we could care less where someone is from.
We also recognize that we are a nation that operates by the rule of law. Mexicans want to come here? Great. Come. Canadians want to come here? Bring them in. Kurds, Iraqi’s, Iranians fleeing Ineedajihad’s tyranny? Step right up. However, there are laws that govern the process. The Anti-illegal-immigration crowd (AII) simply wants the laws followed. We are not asking for more than we are expected to do ourselves.
Are there parts of the current law that should be changed, at least, or done away with altogether? Probably so. Will the AII crowd be willing to demand those changes? For the most part, yes. Again, we are simply asking that everyone play by the rules.
With regards to Mexico, there are some unique issues that are in play. First, the government is incredibly corrupt, at all levels. People are simply tired of the corruption, and the lack of oppertunity the political situation creates. So, people find any means they can to cross the boarder, and the Mexican government helps that along by publishing maps and directions on how to get into the US illegally. In doing so, the Mexican government uses the US as a pressure release valve. TH epressure that should be reaching a boiling point in Mexico is releasing into the US, and releaving the Mexican government of it’s own responsibility, and placing it on the US. The problem is, that when the US reaches the boiling point, it could be far worse for everyone who is from Mexico, legal or illegal. However, if that pressure stays in Mexico, change will be forced upon the government, and you would find that the political situation in Mexico far better, and the average US citizen would have a little more respect for our neighbors to the south.
Paul



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Wolverine

posted August 27, 2007 at 7:13 pm


We’ve done this topic to death: the right is scandalized by the failure on a crand scale to enforce the law. The left is scandalized by the notion that the law might be enforced.
Still curious what Sojo thinks about the Jindal ad. There’s a subject that’s still relatively fresh and where Jim Wallis et al might have something original to say.
Or maybe not.
Wolverine



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Russell

posted August 27, 2007 at 7:21 pm


This woman is indeed a felon and needed to be deported and she had the choice of taking her son with her, so that is not anyone else’s fault. She needs to accept the consequences of her actions because she has repeatedly violated the laws of our country. Why are people upset when law enforcement actually does their job?
We cannot just let everyone come into this country who wants to because our government has a hard enough time handling our current population.
And these churches that are giving “sanctuary” to convicted felons does not make since to me. Can someone please explain to me?
We are all personally responsible for our actions and have to suffer the consequences when we break laws.
We are a free, democratic society. We are moving closer and closer to socialism and we all know where socialism leads. In order for us to stay a democracy we need everyone to stop becoming dependent on the government to solve all our problems because they can’t. They can’t even balance a checkbook.



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jurisnaturalist

posted August 27, 2007 at 8:14 pm


Russell,
“We cannot just let everyone come into this country who wants to because our government has a hard enough time handling our current population.”
This would be the best and only legitimate consequentialist argument against open borders if it were true. But it is not.
There are plenty on natural resources to go around here in America. And as for the “government handling” us, I’d rather they not handle us at all, but just leave us alone.
Nathanael Snow



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kevin s.

posted August 27, 2007 at 8:20 pm


Out of curiosity, who is advocating an open-border policy? If you are, let’s work from there. If you are not, then all this stuff about scrubbing the statue of liberty and whatnot really isn’t relevant. Can we have one thread about this subject where we discuss our policy stances?
“We are moving closer and closer to socialism and we all know where socialism leads.”
Careful. Some here would say it leads to utopia. Jim Wallis is essentially a religious socialist with good message discipline.



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jurisnaturalist

posted August 27, 2007 at 9:44 pm


I am advocating an open border policy. I do so on principle, and denounce both conservatism and liberalism as inconsistent with the Christian Ethic insofar as they do not also adopt open borders, and opt for statist policies instead.
Indeed, both Christian Liberals and Christian Conservatives serve pagan idols in the form of government in whatever way they seek to accomplish they mandates delivered to the church through the state.
NS



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Jerseykid

posted August 27, 2007 at 9:45 pm


What if we devoted all the law enforcement resources dedicated to dealing with people with status violations on the very small proportion of immigrants who are criminal and anti-social? Wouldn’t this country be far better off?Posted by: Bill Samuel
Of course we would be better off. But then who could the neo-conservative reactionary pharisees hate?



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Anonymous

posted August 27, 2007 at 10:02 pm


chuck; so glad to see you back. but out of your league here i fear. either your popsicle or your chosen language has garbled your comment. what do you mean? and what is your point?
juris; are we talking about an illegal who got deported? or is this a special class in wordsmithing? where does your comment about rights and privileges take us? are you for or against the new sanctuary movement? for or against enforcing immigration laws? how do you propose to resolve the current problem of 9 million (they say) illegal immigrants? try to answer in few words so chuch and i can understand. by the way, maybe my pet issue is the useless academic blather that comes out of our elite universities and which offers no solutions to anything. those who are privileged by it are the over paid, underworked tenured teachers.



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jerry

posted August 27, 2007 at 10:08 pm


that was my post. jerseykid. who are the neo-conservative, reactionary pharisees?



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Jeff

posted August 27, 2007 at 10:26 pm


“Of course we would be better off. But then who could the neo-conservative reactionary pharisees hate?”
Can we do our best to just ignore comments like these so we can have a discussion about the issue.
Jeff



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Jerseykid

posted August 27, 2007 at 11:23 pm


“that was my post. jerseykid. who are the neo-conservative, reactionary pharisees?”
They know who they are. They frequent this blog quit a bit.
“Can we do our best to just ignore comments like these so we can have a discussion about the issue.”
Nope
“The left is scandalized by the notion that the law might be enforced.”
A classical misrepresentation of the left’s postion. The left is scandalized by the utter inhumanity of the right insofar as they would force the departure of good, decent hardworking people. Yeah, I know that they broke the law but if you’re starving in Mexico and you have the choice of breaking US laws and coming here illegally or continuing to starve in Mexico…well the choice seems pretty obvious except to those who have hardened their hearts.



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c kitty

posted August 28, 2007 at 12:45 am


If a person’s only serious crime is crossing a border to find work, thier name should drop way to the bottom of the list of people to chase out of the country. It would seem more important to go after those who are violent criminals. But it is so much easier to pick on a target that isn’t really moving. And then everyone can get a thrill out of catching an “illegal”, often a woman trying to feed her kids. As for the hardened criminals, well since we are so busy chasing down the easy ones, we don’t really have the manpower to go after the really dangerous illegals.



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wayne

posted August 28, 2007 at 1:25 am


Enforce the border all you want to. It won’t work because they will just come by boat via Venice beach or some other coastal sandy spot, but do it anyway so people “feel safer”
Allow those already here to either
1. work toward legal status.
or
2. come and go with a managed program. (not all want to stay permanently at least).
Make them pay fines, if you must.
Anyone who has committed a crime other than a misdemeanor should have the penalty requisite to their crime imposed.
Anyone who has a past criminal history in their country of origin should be treated with concern, if not deported.
Manage all further immigration with a stable, common sense approach to the labor needs. If jobs are available and Americans do not, cannot, or will not, fill those jobs let somebody else do so.
If you do not think this is a good idea then try to imagine a United States where we round up people with brown skin and create detention centers for deportee’s. It will certainly make the “Nazi stigmata” harder to wash off. Oh and be sure to arrest all the church people for helping their fellow human beings without asking them for their visas and green cards. They surely deserve prison time, if not hell fire.
Fine all employers who hire anyone without papers. If they do it again put them out of business by revoking their license.
We will be able to see that idea take effect in AZ as soon as next year, won’t that be great! In AZ it is estimated that undocumented comprise 17% of the total workforce. Hope you are one of those secret unemployed people who are yearning to work for Mac Donald’s or the local car wash.



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Anonymous

posted August 28, 2007 at 10:56 am


“If a person’s only serious crime is crossing a border to find work, thier name should drop way to the bottom of the list of people to chase out of the country.”
This is precisely what has gotten us into this mess in the first place.
“It would seem more important to go after those who are violent criminals.”
We do this as well.
“But it is so much easier to pick on a target that isn’t really moving.”
Many illegals move quite a bit.
“And then everyone can get a thrill out of catching an “illegal”, often a woman trying to feed her kids.”
A thrill? It has nothing to do with thrills.
“As for the hardened criminals, well since we are so busy chasing down the easy ones, we don’t really have the manpower to go after the really dangerous illegals.”
We are not going after any illegals at all and, as I mention above, local law enforcement is discouraged for questioning the legal status of those who are committing other crimes.



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Mike Grello

posted August 28, 2007 at 11:12 am


I would like to apologize that in trying to follow Christ, many of our attitudes and policies resemble those of the political left. It is, however, inevitable; they got them from us.



