Immigration reform is an important topic in today's news.
Right up there in public interest and concern with the
war in Iraq, gas pump prices, a national health scheme,
and the homosexuals' push for same-sex marriage, to
name just a few of the key issues..
This week the U.S. Senate is supposedly scheduled to
end its debate and vote on the immigration reform bill
which is enthusiastically supported by Senator Ted
Kennedy and President George Bush. It is called a
"bi-partisan" bill and does, in fact, have the support of
some members of both political parties -- but the bill is
also "bi-partisan" in opposition to it from members of
One editorial cartoon in a daily newspaper this past
weekend opined that it must be a good bill because
both parties find fault with it. And a front page headline
in a major metropolitan newspaper used these words:
"Democrats find it's easy to talk reform, hard to
legislate it." The Congress is indeed finding this issue
a difficult one by having done absolutely nothing about
immigration thus far, and while laughing at the president's
declining favorable poll ratings, Congress finds itself with
even lower approval ratings than the president, and thus
is being forced to do something, and soon.
It is doubtful that anyone would deny that the
nation's immigration system is broken and in need of
a major overhaul, and has been in that condition for
a long time. This is not Ted Kennedy's first attempt to
impose his views on a proposed solution to the problem
of illegal immigration. In 1985 he led the effort to enact
a "comprehensive" bill to deal with the estimated 3
million illegals in this country. The bill was frankly and
honestly called an "amnesty" bill. When it was signed
into law in 1986, those 3 million immigrants were made
legal. This time his "comprehensive" proposal is not
honestly labeled an "amnesty" bill, but that is what it is.
And the pool of illegals is now somewhere between 12
and 20 million. The reward offered to these lawbreakers
is permanent legal status, placing them years ahead of
the millions of law-respecting immigrants who are seeking
entry into the United States. The result of this so-called
"comprehensive" bill? A multiplied comparable result to
the 1986 bill -- but this time instead of 3 million the total
of newly legalized immigrants will be between 12 and 20
million -- and the potential for a future Mexican population
here in the United States of between 50 and 100 million is
not an a reasonable expectation. And soon.
How did our nation's founders view this problem?
And yes, they did express themselves very clearly on this
issue. In 1802 Alexander Hamilton responded to the efforts
of an earlier Democrat, Thomas Jefferson, who attempted
to make immigration into this new nation easier. Hamilton
wrote, "The safety of a republic depends essentially on the
energy of a common national sentiment; on a uniformity of
principles and habits; on the exemption of citizens from
foreign bias and prejudice ... In the recommendation to admit
indiscriminately foreign emigrants of every description to
the privileges of American citizens ... there is an attempt
to break down every pale which has been erected for the
preservation of a national spirit and a national character ..."
(The Examination, No. 7, 1802, Alexander Hamilton)
In an attempt to solve the problem of immigration which
the founders faced, the First Congress in 1790 adopted a
naturalization statute which allowed "any free white person"
who had lived here for 2 years to be naturalized; in 1795 the
required residence time was raised to 5 years, and in 1798
to 14 years. In 1802, after the Congress rejected President
Jefferson's proposal to grant immediate citizenship to all
immigrants, the residence time period was stabilized at 5
years, and the requirements for citizenship were made much
It is evident that the issue is of long standing, politically..
But what are the implications from the Christian point of view?
There are already organizations and movements which are
actively seeking to give amnesty a religious connotation, and
to attach to the concept the popular label: "WWJD" -- What
Would Jesus Do? In this approach to the problem the "Christian"
position is set forth as extending an unlimited welcome to these
less fortunate persons who are seeking a new life in America,
where they can enjoy our many blessings of freedom and liberty.
Speaking of this so-called "Christian" approach to the matter,
Father James Thornton in his "Aspects of the Immigration Crisis,"
wrote: "The unadulterated balderdash that passes for Christianity
among leftists does not come from any Christian tradition, but
rather is the feeble-minded progeny of liberalism with its heretical
dogma of the infinite goodness of mankind ... It is the bogus
religion of secular humanism decked out in the outward vestments
of a disintegrated, politicized, counterfeit Christianity ..."
It has been pointed out in this regard that there is little, if any,
scriptural evidence that God ever intended for mankind to exist in
a "one world" situation. Indeed, in Genesis 11:9 it is recorded that
"the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth,and
from thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of
all the earth." Further, in Acts 17:26 it is recorded that God
"determined the bounds of their habitation that they should seek
the Lord ..."
For the Christian, the approach to the problem seems clear.
The change in immigration statistics over the past few decades
has been tremendous. In the last 40 years the percentage of the
American population with an European heritage has dropped from
90% to 66%. Since Ted Kennedy's "Immigration Reform Act" went
into effect in 1986, 85% of the immigrants coming into this country
are from Latin America and Asia -- and predominantly from Mexico.
