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Saturday, April 29, 2006

Illegal Immigration

Wow, what a touchy issue especially in the current climate. Let me begin by saying I love Mexicans. I have been to Mexico three times over the course of my life and met some wonderful people there. I pastor a church where no less than five of the ten families have spanish sir names. We have two services a week for Spanish speaking people. Three of the men in my church were not born in this country. One was born in the Dominican Republic. Two others were born in Mexico. I like to believe that I do not have a prejudiced bone in my body. I love these people and find great satisfaction in being able to pastor them. They are huge supporters of their pastor.

Let me also say, having been in Mexico I understand the plight that many of those people labor under. It is hard for those who have never been out of the United States to understand real poverty. Poverty in America is when you only have one car, a microwave, a 32 inch TV, some kind of video game, and a hosts of other electronic equipment. Most Americans can be convinced this is poverty because they have never seen real poverty. I have, in Mexico, Panama, and Ghana (West Africa). It is not hard for me to understand why someone who lived just a few miles from the border with the most prosperous nation on earth would cross that border and take up residence in the land of prosperity even if it meant being here illegally. If my family barely had enough food to eat and enough clothes to wear, and there was no reasonable expectation that our condition would change and I knew I could cross an international border and in a few months things would be dramatically different and for the better that would be hard to forego. If one would think about it, it is easy to understand why they come. It would not matter what country we bordered, if it were like Mexico the people would be trying to get in. If our country was in West Africa the Ghanaians, Nigerians, those from Togo and other surrounding countries would be crossing the border in droves. It is not a problem with Mexicans as much as it is a problem with people who are in dire circumstances. Mexicans are the problem for us because they are our international neighbors.

I can understand why they come, why they want their babies to be born here but it is not right. The Mexicans and even the Mexican government is exploiting their geographical relationship to us. They are not being good neighbors. If I looked across town and saw a family that had a much larger house than I did, and ate much better food, and drove much better automobiles, and had a much better job than I did would it be neighborly to impose my self upon them. I do not think so.

The Mexican government will not stop the flow of humanity across our mutual border until they are given some motivation for doing so. Because the county of Mexico has proven it is inept at cultivating its natural resources it is content to have its citizenry cross the border with its northern neighbor so that the nation that has been productive can provide a haven for those to whom they (Mexico) are responsible. We should make it known through diplomatic channels at the highest level (Bush to Fox) that unless they stop the flow of immigration we will not continue to count them among our friends in the international community.

Another thing. Most people are against amnesty. I understand why. It is distasteful. It is rewarding illegal behavior. But when examined honestly what are the logistics that would be involved in rounding up 12+ million people and sending them back to their country of origin? It would be a monumental task, involving great expense. We would send them back and millions of them would return again within a few months along with others who had never been here before. I for one do not believe the answer is in mass deportation. I believe the resources (time, energy, and money) could be better spent on one of the primary reasons for the existence of our Federal Government. Secure the border. Secure the border. Secure the border.

This would involve several things. Station troops all along the border. We can do it. We have been doing it at the 38th parallel in Korea for 60 years now. We have secured their border with troops but we cannot secure our own? No one will be granted access. We will stop them at the border and they will be returned just at the point from which they crossed. If Mexico does not like it then they need to figure out a way to stop it on their side for we will stop it on our side. If our troops are fired on they need to have standing orders that they are at liberty to shoot to kill. We must send a message that we will not tolerate the infringement of our sovereignty by indiscriminate border crossings.

Another thing that it would involve is severely curtailing the visas that are issued at border crossings. Many people enter legally and then do not return. They have abused the privledge of legal entry so it should be severely restrained. No one can cross the border at a check point who cannot prove that they have legitimate business in the United States. They must have a job in Mexico. They must provide a wide range of information including where they will be traveling, where they will be staying, when they will return, phone numbers where they can be reached. All of this information must be verifiable before they can cross into our country. It is unfortunate that you have to be so suspicious of neighbors, but the neighbors have proven themselves untrustworthy. The process may take several days. We are sorry but these are the requirements that your disregard for our laws have necessitated that we apply to you.

Another thing is that we should have an expedited process where people could entry the country legally to work and ultimately apply for citizenship. There needs to be legitimate hope provided that if you want to be an American the possibility is there. But they must want to be Americans. That means their allegiance is to the flag of the United States of American and not the Mexican flag. They must learn English (read, write, and speak). They must learn something of our history. They must respect our institutions and our laws. They cannot come legally and then break our laws, if they do their forfeit their right to be here and they will be promptly sent back, not placed in an American prisons for the American taxpayer to care for.

We have brought this problem on our selves. One of the primary ways we have done this is by catering to a Spanish speaking population. There is no reason why everything should be written in Spanish as well as English. We have created a situation where people can come into the culture illegally and function reasonably well because we have made every accommodation for them.

As for illegal immigrants marching in the streets demanding their rights, by their actions they reveal a misunderstanding about our Constitution. The preamble to the Constitution begins with the words, "We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union. . . " The Constitution is for the citizens of the United States. It conveys no rights on non-citizens. One's presence in our border does not make them an automatic recipient of our liberties. While as a nation we are typically very gracious to our visitors do not mistake our graciousness for something you deserve. As Americans we were freeborn, those born in other places must earn the privledge to be called an American!

Just my opinion, my fullypersuadedopinion
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