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Mike Grello

posted August 28, 2007 at 11:18 am


I would like to apologize that in trying to follow Christ, many of our attitudes and policies resemble those of the political left. It is, however, inevitable; they got them from us. They (as are we) are still learning how to play them out. “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.” Jesus said, and mixing the gospel of grace with nationalism and legalism is turning back. Scripture is clear on how to treat the stranger among you; the laws of man are without relevance when we decide whether or not we will obey the laws of God.



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kevin s.

posted August 28, 2007 at 11:19 am


Wayne,
Thank you for telling us what you are actullay for. Some responses.
“Enforce the border all you want to. It won’t work because they will just come by boat via Venice beach or some other coastal sandy spot, but do it anyway so people “feel safer”
Allow those already here to either
1. work toward legal status.”
So, what you are effectively advocating is an open-border policy with a little bit of governmental waste thrown in. Once here, the immigrant is guaranteed an opportunity to work toward legal status, unless I misunderstand you.
“Anyone who has committed a crime other than a misdemeanor should have the penalty requisite to their crime imposed.”
I’ve heard this case made before. Regardless of what you believe, the logic in this argument is flawed. If you are driving 90 mph in a 65 mph zone, you will eventually get pulled over and receive a ticket. What also happens is that you are not speeding any more (by virtue of being pulled over).
The logical response, then, to illegal immigration, if we are treating it like a misdemeanor, is to first stop the crime from occurring, then level whatever fine we deem necessary.
“If you do not think this is a good idea then try to imagine a United States where we round up people with brown skin and create detention centers for deportee’s. ”
The goal is deportation, not detention. We round up Europeans and other immigrants who are here by way of overstaying visas and such, not that they really have advocacy groups. There are many nations of people who would like to find a better life here who are not so conveniently located.
“It will certainly make the “Nazi stigmata” harder to wash off.”
I don’t think it will be difficult at all. Most people don’t compare everything to Hitler.
“Oh and be sure to arrest all the church people for helping their fellow human beings without asking them for their visas and green cards. They surely deserve prison time, if not hell fire.”
Now you are becoming a bit less cogent. There are ways of tightening enforcement without throwing priests in prison.
“Fine all employers who hire anyone without papers. If they do it again put them out of business by revoking their license. ”
Or simply increase the fine.
“Hope you are one of those secret unemployed people who are yearning to work for Mac Donald’s or the local car wash.”
What happened to the millions of unemployed people who don’t show up on the rolls because they have simply given up their job search fairy tale? Oh well. At any rate, for those who already do work at McDonalds legally, they can certainly expect a pay increase.
Let me ask you this. If we have an open borders policy codified into law, what if 25 million people want to come here, lured by the promise of safe haven? What if 50 million or 100 million want to come? What do we do then?



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Wolverine

posted August 28, 2007 at 12:52 pm


From the above, I would infer that the answers to the two big questions are as follows:
1. Why did Ms. Arellano leave sanctuary?
– Publicity, natch. Living in a church in the US was unaccaptable without the glare of the TV lights and the choreographed adulation (oh you’re so brave and wise!) and venting of spleens (those conservatives are so eeeevil!) that she would have received at the rally in L.A. This hunger for attention reached the point where a certain gruesome death (or deportation, whatever) was preferable. Her kids safety? Not all that big a factor. They were relatively safe in the church. Outside they were at risk. So what does Ms. Arellano do? Hops on a plane from Chicago to Los Angeles. Smart move if you’re an illegal alien trying to get yourself deported and seperated from your children. Verily she hath received her reward.
2. What affect did this have on the New Sanctuary Movement?
– Either none or negative. Rev. Salvatierra does not report a whole lot of new volunteers or applicants for sanctuary. I stand by my original assessment that this was a publicity stunt from the word go.
Wolverine



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Wolverine

posted August 28, 2007 at 1:00 pm


Rev. Salvatierra wrote:
Of course, she is now deported and has to face the terrible choice of being apart from her son or keeping him from all of the benefits and opportunities that are his birthright as an American citizen.
Look, I don’t mean to say that Ms. Arellano doesn’t still have some tough decisions to make after arranging her own deportation, but this exaggerates things. If she takes the kid to Mexico he remains a US citizen, entitled, among other things, to the assistance of the US Secretary of State if he has trouble with local muckedy-mucks, and to return to the US.
As sob stories go, this rates about a 4 out of ten. It’s definitely a tough situation. I could probably work up some sympathy if it weren’t for all the politically motivated rhetorical overkill.
Wolverine



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jurisnaturalist

posted August 28, 2007 at 1:08 pm


Jerry (I think),
My concern is with ethics and the law and getting it right it the future.
My comment about rights and privileges implies that as Christians we ought to renounce seeking of privileges and work to reduce the number of privileged institutions individuals are faced with in their decision making.
In short: Open Borders.
I don’t see that there is a problem with 9, 20 , or 100 million immigrants that needs resolution.
My blather is intelligent, though whether it is academic is a subjective qualification. I got most of it out of books, which one does not necessarily need to go to an institution of higher learning to acquire. Will Hunting said it best, “You could’ve got it for $2.11 in overdue fees.” I tend to disagree with most of my tutors anyway. Professors, CEO’s and everyone who does not work directly for the government is paid a competitive wage, no whining allowed.
Mike,
Mixing the gospel of grace with guilt motivated wealth redistribution programs and moralizing of unbelievers is not something the left learned from the church… or is it?
Kevin,
“What if 50 or 100 million come?”
What are the incentives for people to move here? Let’s just focus on Mexico for a few minutes. Most other immigrants face lower barriers to entry anyway.
If 20 million Mexicans are in America now, we are doing okay. No big deal.
If another 20 million come, then wages in America will fall, though overall productivity may likely continue to increase. In that case, everybody’s okay. No big deal.
If the new 20 million reduce the average well-being of individuals inside America on the other hand, then there is a reduced incentive for more Mexicans to come to America. Some may even go back. In the long run we might expect Mexico and America to have similar economies. People would be indifferent to living here or there. Some of us might move there, even. There is nothing unjust about this, so long as rights are preserved throughout. The only change has been removal of a protected privilege from Americans.
While we enjoy that privilege, I can find no ethical grounds for it. It is, to me, an injustice.
So, everybody’s okay, if maybe more equal in incomes (though I doubt this case altogether), no big deal.
The same logic applies to 100 million immigrants or more.
Additionally, open immigration policies will encourage other nations to lower barriers to trade and to make their laws more free. This will encourage investment and growth the world over. Again, people would have less incentive to move here. No big deal.



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jerry

posted August 28, 2007 at 1:15 pm


publicity indeed. and did anyone see the sad face of the pastor who gave her sanctuary. on fox news he would not face the camera and hung his hat on the arellano boy, who he is babysitting,for sympathy and who did not have an answer to the questions about illegal status, or immigration. all he could do was mumble the progressive song about poor, starving, oppressed, people who are misunderstood and mistreated.



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Anonymous

posted August 28, 2007 at 1:21 pm


Mike said,
“the laws of man are without relevance when we decide whether or not we will obey the laws of God.”
Easy does it… that is the stance of the religious extremist as well. Look around the world at where that concept gets us. By that definition, anything is permissible if you can find a way to justify in scripture…and the extremist usually does!
We have man-made laws in order to prevent anarchy and uphold civil societies in order for all ctizens to have a place in public discourse and in the shaping of policy- Jew, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Atheist, agnostic…whatever!
Secular law can be and is flawed. But I would rather have that then a nut-job, religious fanatic calling the shots.
Let’s not get carried away.



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elsa

posted August 28, 2007 at 1:22 pm


Mike said,
“the laws of man are without relevance when we decide whether or not we will obey the laws of God.”
Easy does it… that is the stance of the religious extremist as well. Look around the world at where that concept gets us. By that definition, anything is permissible if you can find a way to justify in scripture…and the extremist usually does!
We have man-made laws in order to prevent anarchy and uphold civil societies in order for all ctizens to have a place in public discourse and in the shaping of policy- Jew, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Atheist, agnostic…whatever!
Secular law can be and is flawed. But I would rather have that then a nut-job, religious fanatic calling the shots.
Let’s not get carried away.



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Eric

posted August 28, 2007 at 1:38 pm


Juris – Would it become a big deal when the 40 million Mexicans who’ve come here start to demand the same level of government services that are provided to Americans? The vast majority of Mexican immigrants are poor and would require much more to be spent on our schools, infrastructure, health care programs, nutrition programs, etc. The government would require higher taxes and the big government types that Mexicans vote for would be more than happy to raise our taxes to pay for it all. Does this concern you? Or would this scenario not occur in your opinion?



