Tom in Iraq as a Military Observer

Tom in Iraq as a Military Observer
They sent me here just to watch...

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

On Immigration

It’s time for the political scientist to be loosed once again…

Immigration.  It’s not that difficult to fix this with something that is 90% better than what we have.  I doubt that we can hit 100%.  Some people live to be disgruntled.  That disgruntled 10% takes up most of the time and coverage in the media.

For the Christian, we follow the model of God’s Chosen People.  We love one another without qualification.  That includes the alien in our land.

We also obey, pray for, and accept God’s will for our government leaders and our nation’s laws.  The Bible even tells us to pay our taxes.  Bummer.

Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s and unto God that which is God’s.  Okay, there are laws concerning entry into the United States.  We have a democratically elected Republic.  If we want to change the laws, most of the time that can be done in the halls of Congress with a quick signature at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. 

But we do have laws.  The ones drawing the most attention right now were in effect for some time.  Enforcement varied.  Conditions have changed.  For those screaming about separated children, their conditions seem to be much better than a few years ago. 

Here’s the whole thing with the separated children issue.  It is a distraction.  Sadly, these children are being used to generate hate against our current president.  Children have been separated for years and those screaming now were silent.  The liberal strategists really don’t want this separation business settled until after November.  They are grasping at straws for something other than I hate Trump to take them into the midterms.

Worse than this is the fact that this whole separation business—which is not new business—is distracting the nation from putting pressure on their lawmakers to fix the immigration issue.  The separation of children is unfortunate.  It is lawful but unfortunate.  The whole process needs to be fixed, but as long as these children are used as I hate Trump political pawns, there is no pressure on Congress to fix the problem. 

Let’s fix immigration.  The president offered a very viable and compassionate solution at the State of the Union.  Schumer and Pelosi would have none of it even though it was much more liberal and compassionate to those who were already in the country illegally than anything they had on the table.  It provided a pathway to citizenship for those already in the country.  The left hates Trump more than they love America.  It is sadly, just that simple. 

Looking at the president’s proposal, the harder sell should have been to the Republicans, but the Democrats dismissed it outright. 

So here we are approaching the celebration of this nations 242nd year of independence and we are focused on children temporarily separated from their parents, that is, if the parents even made the trip with the children, when we should be fixing the entire immigration system.

So we can’t do the proposal put forth in the State of the Union address because it had Trump’s name on it.  Okay, let’s try these basic precepts:

National security includes border security.  There are people in this world who see as their purpose in life to do harm to our nation.  There’s also that common defense thing in the Preamble to the Constitution.  Give the president his wall.  It may or may not have a great return on investment but the lawfully elected leader of this nation who is charged with this massive responsibility thinks it will.  Give him the wall.

Compassion.  We want to welcome people into our nation.  We are still a light unto the world.  We want to be a land of opportunity.  We want people to come who want to be Americans.  We don’t want people who want to do us harm, colonize us, or exploit our resources.  We want people seeking a better life and who want to become a citizen in the process.

Illegal Aliens.  This is an interesting term.  The Bible only mentions aliens in your land.  The concept of illegal alien would have been alien.  God’s Chosen People were aliens—strangers—in the land of Egypt.  The Book of Exodus kicks off with a Pharaoh who did not remember Joseph.  That leader saw a large number of aliens in Egypt, mostly Hebrews, and dealt with the issue by making them slaves.  They were never illegal, but they were aliens.  That slavery lasted over 400 years.  That’s life-changing slavery.  That’s something to remember and passed on to generation after generation, not to dwell on what was done to them, but to give them compassion for the alien in their land.

God sent Moses and Aaron to liberate his people.  They did.  God gave his people commandments, laws, and other decrees but constantly reminded his people what it was to be an alien in another country.  He said to remember what is was like when the shoe was on the other foot.  When you take care of the stranger in your land remember what it was like to be a stranger in another land.  Still, the concept of unlawful entry into a nation was not what it was today.

Borders were not what they were today.  If you were an alien in a land, you were not illegal, but wholly subject to what the sovereign authority wanted to do to you.  It was better to be an alien in the Promised Land.  At least God’s Chosen People were told to show compassion. 

Today, in this country, we have people who have unlawfully enter this nation.  They broke the law the minute they entered the nation.  What do we do?

Security alone would demand apprehension and deportation, but that is neither practical nor compassionate.  There needs to be a road to citizenship.  Yes, they started the process the wrong way.  Are they willing to repent (I had to use some biblical terms) and do they desire to become citizens?  If both answers are yes, then we should give them a pathway to become citizens.  It need not be a short path, but it also need not be arduous. 

There would need to be a deadline for registering for this pathway to citizenship for those classified as illegal aliens.  I would suggest the end of the next calendar year for which the new law would be enacted.  That is, if the law were enacted in 2018, then 31 December 2019 would be the last day to apply for citizenship while in an illegal status.  After that, all illegal aliens would be deported. 

By that time, perhaps the entryway into our nation would be a bit wider through the traditional routes.  What would be included in this pathway to citizenship?  I think that registration, paying taxes and social security premiums would be essential.  Holding down a job on a regular basis would also be required. 

I also think that those entering the nation and desiring to become citizens must learn the national language, which is the American version of English.  I would suggest that for those already in the country, learning the language at a third-grade level would be acceptable.  Sometimes all the desire in the world doesn’t help an adult learn a new language.  All children would be expected to learn the language at an eighth-grade level and graduate high school.  Why not require them to learn at a twelfth-grade level?  Our native-born graduates do well to master our own language at the eighth-grade level. 

These are not arbitrary requirements.  They not only validate the desire for citizenship but equip the immigrant to become an effective citizen who contributes to the good of the nation and his new community. 

I want to be the nation that everyone wishes they could be a part of, a citizen of that nation.  I also know that people want to do us harm and we must be diligent in our national defense and security.  We have some catching up to do but things will not get better until people stop the insanity of fixing nothing at all because they hate the president.

You can’t be people of hate and compassion at the same time.  Let’s put aside our anger and demand that our lawmakers make a better law.  We are better than the vitriol and acrimony that characterize our uncivil discourse these days. 

Let your compassion be for all, even the party or president that you can’t stand, and fix immigration.

We are better than this!

Fix the problem not the blame!

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