Now, I will be the first to admit that I'm much more of a "Mommy Blogger" than that of a Political analyst! I love Politics & talking politics, especially with people who don't necessarily agree with me (you know who you are!) And unfortunately, many of my family & friends don't agree with me, much of the time. And that's fine with me. It's one of the many things that makes this country great! I've been wanting to write a post on this subject for a very long time, but kept talking myself out of it. I'm not really a confrontational person, and don't like to ruffle feathers just because I can. I usually keep my opinions to myself, or share them only with those closest to me, who will love & accept me anyway! So please, forgive me as I wax political for a moment. And I hope you return & will continue to read my Blog after this. :)
My home state of Arizona has been in the national news this week. Our Governor signed a new immigration bill. Since we border Mexico, we have a large population of Hispanics, who are here both legally & illegally. The signing of this bill has literally broken my heart. I believe it should break the heart of every Christian & every humanitarian. But, sadly that is not the case. And to be honest I am very disillusioned by this.
I believe this bill will lead to much discrimination, and racial profiling by law enforcement. Which is already bad here to begin with. I watched the governor's press conference as she signed this bill. In her attempts to reassure us, she told of her plan to implement a new training program for law enforcement to help insure peoples civil rights are not violated. All that reassured to me is that she too, knows this bill will lead to that very thing, otherwise we wouldn't need special training, would we?!
Leviticus 19: 33-34 says: "When a foreigner lives with you in your land, don't take advantage of him. Treat the foreigner the same as a native. Love him like one of your own. Remember that you were once foreigners in Egypt. I am God, your God."
We are taught in God's word to love our neighbor as ourselves. And to love our enemies as well. These are people created in the very image of God. And when we hate them, we hate the one who created them.
Matthew 25:34-40: "Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Enter, you who are blessed by my Father! Take what's coming to you in this kingdom. It's been ready for you since the world's foundation. And here's why: I was hungry and you fed me, I was thirsty and you gave me a drink, I was homeless and you gave me a room, I was shivering and you gave me clothes, I was sick and you stopped to visit, I was in prison and you came to me.' then those 'sheep' are going to say, 'Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you. thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you? Then the King will say, I'm telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me--you did it to me.'"
People will say we have to separate Church & State, one should have nothing to do with the other. I was raised in Church, and have been in the ministry for close to 25 years now. Every thing I do, every decision I make, I make it based on my faith. This country was founded on Faith. It was established by immigrants, who came here from other countries, many illegally, looking for religious freedom. The majority of us would not be here today, if it weren't for those immigrants who risked their lives for the promise of a better life, for them & for future generations. And we are reaping those benefits. And I for one am grateful for that.
The biggest cop out I hear from people is that immigrants take jobs away from Americans. Really? I've never met 1 single person who lost their job to an illegal immigrant. I would bet that I could go into any restaurant, or church, or crowded room, and ask for a show of hands of how many people here have lost their job to an immigrant? Who here was fired, just to have their employer hire an illegal immigrant in their place? As I've said, I've never met a single person for whom this is the case, and don't imagine any hands would go up. It's just an unjustified excuse for hate.
A lot of Immigrants do jobs most Americans would never do, for a lot less pay than any American would ever accept! And yet, some of the very people who use this excuse of they take jobs away from Americans, will hire these very same people to clean their pool, or trim their trees & do their yard work, to paint their house, because they can get away with paying them less. It's a double standard. We yell in their faces "This is America, speak English!" Just think about that statement for a minute. . . I was born & raised, and educated, here in one of the wealthiest countries in the world, and I, unfortunately only speak 1 language. And here we expect someone from a third world country, with little to no education to be smarter than us, and all of a sudden be fluent in another language other than their native tongue. Does that even make sense?
We want to blame our failing economy on someone, and they are an easy target. My son Zach took an economics class, & in that class (of mostly white students, with a white teacher, just to clarify, so no one can say they were prejudiced) looked into the affect of immigrants on our economy, and this is what they discovered through their research: If an Immigrant gets a job here, and they are paid, like most of us are, with a paycheck, income taxes & social security is automatically taken out of that paycheck. But since they are not here legally, they can never claim those taxes, or collect on that social security, since they are not an American citizen. So they are paying into a system they cannot take back out of! If they are paid "under the table", or in cash for their labor, they obviously do not pay either taxes or social security on their income. But they are still paying rent here. They are buying groceries here & clothes, etc. They found out that throughout history, as well as here & now, that immigration boosts an economy, not hurts it.
America is a nation of Greed. We let repeat offenders who molest children go free, but if someone swindles money, we throw them away for life. Just ask Bernie Madoff. Don't get me wrong, he deserves to be punished, but people have a hatred for him beyond whats called for. And ask Jaycee Dugard, the little girl who was kidnapped by a man who should not have been out of jail in the first place, & who held her prisoner in his back yard for 15 years. And fathered 2 children with her. Our priorities, in this country are way off here!
Please don't get me wrong. I am not naive enough to think that we can just take in every person in the world. And I do not want criminals sneaking into my country. (I don't even want American born criminals in my country.) I know that there has to be laws to govern immigration, to keep everyone (on both sides) safe. But, I don't believe this is the right law. We need to give people the opportunity to become citizens of this great country. Who wouldn't want to live here? Everyone deserves to be free! I am blessed beyond measure to have been born here. But, I could have just as easily been born somewhere else. And the majority of these people, I believe, just want what I want, the best life possible for them and for their children. They are no different from us!
I had the opportunity to see with my own eyes The Statue Of Liberty in New York. And I immediately thought of all those immigrants of long ago, who risked their lives to come here in ships, with nothing but the clothes on their backs, & the dream of creating a better life for themselves & for their children & their children's children. Who's first glimpse of America was that Statue. And we are all reaping the benefits of their decision. Immigrants today, may not cross an ocean to get here, but instead, risk their lives crossing a desert. And they may never see that Statue in their lifetime, but believe me, they know it's there! And they know what it stands for. And let us never forget what is inscribed on that Statue:
"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free"