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Mike Grello

posted August 28, 2007 at 2:12 pm


jurisnaturalist said:
“Mixing the gospel of grace with guilt motivated wealth redistribution programs and moralizing of unbelievers is not something the left learned from the church… or is it?”
I am afraid your straw man is on fire. The wealth is already being redistributed. What Jesus advocated, and the early Church practiced, was that His followers should exercise economic policies that minimized the effect of Rome’s oppression, “lend to those who ask you without expecting repayment”, like “turn the other cheek” was not a recipe for being a door mat, but an effective way for an oppressed people to oppse their oppressors and reclaim their dignity.
elsa said:
“Easy does it… that is the stance of the religious extremist as well. Look around the world at where that concept gets us. By that definition, anything is permissible if you can find a way to justify in scripture…and the extremist usually does!”
More straw men! Scripture taken as a narrative does in fact paint a very real picture than one obtains from proof texting and lifting stories out of context. Further, in light of the past 2000 years of church history and tampering with the scriptural record, the scriptures do not contain the entirety of God’s laws. We can take a long view of our involvement in human history, and by now know what works and what doesn’t, what pleases God and what doesn’t; and, like it or not, civil disobediance is a keeper. Further, that disobediance should be without malice or violence and respect the dignity of God’s children, While we may admire, for example, Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s taking a stand by working to assasinate Hitler; it did not work and was not God’s perfect plan for solving the problem. Whenver we excurse into the violent, we enter the oppressor’s territory, and frankly, they are better at it than we. Our strenght, the Bible tells us, is in our weakness.
Plainly, the question was “Why did Elvira risk deportation to leave sanctuary?” So this was not somebody who put her own interests or the interests of her family first, but rather worked to expose the injustice of our present immigration system; just like Jesus instructed. The question should be less why has this woman risked her comfort and family to demand justice, but rather how can we know that such injustice exists and enjoy our comfortable homes and secure lives? And it is that question, that gnawing at our hearts, cause us to demonize those who protest the inequities of the system and ignore those who are trapped within it.
Guilt? Guilt isn’t motivating us to take action, but rather crippling our conscience and preventing it.



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elsa

posted August 28, 2007 at 2:49 pm


Mike said,
“More straw men! Scripture taken as a narrative does in fact paint a very real picture than one obtains from proof texting and lifting stories out of context.”
Agreed- lifting stories out of context is the art of the extremist.
“Further, in light of the past 2000 years of church history and tampering with the scriptural record, the scriptures do not contain the entirety of God’s laws.”
Couldn’t agree more!
We can take a long view of our involvement in human history, and by now know what works and what doesn’t, what pleases God and what doesn’t;
Is what works necessarily what pleases God?
Can we, those “grains of sand” claim to know the mind of God even with the gift of the Scriptures?
He who thinks he knows, doesn’t know; he who knows he doesn’t know, knows.
“The question should be less why has this woman risked her comfort and family to demand justice, but rather how can we know that such injustice exists and enjoy our comfortable homes and secure lives?”
Mike, those Americans, probably all of us on this board, who enjoy those confortable homes and secure lives, do so because the United States has established both a rule of law and principles that have provided that security to us either directly or indirectly. To disturb and tamper with that rule of law, to weaken those principles until they are irrelevant, as you state, is to effectively destroy that bounty that we enjoy and the reason why so many legal immigrants are welcomed here each year. I am not willing to let your philosophy destroy the greatness of this country in order to satisfy your guilt complex.
And yes, it is a privilege and not a right to be an American.
I have said it before and I will say it again. I am 100% for legal immigration.



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bob

posted August 28, 2007 at 2:49 pm


The true injustice of our immigration system is that those who REALLY ARE oppressed must wait years to get a visa to enter this country, while those who want to earn more money sneak across the border and then demand services. That sounds callous, but every country has the right to determine who comes into their country. The average citizen in the U.S. has a great deal of compassion for the poor and oppressed, but it is not right to have the problem thrown into their lap and told to pay for it and deal with it without having a voice in the decision. We cannot remain a country which believes in the rule of law if we do not follow it. The solution to this problem is further economic investment in Mexico and Latin America, continuing the pressure to open markets and liberalize banking systems. There is plenty of resources and money, but it is not available to the people of Mexico. We need to put pressure for change, and not allow drug lords to be the only entrepenurs in Mexico.



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Don

posted August 28, 2007 at 3:23 pm


“I have said it before and I will say it again. I am 100% for legal immigration.”
I am too, ans so are almost all Americans who want immigration reform. We would like to change the laws so those who are currently unable to enter legally may do so.
Until that happens, however, how do we as Christians treat those who are here? Arent’t they still our neighbors, whether the law recognizes it or not?
Peace,



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Wolverine

posted August 28, 2007 at 3:47 pm


Don wrote:
…how do we as Christians treat those who are here? Arent’t they still our neighbors, whether the law recognizes it or not?
I think this gets at the core of the argument, and the real heart of it is the two words as Christians. As a Christians, there is a lot of aid that I can and should be willing to give without asking about legal status.
But the government is another matter. The government has a role to play that is different from that of the church.
And then there is the matter of assisting in illegal activity, such as avoiding deportation. Until you can put together a case that the law is manifestly unjust there is no reason why I should give this sort of aid even to “the least of these”.
While it is undeniably true that Mexico is poorer than the US, in the absence of widespread famine or crippling social unrest, neither of which are present in Mexico at present, I just don’t see how a failure to allow Mexicans to immigrate to the US “no questions asked” constitutes the sort of grave injustice that would compel me to disobey.
Wolverine



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Don

posted August 28, 2007 at 4:04 pm


Wolverine, I think we’ve run around this tree a few times already.
The injustice is that people are being torn away from their families. The injustice is that our government is deporting people who were brought here illegally as youngsters by others with no say in the matter, who have grown up as Americans, and who have nothing to go back “there” to.
In my view, these are more than injustices. They are evil acts. I do indeed think assisting people in that situation to avoid deportation is a Christian act of compassion, and I fully support that effort.
Not all deportations are unjust, but until the law is changed to recognize different circumstances, it is unjust to apply the law in a one-size-fits-all manner. As we have repeatedly said, the law needs to be changed!
Peace!



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elsa

posted August 28, 2007 at 4:29 pm


Don wrote,
“Until that happens, however, how do we as Christians treat those who are here? Arent’t they still our neighbors, whether the law recognizes it or not?”
They may be my “neighbor” and they deserve to be treated with dignity. That does not equate to having the right to remain in the country.
The question of changing immigration law to accomodate those unskilled workers a previous posts state, is for me, an absurd notion. Why should the United States or any country be obligated to take unskilled workers? On what premise? What do they have to offer to the country? If there is a place for them, and there may be, it must come only after we accomodate legal immigrants and citizens. They can then enter legally…but flooding over the border will get them no one’s sympathy.
I remember years ago, Castro sent boatloads of the criminally insane to Florida. We sent them back. Should we not have?
We can not and should not accept simply everyone who wants to come to this country. We can neither pay for it, nor is it in keeping with the American concept of fairness. I do not want the US becoming another experiment in socialism. We are doomed to total failure if we take that road.



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chuck geshekter

posted August 28, 2007 at 4:42 pm


Many of the comments on this list could easily have been lifted from the playbook of Hitler’s Arischer Immigration-Reinheitchancellery (“Aryan Immigration Purity Chancellery”).
They are representative classic Rückständekopfisme. In Fascist Italy under Mussolini the same sort of immigration doctrine was termed “testadellurino,” after Italian supremacist theoretician Enrico Testadell’urina.



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kevinisaseriousdude

posted August 28, 2007 at 4:52 pm


kevin -
You asked for a real solution. One was proposed and you treated none of the arguments with the seriousness you seemed to ask for…
What would you then propose? That is, of course, the major problem with the ‘no amnesty’ people. They don’t ever really propose anything. I mean, because you want to have an adult conversation and everything and quit the talk about ‘mania’ and the like. Oh wait…
(Hey be sure to include the word ‘attrition.’ It makes taking moms from babies sound WAY nicer…)



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jerry

posted August 28, 2007 at 5:06 pm


chuck, you seem to be totally consumed by hitler.
i have never seen any of sojo’s people bring him up. bury hitler and his philosophy in your back yard. he did your country and most of europe. and we here are talking about illegal immigration into the u s a. ……give us your take on the comments by the rev. salvatierra. what’s your favorite flavor?



