the immigration dilemma

the immigration dilemma

I have to admit to mixed feelings about the debate over immigration policies.

On the one hand, the biblical message of welcome for the foreigner, of ready hospitality offered to one’s neighbor, any neighbor, “neighbor” by the broadest definition of the word, is clear and strong. God’s bias toward kindness and generosity and non-discrimination is unmistakable.

On the other hand, I believe in following the law. I try to “do the right thing,” to “do it by the rules.” It is difficult for me to rouse sympathy for those who intentionally violate the law and then expect to be excused.

On the other hand, ignoring the law may well be the just thing to do if the law is unjust. Is immigration law itself a “fence” around the United States, a law that requires years and years and years before even entertaining the possibility of gaining citizenship? We call ourselves “a land of opportunity,” but turn back the ones seeking opportunity.

… unless of course we have need of their cheap labor. Illegals are illegal, unless they are good for business, in which case we are ready to look the other way!

I would be interested in your comments, especially from those of you who may know more about immigration law than I do.

4 thoughts on “the immigration dilemma

  1. I don’t know a thing about immigration law but I did attend a Governor’s Conference on Diversity at HCC. Someone from the Governor’s office explained the problems faced by our state in getting farm products from farm to market…and the hourly wage in packing plants is not as hight as those paid at John Deere or other manufacturing operations in the state, therefore,finding hourly workers who would work for this low wage was extremely difficult in Iowa…making immigrants vital to the economy of Iowa. ( When he was speaking he was referring to the Bosnian immigrants that were coming to settle in Iowa.) Please remember I am just the “messenger” of this comment. To me the fact that someone of leadership in this state would admit to taking advantage of people in this way was unbelievable. If I had not heard it with my own ears I would not have believed it.

  2. I am certainly no expert on this, and I too, have mixed feelings. I want us to do the right thing as a country. While living in Devner, CO, I worked as the office manager for a cleaning company who cleaned office buildings, restaurants, and hotels/motels. Cleaning was done mostly at night, on the off hours. The employees were all of hispanic decent. We employed about 150 people at any given time, according to our books. I don’t have any problem with that part. The part I have a problem with was that most of the employees were signed up under 2 and sometimes 3 different names, with different ss#’s and all of them claimed 7 or 8 for dependents, so that very little, if any taxes were taken out of their paychecks. (They were cheating our rules, and got away with it.) I knew that was the case, but it was back at home in Mexico, not here in the U.S. Most of these people were roommates of each other. After about 6-9 months, they would not return to work, as they would just up and leave for ‘home’, having made enough money in that time period to live on for a year with their family in Mexico. After a year, many of them would return to work, work that length again, and leave. The owner of the company knew this was happening, but didn’t overlooked it over and over again. I know that not every immigrant works in this manner, but it is the experience that I had. How can we be fair, and make sure that they are following the same rules that we have to follow?

  3. This is the part that bothers me. I don’t know much about what the law really says, but it appears to be applied unevenly. Degreed professionals don’t seem to have too much trouble getting visas, yet bona fide husbands/wives are sometimes kept from joining their spouses because of “the law.”

    I don’t think that illegal immigration is good for anybody, really. It is unfair (to those who try to obey the laws) and exploitive (of the immigrants themselves).

  4. Okay – the blockquote in my response obviously didn’t work! I meant to quote: “Illegals are illegal, unless they are good for business, in which case we are ready to look the other way!”

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