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Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The Quandry of Illegal Immigration

I am quite frankly stumped as to what to think about the current uproar over Illegal immigration. I'm hoping that some of my faithful readers can help me here.

On one hand, I am disturbed that the federal government seems to condone breaking the law by not enforcing immigration laws. And then add to this how illegal immigration cheapens the hard work and patience of those immigrants who have worked so hard to become legal.

It is certainly not something to be proud of that we have such porous borders. There are many bad implications of this that go way beyond immigration.

But on the other hand, it is hard for me as a Christian to look past the actual people involved here. Families' lives will be uprooted and ruined should a major crackdown occur.

And it isn't as if we haven't ignored mass lawbreaking before in this country. Hernando de Soto clearly outlines that a vast majority of the early population of this country were squatters who in essence stole public land. The mass extralegality of much of the population forced legislatures to re-write our laws accordingly. This is a great example of adjusting laws to acknowledge changing circumstances. We have done it before as a country and we might do it again.

I also believe that our immigrant population not only benefits FROM our economy, but also IS a benefit to our economy.

I am also very disturbed by some of the opponents of illegal immigration. Many of these opponents barely disguise their xenophobia and racism. I was horrified to read in an article in yesterday's Atlanta Journal-Constitution about D.A. King who said after attending a pro-immigration rally in Doraville,
"I got the sense that I had left the country of my birth and been transported to some Mexican village, completely taken over by an angry, barely restrained mob. ... My first act on a safe return home was to take a shower."
I am disgusted by people like King. It is this kind of bigotry that clouds my mind regarding this issue.

So I am really torn on illegal immigration. I don't think this is simply a slam-dunk issue. What is the proper Christian response to this issue?

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