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Wolverine

posted August 28, 2007 at 5:24 pm


Don,
Nobody is tearing apart families. I’m not aware of any law that would prevent an illegal immigrant from taking their US-born children back to Mexico with them. And while there have been proposals made, I’m not aware of any law that would prevent those US-born children from returning to the states as citizens.
Wolverine



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jurisnaturalist

posted August 28, 2007 at 5:46 pm


Eric,
“Would it become a big deal when (immigrants) start to demand the same level of government services…”
Yes. We should eliminate those government services. The very fact that we would want to limit the individuals eligible for such services illustrates the privileged nature of those services.
I am for privatization of schools, roads, health care, et al.
Mike,
What the early church practiced and what Jesus advocated has no relevance whatsoever on what the state should do, only on what the church should do. The church must assume unilateral responsibility for “turning the other check” and “lending to those who ask.” To impose such ethics on anyone outside the church involuntarily is precisely the sort of violence you rail against in the second half of your post. My straw man is on a cross, not on fire.
Elsa,
“because the United States has established both a rule of law and principles that have provided that security to us either directly or indirectly. To disturb and tamper with that rule of law, to weaken those principles until they are irrelevant, as you state, is to effectively destroy that bounty that we enjoy and the reason why so many legal immigrants are welcomed here each year. I am not willing to let your philosophy destroy the greatness of this country in order to satisfy your guilt complex.”
The USG did not establish anything. They recognized and in some cases codified what was recognized to be the natural law, consistent with human nature. They most notably did not impose restrictions on immigration! These laws are newer and more closely related to the growth of centralized statist power. They are the very laws which are eroding the bounty we enjoy.
Bob,
“The solution to this problem is further economic investment in Mexico and Latin America”
So, instead of forcing Americans to pay for Mexicans in America we should force Americans to pay for Mexicans in Mexico?!?
The injustice of the issue has less to do with families, etc. than with how we write new laws. The laws written to restrict immigration were written under unjust pretences – protectionism. Therefore, Wolverine, we ought to oppose them. And if innocents are being hurt we are justified to employ force.
Nathanael Snow



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jurisnaturalist

posted August 28, 2007 at 5:56 pm


A little research:
The first federal immigration law was the Page Law in 1875 which was written primarily to prevent polygamy among Chinese immigrants, a law adopted from California where men had been sending to China for second wives and concubines.
For the previous 400 years of foreign migration to North America there were no immigration laws.
The more recent push for laws limiting immigration have been in response to the heavy burden these immigrants have been imposing on the welfare state.
Well, duh. By creating a welfare state you create an incentive for people to free ride, and if it is possible to migrant into such a situation people will do so.
So: get rid of those social programs.
NS



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Don

posted August 28, 2007 at 6:15 pm


“Nobody is tearing apart families.”
Yeah, and nobody is being killed in Iraq, either. Both statements are equally absurd.
My history as an immigration reform “activist” (to the extent I have gotten involved in this issue) began when our local newspaper ran a story of an immigrant who tried to legalize his status and ended up being deported. He indeed was taken away from his family, even though had been gainfully employed and was supporting them.
“I’m not aware of any law that would prevent an illegal immigrant from taking their US-born children back to Mexico with them.”
First, not all are from Mexico. And second, does Mexico allow US citizens legal entry on anything like a permanent resident status? I know that in El Salvador (and a lot of undocumented immigrants come from there, too), it isn’t all that easy for a US citizen to apply for permanent residency. I can go there as a tourist for up to ninety days. While there, I cannot be gainfully employed–any work I do has to be volunteer. I wonder, is Mexico much different? And so, how many deported undocumenteds really could take their families with them? My guess would be not many.
Putting these families between this rock and this hard place seems pretty unjust to me.
Need I say more?
Peace,



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Wolverine

posted August 28, 2007 at 6:35 pm


Don,
For the most part we are talking about the minor children of Mexican nationals. Do you seriously mean to tell me that Mexico (and other Latin American countries) will not allow its citizens to return with their own minor children?
If I understand the law correctly, these children are also dual citizens of the US and Mexico (or their parents’ native countries), so what you appear to be saying is that Mexico (and other Latin American countries) are not allowing their own citizens re-entry.
If what you are saying is true (and your argument strikes me as incredible) then I will say that Mexico (along with the other Latin-American countries) deserves at least as much blame as the US for breaking up families.
Wolverine



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Anonymous

posted August 28, 2007 at 6:39 pm


jurisnaturalist said:
“What the early church practiced and what Jesus advocated has no relevance whatsoever on what the state should do,”
In Matthew 25, Jesus gathered the nations, no? A nation that ignores the hungry and naked is going to collapse. As Christians we should advocate for them. We fully agree that people should not be forced to do anything; the Pastors and activists are, presumably, acting of their own free will, are they not? In other words, even if the nation is going down the wrong path, we must still obey God; do we disagree? I mean voluntarily, of course (because we must preserve our American individualism and all of our rights).



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Mike Grello

posted August 28, 2007 at 6:39 pm


jurisnaturalist said:
“What the early church practiced and what Jesus advocated has no relevance whatsoever on what the state should do,”
In Matthew 25, Jesus gathered the nations, no? A nation that ignores the hungry and naked is going to collapse. As Christians we should advocate for them. We fully agree that people should not be forced to do anything; the Pastors and activists are, presumably, acting of their own free will, are they not? In other words, even if the nation is going down the wrong path, we must still obey God; do we disagree? I mean voluntarily, of course (because we must preserve our American individualism and all of our rights).



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Don

posted August 28, 2007 at 6:46 pm


Wolverine, the case I mention, the one that was reported in our local newspaper, involved a US-born wife as well as minor children. What her legal status re. permanent entry into Mexico is or might be, I do not know.
Maybe you are right that US-born children of immigrants are dual citizens. So maybe this person’s children are Mexican citizens too. Are you then saying that he should have taken the children back to Mexico with him and left his wife here alone?
I reiterate: how just is breaking families apart? Why shouldn’t we as Christians advocate for them? And why can’t (or why shouldn’t) our laws be changed to recognize the priority of keeping families together?
Peace,



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jurisnaturalist

posted August 28, 2007 at 6:52 pm


A nation is a people group, not a nation-state. All this nonsense about “our Nation” must be dropped. There is no “our nation,” there is only the church. He was speaking to the church. The church has a mandate to care for the least of these, the state has a mandate to protect life, liberty, and property (to punish evildoers) and to enforce contracts.
We must obey God as Christians and assume full responsibility for caring for he least of these. That means assuming that if we don’t care for them no one will. That means not imposing a moral pretension on unbelievers that they should care for the least of these. Than means forsaking the state as a means to caring for the least of these.
It takes courage.



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Tr4p

posted August 28, 2007 at 6:58 pm


Don, wouldn’t children born to citizens of another country over here be granted citizenship in their parents’ country? My sister had a child in England, and that child is still a U.S. citizen.



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Mike Grello

posted August 28, 2007 at 6:59 pm


elsa said:
“Mike, those Americans, probably all of us on this board, who enjoy those confortable homes and secure lives, do so because the United States has established both a rule of law and principles that have provided that security to us either directly or indirectly. To disturb and tamper with that rule of law, to weaken those principles until they are irrelevant, as you state, is to effectively destroy that bounty that we enjoy and the reason why so many legal immigrants are welcomed here each year. I am not willing to let your philosophy destroy the greatness of this country in order to satisfy your guilt complex.”
Indeed? I am nearly speechless by this response. It is perplexing on so many different levels. First, you respond to my observation that we demonize others to preserve our own comfort, by admonishing me that in order to preserve our own comforts we must demonize others. Then you assail me with the rule of law, when this whole situation is precipitated by a systematic violation of international law; excluding the other laws that are ignored, broken and rewritten every day to protect the privileged (not us, they throw you enough to beleive you have privilege). Then you can even wisper the concept of any man made thing in the same breath as a discussion of God? “I will not endanger the empire for the sake of the kingdom of God!” Crow that it is a privilege to be an American in the same thought as wrapping your mind around the fact that the Creator of the universe wants to hang out with you? Everything else pales in comparison! Well, you can sit here in your pretty split level ranch or co-create with God; I’m sorry, no contest. And then we move on to the guilt! Guilt? Please! Did God feel guilty and thus come to rescue us? Is it not possible that compassion can be based on something other than guilt? Saying it again and again doesn’t make it so. When Jesus bid His followers to take up their cross to follow HIm there was no golden jewelry fashioned in the shape of a cross or pretty white bread spiritual concepts of “the cross”. The cross meant only one thing, the horrific method of capitol punishment used against political enemies of the empire. Will you take up your cross, if it is neccesary? Would you die for Him (it would be only returning the favor, and poorly at that, after all)? Well?



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Eric

posted August 28, 2007 at 8:37 pm


Juris – I’m aware that in your ideal world there would be no government provided services, but we don’t live in your ideal world. We live in a world in which those services are provided and the chances of them be done away with are very very slight. If you’d preface your comments by saying you’re for open borders after we do away with all those services then I think you’d make sense. Agruing for open borders while the services exist is asking for greatly higher taxes on all of us. Your idealism is great, but it doesn’t relate to the issues we’re discussing here.



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Mike Grello

posted August 28, 2007 at 8:40 pm


jurisnaturalist,
I am not sure we are disagreeing any more and not just misunderstanding one another. I have never advocated forcing anybody to do anything. We were, after all, discussing the church exposing the injustice of unjust laws by disobeying them, publically and bearing the consequences. The reference to Matt. 25, in this case, is totally non-supernatural. Simply stated, if you ignore the poor and abuse those in need of correction, your society will become unpleasant and then collapse. This is certainly not the entire message, but is true none the less. Certainly, the central message is that how we treat the least of these is the most important measue of our heart. No disagreement there.



