I came here and became an undocumented alien. I’m biased on the immigration issue, but not in a bad way I would say, but rather in the live-in-another-person’s-shoes kind of way. I didn’t know I was undocumented until I turned 16. My life flipped upside down when I found out this country I loved to live in didn’t want me, especially because I didn’t do anything willfully. That’s the funny thing about criminal laws, most require CRIMINAL INTENT—some willful, knowing action.
Imagine a Mexican (or Egyptian, or Chinese, or European, etc.) family, father, mother and 4 year old child: the father and mother willfully and knowingly burglarize a mansion. Who should be punished? You’ll say the parents. Let’s also punish the kid when he turns 16. Absurd right? Welcome to the immigration issue.
Now imagine the same family and what they did was cross into another country, much like those Syrians coming across Europe, and all they want is to have a better life. Yes, the law is the law, but if you found a loop hole or some means to save your family, would you not exploit it? People constantly exploit opportunities to save a buck (think taxes, price-matching, using another person’s wifi).
Think of all those folks in prison who were given permission by so many presidents to be freed—FORGIVEN. It’s called clemency, or pardon, and it is “a power that the constitution unreservedly grants the president as a way to correct injustices, or or offer forgiveness” (NY Times article on President Obama’s use of it to free 22 prisoners; and to be fair, here is a list of people pardoned by George W, Bush). What makes all these citizens who committed crimes deserve relief more than a struggling family who has been here for a decade seeking to better the lives of their family and escape a difficult life where they came from? Like those prisoners, such a family might be praying daily that God finds a way for them, that God places goodness in the hearts of America’s leaders to save them: why not bestow mercy on them?
No: kick them out!
Give me a break, where is the Christianity in that?
But there are laws! Yeah, there was a law to kill Christ, but the Holy Family emigrated to Egypt to avoid it. So what? When they asked for a place to stay what should the Egyptians have said? You are breaking the law get out!
Here’s my problem with Trump and all the anti-immigration support. I don’t think it’s about the law as much as it is about anti-IMMIGRANTS, anti-MEXICANS, anti-FOREIGNERS.
The laws meant to regulate the influx of immigrants failed. Telling them now all to leave is almost as crazy and heartless as native Americans telling everyone in the USA to leave who isn’t. Imagine it: What if all the native Americans multiplied like crazy and they became the 99% majority and then they passed a law that said all non-native folks need to leave and then register to be admitted again? You’d say, why? Well, because they broke our ancient laws and killed our ancestors and took over this land and don’t belong here, and we want only the truly deserving to stay. We’ll give them all a path to citizenship but they have to prove themselves. You’d say, but hey, now that they are here let’s just accommodate for the circumstances. It’d be crazy and unjust to just kick all those people out.
Yes, it would be.
Why? For a number of reasons not the least of which is that Christianity is centered on mercy and love. To follow Christ is to love God, and to love God is to help the down-trodden, to love our neighbors, to care for the helpless. I hear no love in the voices of support for Trump’s anti-immigrant stance.
What’s sad is so many of these voices proclaim to be Christian, conservative Christians. It was conservative Bible-belt Christians who led the charge to keep slavery alive. And many of their descendants have picked up what I call the new form of legitimized racism under the guise of the law. As an example of how offensively narrow-minded this movement against immigrants is, all you hear about is MEXICANS. Folks! There’s a TON of immigrants of all sorts of backgrounds in this country who are in the same boat. But instead people focus on those foreigners they keep seeing everywhere that don’t speak English!
Don’t get me wrong: I’m all for deporting the illegal immigrants who are a criminal nuisance to our society, but why stop there? Why not extend it to U.S. Citizens! Why show partiality with illegal immigrants? I’ll never forget standing as a public defender with only my green card as I waited to be processed for citizenship, and the judge would ask my client who has a ridiculously long history of crime if they are a U.S. Citizen: “Yes!” they would say. And I’m thinking, “What do I have to do to become a citizen!” That’s the irony: we are so focused on illegal immigrants who mostly comprise GOOD CITIZENS, when we should be focused more on things like, I don’t know, Guns, Violence, Crime, Economy, …
And don’t think I’m against the U.S. actually enforcing its laws as it pertains to the influx of more immigrants. I’m all for it.
In any case, for me, my voting decisions begin with the issue of immigration, as it shows me at least a distinction between the hardliner, judgmental, high and mighty Christian, and the humble, lover of the humble, genuinely loving Christian. One word of biblical advice to all: Just be merciful so that by the same judgment you judge you will be judged. You are all entitled to believe what you want. But on this issue, this sounds more like the Trump Bible than the real one.
I guess Trump is following our forefather Thomas Jefferson’s footsteps and writing his own version of the Bible that suits him. Here’s the TRUMP BIBLE I’ve seen so far:
- Attack when you are attacked. (Instead of Love your Enemies, turn the other cheek).
- Communion is just “when I drink my little wine … and have my little cracker.” (Instead of Christ’s lengthy discourse in John Chapter 6)
- Don’t ask for forgiveness from God. (Instead of the Lord’s Prayer where Christ told us to always ask that God “Forgive us our Trespasses”)
- Leaving Christ is not to be condemned, but cherished. (Even though the Bible declares Christ is THE WAY, and denying Him means He will deny that person before God).
- And finally, DESPISE FOREIGNERS and STRANGERS who SOJOURN TO AMERICA, even though the Bible says, “When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.” (Leviticus 19:33-34)