14 December, 2006

immigration issues

We should always defend the right of the immagrant to live among us, to escape poverty, to move beyond what anyone in their family has been able to do, to live the american dream and to be a part of the pursuit of happiness. To accept the stranger and welcome the alien is what we are called to. It does not matter who they make feel uncomfortable, or if they do not learn our language because those are merely excuses for our own fear of the unknown. God says that,“the alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God” (Leviticus 19:34). Therefore as followers of Christ we are not called to exclude, but to accept people in.

I just received an email from the Sojouners Magazine which says that in calling ourselves christians it is necesary that, "we support compassion and justice for immigrants and their families". That same Magazine quote goes on to say that this is an issue for all Americans because, "The U.S. is a nation of immigrants, one that has been continually reshaped by new groups of people bringing diverse cultures, perspectives, and resources". Therefore we would not only be obeying God, we'd reap benefits as well!

However along with immigration we must discuss poverty. It is one of the reasons most americans are aprehensive about immigration in the first place. It is true that, " immigrants - both legal and undocumented - are more likely to live in families with incomes below the poverty level, and children of undocumented immigrants are especially at risk". (Sojourner's Magazine) So that is our call to action! Because if a road towards citizenship is not available for the undocumented, "our country could have a permanent underclass of guest workers - people who work, live, pay taxes, and go to school in the U.S., but cannot attain better and more secure lives for themselves and their families"(Sojourner's Magazine Dec., 2006).That is the reason that things cannot just continue on as they have been. We have a problem that is not going to resolve itself, and we need to call for a reform to our entire approach,a reform which would be, "pro-work and pro-family, creating opportunities to strengthen the common good of families and employers alike, and enriching the vitality of America" (Sojourner's Dec., 2006).There you have it, it is better for all of us if we get this thing figured out.

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