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eviliskevinsmiddlename

posted August 28, 2007 at 9:00 pm


I see kevin saying ’100 Million Illegal Immigrants’ with a little pinky at the side of a crooked smile…



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Wolverine

posted August 28, 2007 at 9:12 pm


It is not true that “Evil” is Kevin’s middle name. However, I have it on good authority that the “S” stands for “Slytherin”.
Wolverine



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jerry

posted August 28, 2007 at 11:24 pm


yes. and the naturalist stands with no clothes.



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jurisnaturalist

posted August 28, 2007 at 11:40 pm


Eric,
The point of my ideal world is not to be trite but to illustrate the proper advocacy of Christians in the public arena. We must not compromise in our message, though we ought to be willing to compromise in what the state chooses to implement.
Christians ought not to advocate for statist solutions. They are unjust. Both Conservative Christian pleas for morality and Liberal Christian calls for social programs invoke the state where the church has an exclusive mandate. Instead, speak up for natural solutions which do not impede on anyone’s liberty while taking action to meet the needs of the least of these through the church as though the state were not going to do it.
My main contention is not with the pagans, they are going to do whatever they want to and I have no say over it. I want to confront the church with this dualism and call it to purity of action – by renouncing political mechanisms. Most Christians I meet never gave a second though to how the state has usurped the responsibility of the church over the last 100 years, and how it might be the fault of the church for letting this happen. They equate nationalism with virtue, and welfare with mercy. These are diametrically opposing concepts! Once coercion is introduced there is no virtue or mercy.
There does exist a set of policies which represent “the best the state can do.” In short: not much. The less the better. Stick to the judicial. I advocate these policies on principle. Once we know what our principles are we will have something meaningful to bring to the table of compromise. As things stand in the church right now, however, we are compromised among ourselves by sacrificing to idols. We have no position or standard from which to argue. We become so malleable we are irrelevant and useful only as a jester. To have an impact we must be a Daniel, not a Polonius.
NS



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chuck geshekter

posted August 29, 2007 at 12:35 am


“chuck, you seem to be totally consumed by hitler.
i have never seen any of sojo’s people bring him up. bury hitler and his philosophy in your back yard. he did your country and most of europe. and we here are talking about illegal immigration into the u s a. ……give us your take on the comments by the rev. salvatierra. what’s your favorite flavor?
Posted by: jerry | August 28, 2007 5:06 PM”
chuck’s response: jery, why are u trying to tell me how i should comment on this thread?? don’t you pharisees ever get tired of censoring people? why do you fear those of us who try to use history to help us solve problems of today?
Or do you believe, as Goebbels did, that “history is the autobiography of a madman?”



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Wolverine

posted August 29, 2007 at 12:42 am


Don wrote:
I reiterate: how just is breaking families apart?
We’ve been over this before and the results weren’t pretty, but I’ll try this again.
For children to live apart from one or both parents is a hardship but not a grave injustice. Parents voluntarily send their children to live with relatives all the time.
For a parent with legal problems (I would think illegal immigration status would qualify) or a drug habit having a child live with relatives for a while will often be the best thing for the child.
Parents have been known to send their children to live with friends or relatives to get them out of bad neighborhoods, away from a particular circle of friends, or into a better school system.
Last time I pointed this out I was hit with a spray of bile the likes of which I’ve never seen on a Christian board — but not one person disputed the basic fact that parents sometimes take exactly these kinds of steps voluntary.
Is this the ideal? No, and I would hope that within a couple of years the US and Mexico could work out some arrangements to allow these families to reunite. But I don’t see this as something that compels immediate, large-scale legalization.
Please remember that back in the eighties we granted amnesty to what were then 3 million illegal immigrants. The understanding was this was a one-shot deal and enforcement would be ramped up. Now we have anywhere between 10 to 20 million. See the problem?
You know the saying: “Fool me once…” Given the track record, we have to assume that if we give an inch the illegals and their friends in the US will take a mile. If we allow exceptions for family unity, we’re liable to get a flood of sham marriages.
It’s nothing against you personally, but we have good reason not to trust those who advocate leniency towards illegal immigration. They just didn’t keep up their end of the bargain last time.
This time it’s got to be enforcement first. We’ll talk about making exceptions for hardship cases after we see the law being enforced.
Wolverine



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Don

posted August 29, 2007 at 7:53 am


Wolverine, I smell a post hoc ergo propter hoc in what you wrote here. Are you suggesting that the amnesty for 3 million undocumented immigrants was the cause of the current presence of 12 million, give or take, undocumented immigrants?
I don’t think the facts support that assumption.
For one thing, after the ’80s amnesty, enforcement was “ramped up”:
“From 1986 to 1998, the Border Patrol’s budget increased six-fold and the number of agents stationed on our southwest border doubled to 8,500. The Border Patrol also toughened its enforcement strategy, heavily fortifying typical urban entry points and pushing migrants into dangerous desert areas, in hopes of deterring crossings” (source: the Dept. of Justice’s Criminal Justice Reference service, as reported in http://www.justiceforimmigrants.org/myths.html)
What was the result of this increased inforcement? The undocumented immigrant population doubled to 8 million. It’s convenient for you to blame that on the earlier amnesty, but the real causes are first, the worsening economic situation in Latin America, partly (but not wholly) the result of US trade and agricultural policies, and second, insufficient legal routes for unskilled immigrants to enter the U.S. when compared with the need for unslilled labor. As long as that remains a fact, enforcement alone will not work. It’s really that simple.
“This time it’s got to be enforcement first.”
Enforcement first was already tried. See above. It didn’t work then. It won’t work now. The immigration advocates did keep their end of the bargain. The situation as it currently stands won’t work. The laws are broken. The only thing enforcement does now is break families apart.
You write so dispassionately (and seemingly obrjectively) about that topic. But I wonder if you would speak so casually if it happened to your family or to one you knew. And so I reiterate again: why should’t Christians advocate for people whose lives are being torn apart by an unjust and unworkable immigration system, and why shouldn’t we support changing the laws so that keeping families together becomes a priority?
Peace,



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Wolverine

posted August 29, 2007 at 9:34 am


Don,
The section that you quote from Justice for Immigrants misses the point. The enforcement ramp-up was mostly for show. The coyotes tried different routes, INS didn’t follow them there aggressively. Border Patrol’s hands were tied. Nothing was done about employment verification. Illegal immigration became a bit more difficult but the main obstacle was climate, not law enforcement, and once across illegal immigrants had little to worry about.
Just because government spends money that doesn’t mean it’s actually doing anything. This isn’t post hoc ergo propter hoc, its government spending money putting on a show and breaking promises.
Enforcement first. Once we see that you are willing to keep your end of the deal we’d be happy to talk about making exceptions and opening up the country to more legal immigration.
Wolverine



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Don

posted August 29, 2007 at 10:00 am


The post hoc ergo propter hoc in your argument was not related to increased gov’t spending on enforcement. It’s your presumption that the fact that we gave amnesty to 3 million undocumented immigrants in the 1980s is the reason why we have 12 million today. I think I demonstrated that there’s no direct cause-and-effect there.
And when I wrote about increased enforcement, I at least cited a source (the Dep’t of Justice, BTW, not only Justice for Immigrants). You give no source for your allegations that the enforcement ramp-up wasn’t serious. Do you have any sources for that?
And you make another logical error by what seems to be an assumption that most undocumented immigrants sneak across the border illegally. According to the Dept. of Homeland Security (http://uscis.gov/graphics/shared/statistics/index.htm), about 40% of undocumented immigrants entered the country legally on a temporary visa of some kind and then didn’t leave when they were supposed to. In other words, increased border enforcement won’t do anything to prevent two-fifths of the illegal migrants from coming in, but border enforcement is where all the politcial attention is being focused. So who’s guilty of not taking enforcement seriously?
And you still don’t want to answer my basic question: why shouldn’t Christians come to the aid of families who are caught in this legal Gordian’s knot, and why shouldn’t we push for immigration reform that focuses on keeping families intact?
D



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wayne

posted August 29, 2007 at 10:37 am


“And you still don’t want to answer my basic question: why shouldn’t Christians come to the aid of families who are caught in this legal Gordian’s knot, and why shouldn’t we push for immigration reform that focuses on keeping families intact?”
Thanks Don
But I do not think Wolverine or Kevin really want to answer these questions.
I do not know why because they won’t answer that question either.
If you assume an answer they will be offended and that would be un-christian of us.
So basically they won’t answer any question of their motives.
They won’t present any answer to this problem.
They won’t push for any kind of reform.
They won’t care for families who are forcibly torn apart.
They minimize any negative effects of deportation and of life in Mexico
They accept no national blame for our current immigration problems.
Mexico and Mexican’s are to blame for everything and must go.
If that happens they will be happy.
But do not assume there is any thing wrong in their motives for this. Do not compare them to people history has shown were wrong, and please do not compare them to anyone who is evil.
Please remember that removing mothers from their children is not much of a problem, but bringing up racism is “throwing bile” on Wolverine and is just not nice.
We all must demonstrate christian love here after all.



