I was looking back over some old files recently and discovered that about this time a year ago I timidly started an article on immigration. Apparently, I chickened out and didn’t finish it. You see, the whole issue is quite complicated for me. My black and white nature blurs into grey on this one.
Typically, liberals and conservatives line up on opposite sides of the fence (pun intended) and throw grenades at each other. The liberals run around wildly screaming, “Save the children, these poor innocent women and children.” Naturally, they want to play on a sense of compassion or sense of guilt, either way. Hard core conservatives, however, tug at yet another emotion and drag you through the muck and mire of fear that says, “The terrorists are coming, the terrorists are coming, save us from the big bad terrorists.” The problem is we cannot be making decisions that affect our entire nation and the lives of individuals and families based off the raw emotion that the media keeps stirred up.
So the question is, “Which is it then – social justice or national security?” The answer is, “Yes”. As a nation, and for those of us who call ourselves Christians, we are obligated to both. We have a mandate to show compassion and help those in need while governing and guarding that which God has given us. Consequently, it is time we come up with a solution, but what is the solution to our never-ending immigration crisis? The other question that most people don’t consider is, “Whose responsibility is it to ‘fix’ this problem?” Humbly, I’ll offer just a few thoughts, jumbled as they may be.
Before I give my opinion I’ll say this one other thing. I feel we have two different issues to deal with: one is the Mexican/American border and those who are here already. Then we have the Syrian/Muslim refugee crisis as a second issue. Both need to be looked at in different ways, so I’ll only address the former in this article. I’ll try and tackle the second issue in my next writing.
I don’t think that every illegal should be sent home. We have neither the will nor the resources to make that happen. Should we deport criminals who pose a threat to American citizens? Naturally! Should we send a strong message to those who wish to come in illegally by clamping down on our borders, building a wall, and deporting as many as we can? Not a bad idea; although if a man with a starving family in Mexico makes $5 a day for a job he could make $7 an hour for here in America, will a wall stop him? Probably not! So what do we do to stop this constant deportation/amnesty merry-go-round debate and implement legitimate strategies so that futures generations aren’t still dealing with this conundrum.
As it concerns those who are pouring over our border from Mexico simply looking for a better life, I would suggest the following: Why not consider how we legalize people in this country altogether? Why not have private industry work directly with the federal government to bring immigrants through our borders in a more efficient manner? What if companies sponsored people who want to come over and become directly responsible for the immigrants they hire? That way when they get here they already have jobs instead of being funneled directly into our entitlement system where they then have to scrape and claw their way out or spend the rest of their lives living off the hard work of American tax payers. They would cross the border and immediately be productive citizens who pay taxes and contribute to this nation since they would not have to live in constant fear of being deported. Our free market system would shoulder more of the responsibility in this immigration process and create a more efficient system for entry which might cut down on the desperate numbers that pour over the border because they don’t feel like they can survive the grueling process of coming legally. Naturally, immigrants would have to go through all the normal background checks and vetting processes to insure national security. That is a given. Furthermore, companies that hire immigrants would be responsible for assimilating them.
As for those that are already here or are still trying to cross our borders illegally, I think we must be careful not to confuse the job of the government and the job of the church. It is the job of the government to protect its citizens. National security and upholding the law is the government’s number one responsibility concerning this issue; therefore, building a wall is not a bad idea given the fact that many of those who are swimming the river are not actually Mexican citizens looking for a better life. There are indeed large numbers of Muslims that come with evil intent. The government should take every action necessary then to secure our borders.
The church, on the other hand, has a responsibility to care for those in need, whoever they may be. As compassionate Christians, our mandate to walk as Jesus did has not changed. We must show kindness, render aid when needed, and love all those we encounter all while being in submission to the “ruling authorities”. Our laws would hopefully reflect our Christian values as a nation. And I do not mean the government should continue to give handouts to those who are here illegally. In my book this is slavery and is a cruel practice propagated by liberals who want votes. Entitlement programs strip a person of their dignity and force them to live in constant fear and poverty. Aid to the poor should be the responsibility of the church, which should then assist people in getting job training.
We can continue to do what we have done for decades now…grant amnesty, deport people, grant amnesty, deport people and on and on. But, if we want long lasting results we must come up with long term strategies.