Published June 21, 2007
In order to keep the debates going I open with a question, “Are we in a war we cannot win?” I am not talking about the war against terrorists being fought in the countries of Iraq and Afghanistan. I am talking about the illegal immigration war. Depending on the person doing the talking we have upwards from 1 to 40 million people in our country illegally. There is a process that allows for entrance into our nation. We have laws established that places a certain process on those people who desire to make this their country of residence and work. Somewhere, it seems, we have decided that there must be around 12 or 13 million people that we can count who are in this nation without proper papers.
I confess to being confused as to how we know that number is correct and still be unable to round them up and send them on their way back home. Are we making estimates based on the number of children enrolled in our school systems who do not speak English as their first language? Are we driving by the farm fields counting the number of people we see bent over in a bean or cotton field doing the hard labor of gathering the crop by hand? Is our court system so behind that we cannot process the people fast enough to deport them back to their native land? I have more questions than answers when it comes to this issue of what to do about the people who are in our country illegally.
Several suggestions have been brought forward on this issue. Building a border fence sounded like a great idea until someone mentioned China already tried that and discovered it was easy to bribe a gatekeeper when a person wanted to enter the country illegally. Another plan has been suggested that amnesty be granted to all those who are in the country now illegally. Well, that might work except for one little issue. We don’t know how many are inside illegally. Should we just say, the first 25 million who show up at the courthouse get a pardon and can immediately be called citizens in good standing?
Another idea currently in the pipeline is to give a worker card to all the people who are in this country illegally so they can feel better about themselves and begin to pay into Social Security thus allowing them a future retirement income in this great land. Again, some wag has shown up to remind us that many of the people in this country illegally are already riding that government dole train, so why should they show up to get a worker card?
The latest issue seems to be that this is going to be used as a political football to blame or give credit to one political party or the other for helping or hurting in this major immigration tug-of-war. No kidding, the suggestion is being made that if one side or the other wants to depend upon the votes of these illegal immigrants in the next election we had better hurry up and decide to make them legal so their vote will count.
We are also being told that with this new class of people in our nation we have people who will do the jobs that red-blooded real Americans would never touch. The most radical of plans I heard more than 20 years ago. That plan offers the idea of doing away with national borders. From the frozen north of Canada to the southern most reaches of Mexico we could be just one big happy family of people. Diverse, happy workers, some doing jobs no one else would ever do and the government taking care of all of us assuring that we would all love one another and get along building a great and mighty nation with every one obeying all the laws just because we have it so great in this wonderful nation.
There just seems to be one issue in this grand plan. We have trouble in most towns determining who goes next at a four-way-stop sign. Can you imagine the chaos trying to work out all the fairness that will be required in one big happy nation called North America? Wait, why call it North America? We might be better known just as “Canamerimex.” Well, we do have to work a bit on the name, but I think you get my point.
Salt and Light is published by Ethics and Public Affairs
Georgia Baptist Convention
H. Ray Newman, Sr., Specialist
6405 Sugarloaf Parkway
Duluth GA 30097-4092
For articles, statistics and updates on ethical issues see http://ethics.gabaptist.org
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