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kevin s.

posted August 29, 2007 at 11:13 am


“You asked for a real solution. One was proposed and you treated none of the arguments with the seriousness you seemed to ask for…”
I responded that what was being proposed was an open-borders policy with a shiny thing thrown in to appease those asking for stronger enforcement. The consequence of this is that we will have many millions of people entering this country, with the confidence that they will find safe haven here. I wondered how we could accommodate all of those people.
I know my own answer to this question. We cannot, and our economy will eventually erode substantially. I don’t see how this doesn’t treat the argument with seriousness.
“What would you then propose? ”
FIrst, we need to focus on enforcement. This means equipping our police officers to coordinate with federal officials in identifying illegal immigrants. This would be a logical first step, as it would focus on those immigrants who are committing crimes.
Next, we need to set strong penalties for companies who employ illegal immigrants, particularly those who are paying less than the minimum wage. This will be tough to do, given the hammerlock that chambers of commerce and ag groups have on this issue.
Then, we increase border security, which is what we should have done years ago.
Then, we can discuss who will remain among the illegal immigrants who are already here. Reasonable accomodations could be made for those who grew up here and have no place to go.
Either way, if you force companies to pay minimum wages, and force them to obey the law, you will wind up with some sort of what you call attrition.
In my view, we have two ugly choices. The first is to deport people. The second is to open our borders, creating the false promise that the run of jobs will continue (I don’t think it will).
With the latter choice, we will be forced to contend with the new immigrants (and they will number in the tens of millions), who will stretch our economic resources and our infrastructure. Those affected most will be lower income individuals.
Eventually, under this system, I think we will see massive ghettos, and a population of people who are as distant from our way of life as they are presently, if not moreso. I don’t see how that is a compassionate option at all.



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Beth Davidson

posted August 29, 2007 at 11:42 am


I am for legal immigration. I am for fixing laws that are an incentive to government representatives soliciting bribes for Visas. I am for an immigration system that does not give visas based on how much money you already have. I am for an immigration system that gives a 25 year prison sentence to Border Patrol Agents who aid in human smuggling rings in exchange for ca$h. I’m in favor of LEGAL immigration as it applies to all players in the game.
Until then, I am in favor of logical filtering our those who have already proven themselves to be as good or better at embracing and walking-the-walk of “American” values as the politicians who commit fraud, purgery, and lewd acts in public restrooms… and then somehow get forgiveness, a book deal, or a Presidential Pardon.



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Beth Davidson

posted August 29, 2007 at 11:42 am


I am for legal immigration. I am for fixing laws that are an incentive to government representatives soliciting bribes for Visas. I am for an immigration system that does not give visas based on how much money you already have. I am for an immigration system that gives a 25 year prison sentence to Border Patrol Agents who aid in human smuggling rings in exchange for ca$h. I’m in favor of LEGAL immigration as it applies to all players in the game.
Until then, I am in favor of logical filtering our those who have already proven themselves to be as good or better at embracing and walking-the-walk of “American” values as the politicians who commit fraud, purgery, and lewd acts in public restrooms… and then somehow get forgiveness, a book deal, or a Presidential Pardon.



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Anonymous

posted August 29, 2007 at 11:59 am


Kevin S. – thanks for the ideas. I actually have few problems with most of what you said – it sounds like you support the DREAM Act, Ag Jobs, etc. – at least in connection with all of the enforcement stuffs. I mean this is the spirit of the Great Compromise right here. Way to go Kevin S. McCain! I knew who you were all along…
“Then, we can discuss who will remain among the illegal immigrants who are already here. Reasonable accomodations (sic – two m’s silly) could be made for those who grew up here and have no place to go.”
You conveniently gloss over this part of your platform. “What exactly does ‘reasonable accomodations’ mean,” is what all your buddies will inevitably ask. The will work to make the list of qualifiers as little as possible while people who actually know immigrants will seek to grow it.
This is the heart of the debate. I don’t have many problems with anything else you said (even the police-state stuff asking jay-walkers for SS cards). It is what we do with the people here and with future flows of labor that creates controversy and you have shown (like most every other ‘enforcement’ voice) a complete inability to deal with it head on aside from attacking the ideas of the opposition.
So you must choose. Deport or let live. (I think the millions of illegals stampeding image is a bit much, but at least you are down to saying ‘tens’ now rather than ‘hundreds of millions’- If you don’t mind I will take some credit for that.)
Because I believe in Jesus, I cannot choose deport. I also see history differently; the 1986 Amnesty if coupled with legalized future flows of unskilled labor would have eliminated the need for most of the current undocumented population to enter illegally thusly solving most of the immigration problems of today. It did not, and so here we are. I do not agree that it enticed ‘millions of illegals’ to enter our country illegally. Our needy job market did that all on its own…



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Jan

posted August 29, 2007 at 12:33 pm


This my first time on here, but I may have a unique personal view of this situation. First, as a Christian I have always felt that Jesus wasn’t just giving us “suggestions” when He said we are to actively help the least of these, even when it means giving up our own prosperity. If our own well-being takes precedence, we need to ask at whose altar we really are worshipping.
Second, my son-in-law is an undocumented worker. He came here when he was 21 years old. He saw an opportunity to help his family, who lived in conditions that we would label abject poverty. His plan was to stay here for about a year or two and then return. Once here, he often worked two jobs, lived very frugally, and sent money and useful things home to his parents. It allowed them to build a home with a cement floor and a solid roof, put in running water, and keep their younger kids in school.
One month before he was due to return (he had sent most of his clothes ahead, as well as some other things he had bought here), he met my daughter at a salsa class. They both dance beautifully! (Intermission for a small maternal brag: they have won first place at several contests, including the Columbus Latino festival, which brings in thousands of people) They fell in love, and being committed Christians, they chose to get married instead of doing the society norm of living together.
And there lies one of the ironies of our present immigration laws. They would have been better off “living in sin” than becoming legally married. After they were married, and eventually were expecting their first child, we looked into getting a green card for him. The following are some facts, under the new laws that were established after 9/11.
First, green cards are not avaiable to anyone who is in the US illegally. (Fine. Discourages the “sham” marriages someone mentioned.) Remember, green cards are not the same as becoming a citizen. They simply mean you are legally here and can become eligible to work.
Second, if you decide to go back to your country of origin, so that you can apply for the green card from a legal position, the application asks, “Have you ever been in the US illegally, in you lifetime?” Now, remember, you are trying to be as honest and legal as possible. Plus, your marriage certificate shows you were married in California, and you will be explaining how you and your wife met. So you answer honestly, “yes”. Fine, you are told. Because you have been in the US at some time illlegally, you must wait ten years from this initial application before you file your next request.
Third, if you are Mexican and not wealthy or highly educated, it can take anywhere from ten to fifteen years to receive your visa and/or green card. It doesn’t matter what a good worker you are and the taxes you have paid, or that you and your wife have not needed to ask the US government for any help, or that without you, there would be a very real possibility that your wife would require government assistance for the first time in her life. Because you were not born to the tiny percentile of wealthy Mexicans, or the small percentile of middle-class Mexicans, your request for a visa, as a person married to a US citizen, can take at the minimum, with everything factored in, about fifteen years.
Fourth, and finally. We have talked with four immigration lawyers. Across the board they had one unanimous word of advice. Stay put in the US and live as much under the radar as possible. Hopefully the laws will be reformed, making the ability to be here legally reflect need and a willingness to pay your way with hard work, instead of showing preference to wealth (usually inherited) and the education that goes with it.
Peace,
Jan



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Anonymous

posted August 29, 2007 at 1:06 pm


Mike said “others to preserve our own comfort, by admonishing me that in order to preserve our own comforts we must demonize others.”
Who did I demonize and how pray tell?
“Then you assail me with the rule of law, when this whole situation is precipitated by a systematic violation of international law;”
What international law has been violated by the US here?
What about American sovereignty?
“Crow that it is a privilege to be an American in the same thought as wrapping your mind around the fact that the Creator of the universe wants to hang out with you? Everything else pales in comparison! Well, you can sit here in your pretty split level ranch or co-create with God; I’m sorry, no contest”
ok, now you are rambling.
“Is it not possible that compassion can be based on something other than guilt?”
Sure, but not in your case it seems.
“Will you take up your cross, if it is neccesary? Would you die for Him (it would be only returning the favor, and poorly at that, after all)? Well?”
What makes you so sure I haven’t suffered for Him already?
Would I die for him? I live in the United States of America where freedom of religion is my constitutional right. Under what circumstances would Christians in the USA have to literally die for Christ? Methinks I smell an extremist!



