Read this viewpoint this morning and wanted to share it. I’ve not heard it described this way before and find that it really brings some clarity to how Id been trying to wrestle with my thoughts on this.
One of the prominent justifications for allowing illegal immigrants to stay in the U.S. really troubles me for human rights and justice reasons.
That argument is that Americans don’t want to do the jobs illegal immigrants fill, and they fill these jobs at below-market wages precisely because of their illegal status in the U.S., usually working outside of the labor laws. Like it or not, illegal immigrants fill an economic need to keep our overall costs to consumers down because higher costs could hurt our economy.
So essentially the justification is that we will import a permanent underclass to fill an economic us, coexisting in our society without ever fully assimilating with little or no hope of upward mobility because they are not legal. This justification seems less about immigration that means participation in the U.S. and more about a bottom-level working-poor class to serve an economic utility.
This justification is very different from the history of immigrants in our country who filled low-skill labor jobs, but who participated fully in the U.S., assimilated, and improved their socio-economic position. They not only filled an economic utility, but were primarily participants in the country because they were legal.
This sounds like it boils down to using a group of people for economic gain. I think it’s a despicable justification. In addition to the legal and security problems of illegal immigration, there is a serious moral problem of allowing a permanent underclass of human being for their economic utility. American immigration should not be about using people; it should be about welcoming them to fully participate legally in our country.
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Totally. As Kevin Cacy said recently, there is a generation of Americans who have no concept of family,and no concept of a job. They can’t imagine taking those low-pay jobs.
We subsidize our own poor so they can’t see a purpose in working a low-pay job, and then we wink at the border so that we can get lawns mowed and roofs shingled.
Mexico, of course, is complicent in this as they gladly let their most desparate citizens walk out of the country. If only we could figure out a way to do that, then we’d be on to something! (Hoping sarcasm reads clearly.)
It looks to me like it boils down this way- We don’t want immigrants flooding our workforce. But we really, really want immigrants in our workforce.
I think a single politicial will easily support any kind of strict law, then be flown to his next junket on a plane provided by a wealthy contributor who stays wealthy using illegal labor and “passing the savings” on to us. Same for Republicans and Democrats.
I heard a guy on the radio talking about how wealthy Mexicans don’t want to give economic opportunity to the poor Mexicans, precisely for the same reason — they want an underclass (the “working poor”) to support their own economic position. Sounds like we’re doing the same thing.
On a slightly different note, my dad (with a Ph.D in economics) tells me that we need immigration because Americans are not having enough children to fill all the available jobs. Without immigrants, we would have a problem. He’s talking in general terms, and NOT about the low-paying jobs. The bottom line, economically: we need immigrants.
The Old Testament has a number of references to the children of Israel caring for the foreigners among them. Given this, what should our position be toward immigrants, both legal and illegal?
As much as I would like to say, “the law is the law, illegal is illegal and we should have nothing to do with it” there are such things as bad laws.
The racial overtones of this whole thing could echo the Jim Crow laws that were wrong and bad and needed to be changed.
In our representational republicÃ¢â€žÂ¢Ã‚Â®, we theoretically can improve outdated and just wrong-headed decisions. It seems pretty clear that our current rules, and borders, aren’t holding. It also seems pretty clear that this can’t break along party lines but rather, ought to give Christians a chance to be Christ-like in seeking the best for everyone.
Seems to me that, as Christians, our job should be to make it as easy as possible for people to immigrate here. I found [bible]Lev. 19.34[/bible] to be a good guide here.
I cant recall the name of the Los Angeles Cardinal (Mahoney?) that is in alot of hot water over this issue. He makes a good point re our responsibilities to the poor, homeless and hungry. However, the force of his arguments should and do apply to the Church and the people of the Kingdom. While our government is based upon Judeo-Christian principles, I dont think that the Cardinals arguments are as compelling when applied to Uncle Sam. Dont get me wrong I want a strong, just but compassionate government, but governments dont have souls, we do. I also believe that as a nation we are stronger because of our laws and their enforcement. We have a method of legal immigration. It may be slow and tedious but it is in place. Many from around the world avail themselves of the opportunity. What does it say to illegal aliens, felons under current law, if we wink? Worse yet what does it say to an entire generation or two of Americans who percieve law and order as a relative proposition. Some might say a slippery slope does not apply if the descent to immorality is in the 90 degree vertical, but it has to make us think.
I think this is one of those areas where we must apply principles of the hierarchy of Good. Ie: Rahab lied about the Israelite spies…
What promotes not the greater good but the opportunity for Gods Kingdom to proceed and expand. What responsibilities do we have to our society vs foreign society? Which takes precedence? As an individual I must feed the illegal alien I find hungry, clothe the unclothed, etc. But do I then become complicit in enabling that person to commit a felony? Or do I care for the need and encourage them to seek legal means to remain in this country?
I do not see anything complicated about what my personal immediate response must be. But, how I would vote on these issues…that is another story.
To Skipper: It is my understanding that the american family has less than two children per household. It takes two, and a very low mortality rate to break even. Just to replace ourselves. Birth rates of other cultures are much higher. Im not sure we need immigrants for the birth rate problems. I wonder what the math looks like if we add back the 80 million or so babies sacrificed since the 70’s to Baal?