The attitudes of the Mexican immigrants have changed. In recent
demonstrations they have taken the stand that California and the
border states of the Southwest belong to them, and were illegally
taken from them. Polls indicate that this opinion is held by nearly
60% of Mexican immigrants in this country, and their threats to
retake their lands are being openly expressed.
Until we take steps to control our borders, this situation is only
going to get worse. This is a widely accepted position, yet nothing
is being done to correct it. Last year Congress passed and President
Bush signed into law, a provision to erect a 700 mile fence along
our borders with Mexico. At this point approximately 2 miles have
been built. The new "comprehensive" bill provides for 370 miles of
af border fence. Apparently the assumption is that no illegal would
ever attempt to sneak around the open ends of the fence.
There are many aspects of the problem. It is indeed a serious
matter. Our illegal, or "undocumented" Mexican population is
growing by something between 500,000 and 1 million each year.
The ultimate cost is tremendous. If the proposed comprehensive
bill with all of its amnesty elements should go into effect, the
cost to American taxpayers is estimated by Robert Rector of the
Heritage Foundation at $2.5 trillion. Already those illegals are
costing the I.R.S. an estimated $311 billion annually. The border
states with Mexico are being hit with annual costs in the millions
of dollars for welfare, schools and medical care.We are often
reminded of the more than 3,000 deaths among the American
military during the 4 years of the war in Iraq, yet every year more
than 2,000 murders are committed in this country by illegals. Much
is made of the labor aspect of the Mexican population, yet the
illegal immigrants represent only about 5% of the total U.S. labor
The solution to the existing problem is not a simple one,
and it will not be easily achieved. Some Christians have seemed
to welcome the potential influx, seeing in those millions great
opportunities for Christian witness. But there are already some
12 to 20 million here. Have adequate efforts been undertaken to
meet the challenge those millions already present? As Christians
we share an obligation to obey the directive of Jesus Christ as
expressed in the Great Commission. And as Americans we share
an obligation to carry on the work our founders began, and protect
our traditions, our culture and our Christian civilization.
This is not solely a political issue. It is an issue to be faced on the
basis of being an American and a Christian.
Thought for the day . . . every day: "We are the showcase of the
future. And it is within our power to mold that future -- this year and
for the decades to come. It can be as grand and as great as we
make it ... No crisis is beyond the capacity of our people to solve;
no challenge too great." - Ronald Reagan, 1974
Afterthoughts . . .
Some not-so-good news from California, where
despite intense efforts by pro-family citizens and
groups, the State Senate voted strongly along
party lines (Democrats "for" and Republicans
"against") infamous bill SB 377 to require revisions to
be made in public school textbooks, to present
homosexual, bisexual and trans-sexual life styles
in a favorable light. The bill now goes to the Assembly
where it will probably pass, and then to the desk of
A challenging, thought provoking headline:
"Pelosi: Immigration bill will pass over my dead body."
Regardless of how strong an individual's conservative
views might be, the situation that this headline depicts
does merit some careful thought.
How soon we forget. It was just over 40 years ago,
in 1965, when President Lyndon Johnson proclaimed,
"The family is the cornerstone of our society ... When
it collapses on a massive scale, the entire community
itself is crippled." Yet the so-called "religious right" is
criticized for promoting family values, and refusing to
embrace abortion, single parenthood, sexual lifestyles
and marriage arrangements outside the traditional norms
as acceptable. Syndicated columnist Star Parker offered
a reasonable summary, "Conservative Christian activism
has never been a move to take over the country. The
takeover of our country has already occurred from the
left. Conservative Christians just want to defend the little
turf left where truth can be preserved." (Scripps Howard
News Service, May 28, 2007)
An important birthday you may have missed. It should
be, but it isn't, one of the most observed and celebrated
annual events in Christian churches: Pentecost Sunday,
the birthday of the church. In the liturgical calendar Pentecost
Sunday occurs 50 days after Easter, and thus was this past
Sunday, May 27. This is a good opportunity to re-read one of
the most significant passages in the New Testament, Peter's
sermon on that occasion as recorded in Acts 2:14-41. The
concluding words were these, "Therefore let all the house of
Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus,
whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ." And Peter's
memorable effort in mass evangelism succeeded in these
terms, "...and the same day there were added unto them
about three thousand souls."
For what it's worth -- In California the Gaia Napa Valley
Hotel and Spa is reported to have replaced the traditional
Gideon Bible found in hundreds of thousands of hotel rooms,
with Al Gore's book, "An Inconvenient Truth." This news story
doesn't even merit a word of comment.
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