Friday, May 28, 2010

Immigration : Some Thoughts

  Immigration is a hot topic today with passion on both sides of the issue. I haven't been following all the news as closely as I ought, but I have notice some disturbing trends. First I'll start by saying something must be done. This isn't an issue that can just be ignored on the hopes it will go away.

  On the one side, some would like complete anarchy freedom, with no regulation and people coming and going as they please. Now I love freedom, and want to be told what I can and can't do as little as possible, but as always when every one does what is right in their own eyes (Judges 21:25), things never end well. This is why we have rules. Societies establish laws and regulations for the protection and well being of  it's citizens. (Who gave them that idea? Exodus 20:1-17) These things are necessary. While it may seem to be "loving" to let everybody and anybody into this country unrestricted, is it really? Obviously there are situations that develop when there is a large migration of people into a particular region. Issues of adequate housing and jobs, medical care, social services and the like need to be evaluated. Can the increase in population be supported?

The danger is that the situation could end up  like the old lady who takes in every stray cat with the desire to give them a loving home, but then ends up living in filth with malnourished pets because she is unable to care and provide for their needs.

 There are cultural issues as well. Different languages and customs can lead to problems. Are there resources in place to teach English and interpreters available to aid in communication? Rather than just wishing others would conform to our ways, wouldn't it be better to have in place services to teach and integrate immigrants into our culture?

  Now for the other side. While there is a need for regulation in this problem, I am a little concerned with lack of love being shown by those most concerned with closing our borders. In all the debate it seems we have forgotten that these are actual people we are talking about and not just numbers. Lives are at stake. This is not to be taken lightly. I can't begin to count the number of emails that I have read that portray immigrants as our enemies and Americans  as superior in the name of Patriotism. I love this country, but pressing one for English is not a national threat. Lets not over react. I'm proud of the fact that I live in a country so great that people will risk losing everything to get here. The Pilgrims took that chance.

  We must find a solution, but it must with love for others just as God has commanded us. He told the Israelites not to oppress the stranger living among them, for they were once strangers themselves in a foreign land (Egypt). Through out the Old Testament God repeatedly rebuked his people for the injustices committed against the poor, the fatherless, the widow, and the foreigner. The stronger is charged with protecting the weaker. (Exodus 22:21-24)

  We must not make the mistake of turning this issue into us against them. We are not enemies. There must be rules in place and enforcement is necessary, but certainly more can be done to address some of the problems through education and cultural assistance. A solution is needed that will best provide for America, her people, and those who want to be her people. I don't have the answer and I don't know who does. I do know this is an excellent opportunity for Christians to represent Christ by respecting both sides and seeking a solution with love and compassion towards all.
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