Have you thought a lot about immigration lately? It certainly has been in the news. There appear to be strong opinions on both sides of the issue. Faith based groups appear to be united in support for allowing immigration, but with some changes. Business people who have a difficult time filling jobs that no one wants, seem to support immigration. The vast majority of middle class people who are struggling to make ends meet, appear to be the most opposed to immigration. For this group, it is not just about crime, not just about right and wrong, it is about taking jobs.
I was interviewed the other day about “where I stand on the issue of immigration.” It is a complex issue that doesn’t have one easy answer.
1. You are never going to be able to have a completely secure border. It is not going to happen.
2. Each of us are a product of immigration. Somewhere at some time, one of our grandparents was an immigrant. What makes us different?
3. There is no way for me to divorce myself from the fact that many of the immigrants are children. Why shouldn’t any child have a chance at being and doing the best they can?
4. Jesus said, I was a stranger and you invited me in…(Matt 25:35). One of the reasons God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah was because they showed no hospitality to the stranger in the city.
The only way that we will curb immigration from Mexico or Central America is by investing ourselves in those locations. To take jobs, financial assistance, and opportunities to those countries so that they will not be looking at relocating. Look at ourselves, we will move all the way across the country for a better job.
Change legislation to orient, train and educate immigrants. Have centers set up to teach English, provide vocational training and to assist with job placement. WOW, what a novel idea. We might even try that with our own citizens.