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kevin s.

posted August 29, 2007 at 2:32 pm


“I think the millions of illegals stampeding image is a bit much, but at least you are down to saying ‘tens’ now rather than ‘hundreds of millions’- If you don’t mind I will take some credit for that.”
I didn’t say hundreds of millions. I asked hypothetically what would happen if 50 or 100 million would cross the border. I have yet to see an answer.



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kevin'sgettinggrumpy

posted August 29, 2007 at 3:33 pm


oh, okay. my bad…
well, I want to know what would happen if a bazillion rich American Christians gave all their money away to illegal immigrants. Nobody wants to answer me either. I know, it sucks.
Of course, if you wanted an answer on whether or not we should expect 50-100 million immigrants to enter our country illegally if we legalize people here currently while also allowing for future flows of unskilled labor that match domestic industry needs, or if instead the question makes you sound like Chicken Evil (Chicken Little & Dr. Evil combined, oh yeah), than you got that answer…



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Wolverine

posted August 29, 2007 at 3:42 pm


Don:
I’ll get to the sources in a little bit, but I can answer this question quickly:
And you still don’t want to answer my basic question: why shouldn’t Christians come to the aid of families who are caught in this legal Gordian’s knot, and why shouldn’t we push for immigration reform that focuses on keeping families intact?
I’ve said this before: I have no objections to basic humanitarian aid, and I think the church should assist illegal immigrant families land on their feet on returning to their home countries.
I believe I’ve addressed the second part of your question, even if the answer isn’t the one you want to hear.
Wolverine
Wolverine



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elsa

posted August 29, 2007 at 4:23 pm


Here is the latest from your media darling…she said in a statement released today,
“”What I’m asking for is a diplomatic visa so that I can be an ambassador for peace and justice because I’m not a terrorist and the United States can’t continue treating undocumented migrants as terrorists,” Arellano told reporters after meeting with President Felipe Calderon at the presidential residence, Los Pinos.”
What a grand-standing phony! I hope the Mexican government does try to get her a diplomatic Visa to this country. The State Department will turn that down too! Good! Viva America!



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elsa,morelikemeansla

posted August 29, 2007 at 4:42 pm


You’re awesome Elsa!
You make being mean seem cool as heck!
Viva mean people!



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Mike Grello

posted August 29, 2007 at 5:45 pm


Jan,
There is a story which relates that when M. Gandhi was asked wgat differentiated himself from Christians, he replied, “I beleive when Jesus spoke, He meant it.” It’s only getting worse. Christianity has become a free ticket to heaven instead of the commision to live it here that Jeus left us with.



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elsa

posted August 29, 2007 at 5:51 pm


Yes, I am so mean.



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Mike Grello

posted August 29, 2007 at 5:55 pm


Somebody (?) said:
“Would I die for him? I live in the United States of America where freedom of religion is my constitutional right. Under what circumstances would Christians in the USA have to literally die for Christ? Methinks I smell an extremist!”
I think I smell niavete! Historically, the greatest danger facing believers is a Christian church that has become comfortable and powerful. Inquisitions and witch trials, anyone?



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Anonymous

posted August 29, 2007 at 6:01 pm


Mike said,
“the greatest danger facing believers is a Christian church that has become comfortable and powerful.”
You are right. Maybe the feds should prosecute that priest who was harboring her.
Signing off…this is just too easy.



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elsa

posted August 29, 2007 at 6:01 pm


Mike said,
“the greatest danger facing believers is a Christian church that has become comfortable and powerful.”
You are right. Maybe the feds should prosecute that priest who was harboring her.
Signing off…this is just too easy.



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Don

posted August 29, 2007 at 6:04 pm


“I have no objections to basic humanitarian aid, and I think the church should assist illegal immigrant families land on their feet on returning to their home countries.”
Wolverine, your understanding of “humanitarian” and of the scope of Christian compassion speaks for itself. I think I have nothing more to say.
Peace,
D



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Russell

posted August 29, 2007 at 6:48 pm


Nathanael,
I agree with you that the government should not have as much involvement as they do these days, and I also know that we have plenty of physical room for many more people in this country. However, what I am trying to say is that our government is fairly incompetent on many issues and if we just let everyone come here then that will just be hurting Mexico and us as well. The approval ratings of the president and congress are at all-time lows, our politicians are not getting the job done, on either side of the aisle. The Mexican government needs to get their act together and this would no longer be an issue. They have one of the most corrupt governments in the world. We need to encourage reform in Mexico to help solve this problem.
As far as the “Hitler” comparison goes, all the liberals do realize that he was the leader of a socialist party right? And the Democrats keep pushing more and more towards socialism, so maybe liberals should be compared to Hitler more than conservatives. Not that anyone should be compared to that man.



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Russell

posted August 29, 2007 at 7:04 pm


“Wolverine, your understanding of “humanitarian” and of the scope of Christian compassion speaks for itself. I think I have nothing more to say.”
D,
I am afraid that contributed to a known felon is not the “christian thing to do”. Disobeying the laws of this country is not showing someone humanitarian aid it showing them how to get around obeying the laws of the US. She is personally responsible for committing felonies and she should submit to the law. When did we stop, as christians, accepting the consequences of our actions?
There is a difference between providing physical necessities to a person and just letting them break the laws of this country. By the way, she is a citizen of Mexico, and not the US. People like her are making it harder for people to legally come to this country. Who should get a chance to become a citizen, someone who cheats or someone who does things legally?
What if church starting giving “sanctuary” and helping to rehabilitate citizens who are in poverty instead of becoming a hideout for convicted felons.



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Mike Grello

posted August 29, 2007 at 7:43 pm


elsi,
the incredible thing is that you don’t realize you are consistently making my point. Imagine if this blog was even remotely about Jesus.



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Wolverine

posted August 29, 2007 at 8:19 pm


Don:
Two items, first off, here’s an article that illustrates the sorts of things that have worked in the past in terms of border enforcement. Note that this comes from the Christian Science Monitor, not Fox News and certainly not some activist group:
http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/0706/p09s01-coop.html
You also wrote:
Wolverine, your understanding of “humanitarian” and of the scope of Christian compassion speaks for itself. I think I have nothing more to say.
This was your response to my statement that I had no objections to basic humanitarian aid, and my suggestion that churches could assist illegal immigrants “land on their feet” as they return to their home countries.
I think you’ve said plenty. Your response reveals more than you probably intended. What motivates you is not the best interests of illegal immigrants, what motivates you is the overarching desire that they remain here — their actual well being is a secondary concern. If we could set them up in their home countries so they have what they need — you wouldn’t be interested.
You need say no more, amnesty isn’t a means to an end, it’s an end in itself.
Wolverine



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Don

posted August 29, 2007 at 9:21 pm


Russell:
I’d rather be seen protecting a so-called “felon” if the alternative is tearing a family apart.
“Felon” is your word, though. My understanding is that illegal entry is a civil crime, not a criminal one. The notorious Sensenbrenner bill introduced last year in Congress created such an uproar precisely because it would have made illegal entry a felony. Sensenbrenner’s hideous motion was rejected, quite fortunately.
The local case that got me going on this issue involved a US citizen, non-Latina spouse. Her husband (of several years, BTW: hardly a “sham marriage”), who was gainfully employed, was trying to legalize his status and was “rewarded” with his effort with deportation.
So I’m supposedly showing humanitarian concern to her and her family by helping her remove herself from her homeland and “land on her feet” along with her family in a country where she’s a stranger, and where economic opportunities are most likely severely limited. The alternative is to let them wait here ten years before he can apply for a green card from his hometown.
If that’s someone’s idea of being humanitarian, well then, so be it. I just hope nobody I know is never in need of similar “humanitarian” assistance.
It just isn’t my idea of compassion. It isn’t what I understand to be caring for my neighbor, or showing love for the marginalized and unwanted, or caring for the stranger and sojourner among us–for remember, we are all strangers and sojourners ourselves, and we are all in need of sanctuary.
And why I’m not supposed to see it as my faith-inspired obligation to work for changing the laws so that our immigration authorities will consider keeping families together as a priority; that I will never, never, never understand.
Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on us all.
Peace,



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Don

posted August 29, 2007 at 9:23 pm


Wolverine:
Interesting article, but it doesn’t demonstrate that the enforcement ramp-up that followed the 1980′s amnesty was flawed or not really serious.
D



