Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Immigration: God's Law or Man's Law

I've been told that the immigration policy for our neighbors to the South is different for those from Europe. If you're from Europe and you have a U.S. work permit, you can bring your family. Not true if you're from Mexico. So migrate workers from the South must leave their families behind. This is why Catholic bishops oppose the U.S. Immigration policy. The bishops believe that God's rules about the integrity of the family trump a U.S. Immigration law that keeps them apart.

What is mysterious to me is why conservative pundits become inflamed over "illegal immigrants" regardless of their reason for being here. They often reinforce the term "illegal" as if U.S. law was equivalent to what is morally just. Yet, these same pundits say that "legal" abortion is wrong. They rhetorically uphold the immigration law, but they have no qualms of dismissing the abortion law. In terms of abortion they will rightfully side with God and say abortion is morally wrong, but when it comes to separating families from the South, they uphold man's law and ignore God's.  

It's time we put God above our government's laws and policies. We don't hesitate to do this with many issues, why can't we do it with the immigration policies? I think Rick Perry is right when he defends the in-state college tuition rates for illegal immigrants. The better educated people are, the less they will turn to crime and welfare. I suspect that the portion of the expensive for the education (which the state may bear) is far less than the expense would bear if those same individuals were to turn to crime or welfare fraud.  Perry is also right that those that oppose his rule to help educate those from Mexico have no heart.  

Here's another way to stage the argument. Which would you rather have, an educated illegal immigrant, or an uneducated citizen?  In the long term, the U.S. and the individual will fare far better with an educated populace, legal or otherwise.

As Christians our first obligation is to God, and if the law doesn't contradict God's laws then we can support the law. But to side with U.S. policy or law without consideration of what is universally and morally right, is egregious.

At the same time I'd wish people like those in the photo to the right could read or listen a bit more closely to the debate. I've not heard any pundits or officials voice ANY concern about immigrants who are here legally, especially full citizens, regardless of race.  Why are these people confusing the debate? Their protest only serves to inflame the irrational, create noise, and derail honest and just debate over the moral issues.

Lastly, I wish the bishops and conservatives and others who debate the issue would use more precise terms other than "immigration reform." Reform" can take all sorts of paths and directions. We just don't want reform, we want a justifiably moral reform.

1 comment:

  1. Great perspective on this very debated issue. For the upcoming election, this is a hot topic but not the prime topic, as it is the economy. Just like you, I can not say with certainty if it's true that the immigration policy is different for those in MX vs. those in EU. What I do know is that each country has own immigration policy; that there are different requirements; that part of the reform should be in making the process easier to be a legal citizen; that the US historically has been far more lenient, seen also on a state level as well; That in speaking of states, each state have their own particular immigration issues that they must be able to deal with, especially when the Federal government fails to do so; As for the education privileges, although you pose a good point, it is a PRIVILEGE. We cannot give an advantage over our own children, citizens and families. That is senseless and poor judgement. Lastly, Rick Perry needed to formulate his justification better, not attacking those who disagree with him, he is in the politics games after all. I'm sure in the next round, he'll articulate much better, as he did with the social security "ponzi" scheme issue...