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Wolverine

posted August 29, 2007 at 9:40 pm


Don,
Check out the box at the bottom.
Wolverine



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Don

posted August 29, 2007 at 9:50 pm


Okay, the sidebar at the bottom gives tips for better enforcement. It still doesn’t say anything about why the enforcement effort in the late 1980s and 1990s wasn’t a serious one.
The sidebar also seems to advocate a guest-worker program. I thought such talk was off limits to you enforcement-only advocates. Fight over a temporary worker program was one of the things that derailed the recent attempt at reform.
Peace,



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Jerseykid

posted August 29, 2007 at 9:52 pm


“What motivates you is not the best interests of illegal immigrants, what motivates you is the overarching desire that they remain here — their actual well being is a secondary concern.”
Well, Don, I bet you didn’t know that your primary concern was to keep illegal immigrants here and not to help them. Thank God that Wolvie’s penetrating analysis showed you for what you really are. It’s his way of saying that since you did not see things his way you are “bad”. Preposterous.
Take it stride, Don. Consider the source. It comes from somebody who doesn’t give two hoots about separating families and consoles the US citizen children with dribble such as:
“If she takes the kid to Mexico he remains a US citizen, entitled, among other things, to the assistance of the US Secretary of State if he has trouble with local muckedy-mucks, and to return to the US.”
A statement like that makes on wonder if he did not open his passport and do a rote quotation from some of the b.s. verbiage in there. Like the State Department is going to be there when problems happen or alleviate the poverty to which these children would be subject. Again, Don, consider the source. Makes you almost wish we could deport U.S. citizens in some circumstances, doesn’t it?



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Wolverine

posted August 29, 2007 at 10:23 pm


Jerseykid:
I can be something of a wisenheimer, but usually when I snark I try to mix in enough facts and logic to make reading worthwhile. You might want to consider a similar practice.
Well, Don, I bet you didn’t know that your primary concern was to keep illegal immigrants here and not to help them. Thank God that Wolvie’s penetrating analysis showed you for what you really are. It’s his way of saying that since you did not see things his way you are “bad”. Preposterous.
That Don and I don’t see things the same way is pretty much a given. That doesn’t make either of us “bad”. Don generally keeps things civil and it’s quite likely he’s arguing in good faith even if he does have his means and ends mixed up.
I note that you don’t even try to show that I am mistaken about Don’s priorities. Sarcasm has it’s place, but it’s not a substitute for a logical argument.
Take it stride, Don. Consider the source. It comes from somebody who doesn’t give two hoots about separating families and consoles the US citizen children with dribble such as:
(At which point Jerseykid quotes my observation about US citizens being allowed to call on the state department for assistance.)
Jersey, I happen to know a couple of folks in the foreign service, and they take great pride in their work, much of which consists of helping American citizens who are in trouble overseas. This isn’t “dribble”, it’s a core function of government, carried out by some of our brightest, most idealistic people.
At any rate, you don’t mention that, as US citizens, they are permitted to return to the US. Is that “dribble” too? If it is, why is it such a crime against all that’s holy to enforce immigration law?
I’m going to tell you this one time Jerseykid — you’re not worth telling twice — lay off the pretentious billiousness and get a clue. You’re not convincing anyone of anything. You’re only making yourself look silly.
Wolverne



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Wolverine

posted August 29, 2007 at 10:37 pm


Don,
Keep in mind this is straight journalism, not some piece of agit-prop. I could have gone to an outfit like FAIR but you never struck me as the kind of person who needs to be hit over the head.
The point is: these are things that have been done in the past and have been effective but aren’t being done now and haven’t been done for a long while.
If we were serious, we wouldn’t be doing catch-and-release, we wouldn’t allow local businessmen and politicians to put pressure on ICE agents, and we wouldn’t release Mexican deportees right on the border where they could turn right around and re-enter the next day.
As for the guest worker program, you know very well that the “reform” bill included a lot more than that.
Wolverine



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Moderatelad

posted August 29, 2007 at 10:41 pm


I am really not interested – I am just a little more than mad as I have assisted two families in coming to this country and have gotten them the paperwork that was needed and helped them pay the fees so that everything was legal. I should have just raised the money for them to fly here on vacation and then allowed them to stay here and get on the state assistance and screw us like Nancy and Harry want to do to us. It would have been so easy. No – I had to be the dummy and get them a job an help them to get into a school and assist in them learning english so they could be contributing citizens. Thanks Nancy for resetting the bar on immigration – NOT!
later -
.



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Don

posted August 30, 2007 at 6:21 am


Wolverine, in order to demonstrate that the enforcement efforts of the 1980s and ’90s wasn’t serious (which is what you alleged), you gotta do more than show us that methods used successfully in the 1950s weren’t tried (and how do we know they weren’t tried?). You need to show that indeed the methods used during that time not only were ineffective, but that no real effort to come up with effective methods was made.
A six-fold increase in the enforcement budget and a doubling of the number of Border Patrol agents sounds like a serious effort to me. The burden of proof is on you to demonstrate that it wasn’t.
“As for the guest worker program, you know very well that the “reform” bill included a lot more than that.”
Yes, it involved more than that. But the guest worker provision was one of the most contentious, and I believe it was the primary reason it never came to a vote in the Senate. The enforcement-only crowd didn’t want to sign onto any provision that would allow legal admittance to laborers.
Later,



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Wolverine

posted August 30, 2007 at 9:29 am


Don wrote:
A six-fold increase in the enforcement budget and a doubling of the number of Border Patrol agents sounds like a serious effort to me. The burden of proof is on you to demonstrate that it wasn’t.
Liberals are prone to think that seriousness can be measured in government dollars. This is a fallacy. There are lots of ways to waste money.
Lemme walk you through an example: catch and release costs money — you have to hire an investigator to track the illegal immigrant down and capture him, a prison guard to keep him locked up overnight, a judge and court reporter to do the hearing, and then an employee to hold the door open when the illegal immigrant walks back out on the street free as a bird. All that costs money but it doesn’t accomplish a thing. You can double the numbers of catch-and-release procedures, and double your spending, and still accomplish precisely zero.
As for not “proving” that immigration enforcement wasn’t serious — you do have some ability to read between lines don’t you? The Christian Science monitor is quoting people who are familiar with immigration enforcement, and they are saying “these are things the government could do to get control of the border”. In ordinary terms this almost always implies that these are things that are not being done now.
C’mon Don, you’re smarter than this.
Wolverine



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Russell

posted August 31, 2007 at 7:23 pm


The first time you illegally this country it is not a felony, but the second time is. She came in illegally on two separate occasions and is a felon. That is just a fact.
I understand where you are coming from and I think that both sides of the argument care about what happens to these families. I just believe the best way to go about this is to, first of all, stop illegal immigrants from coming in because many of them die in the desert, some of them are terrorists, and they are being taken advantage of by employers in the US. We also need to punish businesses for hiring illegal immigrants because they are taking advantage of cheap labor and are hurting the workers and the economy in the long run, not to mention blatantly breaking the law.



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Jerseykid

posted August 31, 2007 at 9:37 pm


C’mon Don, you’re smarter than this.Wolverine
Posted by: Wolverine |
Your posts drip of condescension.



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Jerseykic

posted August 31, 2007 at 9:39 pm


I’m going to tell you this one time Jerseykid — you’re not worth telling twice — lay off the pretentious billiousness and get a clue. You’re not convincing anyone of anything. You’re only making yourself look silly.Wolverne
Woop dee do! (I’m considering the source again)



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posted 11:14:07am Aug. 16, 2012 | read full post »

Why I Work for Immigration Reform (by Patty Kupfer)
When I tell people that I work on immigration reform, they usually laugh or say, "way to pick an easy topic." Everyday it feels like there is more fear, more hate. Raids are picking up in Nevada, California, and New York. A number of senators who supported comprehensive reform only a few months ago

posted 12:30:52pm Oct. 16, 2007 | read full post »

Audio: Jim Wallis on "Value Voters" on The Tavis Smiley Show
Last week Jim was on The Tavis Smiley Show and talked about how the changing political landscape will affect the upcoming '08 election. Jim and Ken Blackwell, former Ohio secretary of state, debated and discussed both the impact of "value voters" on the election and what those values entail. + Down

posted 10:11:56am Oct. 16, 2007 | read full post »

Verse of the Day: 'peace to the far and the near'
I have seen their ways, but I will heal them; I will lead them and repay them with comfort, creating for their mourners the fruit of the lips. Peace, peace, to the far and the near, says the Lord; and I will heal them. But the wicked are like the tossing sea that cannot keep still; its waters toss u

posted 9:35:01am Oct. 16, 2007 | read full post »

Daily News Digest (by Duane Shank)
the latest news on Mideast, Iran, Romney-Religious right, Blog action day, Turkey, SCHIP, Iran, Aids-Africa, India, Budget, Brownback-slavery apology, Canada, and selected op-eds. Sign up to receive our daily news summary via e-mail » Blog action day. Thousands of bloggers unite in blitz of green

posted 9:31:25am Oct. 16, 2007 | read full post »




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