As August neared its end in 2012, Williams Guevara left home in El Salvador. He was 17 years old. And alone. And on a dangerous journey.

Guevara’s father was abusive. He beat Guevara with ropes and belts. His hands and legs are scarred. His father made him work as a child. Guevara could not keep the money he made. He said he was tired and hungry all the time.

There was always the threat of gang violence in El Salvador, too. The country has one of the highest murder rates in the world.

Then, one day, Guevara’s father beat him with a machete.

Guevara made his decision to leave.

He left home on his own.

The journey was dangerous traveling hundreds of miles north from El Salvador to the United States. He rode on top of a train and nearly fell off. Then, he walked for days. He walked through the desert. Guevara was fighting for his life on two fronts. The conditions of the desert are life-threatening. The heat is scorching and there is little water. Then, there are robbers along the journey, people who prey on migrants.

Guevara said he crossed the border near Los Fresnos, Texas in 2012. He was caught and held in an immigration detention center. The uncertainty of what was going to happen in the detention center was terrifying. The room where he was kept had no windows, he said.

“There is one door and the room [was] always cold,” Guevara said. “It’s really cold ... when I [got] there and my clothes were really wet.”

Guevara was sent to Baltimore to live with his brother while the US government decided whether to deport the teenager. Living in the US was one of the first times Guevara felt safe, he said. But there was always the threat looming over him that he could be sent back to El Salvador, back to his abusive father.

At the same time, Guevara had to learn English. He said it was hard to understand people, as though everyone was talking in a different language on fast forward. He went to high school like other students his age, then spent several hours at night school to learn English.

With the help of Catholic Charities, Guevara received a green card. He said getting the green card was “unbelievable. It was just amazing.” He is a federal employee now and in a few years he will be a US citizen.

In February 2014, Guevara testified before the Maryland General Assembly to change the laws around child custody. He was staying with his family in Baltimore at the time. Under previous laws, a person was a child until age 18 but the new law would raise that age to 21 and give immigrant youth more time to pursue citizenship.

“If I had left El Salvador eight months later, I would have been 18 when I came to the United States,” he said during his testimony. “Without this new law, I would have been sent back to El Salvador where my father would start abusing me again.”

Guevara helped changed the law to something he felt was more just. With stories of immigration central to much of the Biblical narrative, Christian theologians have a lot to say about our nation’s immigration laws. They said that if you applied basic Christian principles to our laws, immigration in America would look a lot different.

A Christian immigration law

The Bible has been held up as a defense on those preaching a kind of open borders policy and by those taking hardline views on the topic.

However, the conversation in and around American churches about immigration often focus more on politics and economics than it does on the Bible, said Daniel Carroll Rodas, author of “Christians at the Border: Immigration, the Church, and the Bible.” Carroll visits places to speak about the topic of migration and a biblical response.

“In discussions in local churches, it wasn’t very much of a Christian conversation,” he said. “It was about politics and economics and national security, things like that. … The premise of the book was to try to get some kind of biblical orientation to those discussions so that when Christians came to those discussion they would have some kind of framework explicitly tied to their faith, which is not something you see all the time.”

The Bible’s first book of Genesis underlines how all humans are made in the image of God, Carroll said. They have both worth and potential. A Biblical approach to immigration would recognize that worth as a human and the potential for immigrants to improve communities.

Even that seemingly subtle shift changes a lot, Carroll said. Immigrants are no longer burdens or threats. Instead, they are valuable in the eyes of God. The tone of the discussion changes, even if the conversation still focuses on politics or economics, Carroll said.

There are pragmatic changes to immigration law, like changing the national quota system for visas, Carroll said. In the current system, each country can get up to 7 percent of the available visas that year, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Whether one country has 10,000 people trying to leave and the other has 10 does not matter. They get the same number.

Next, the government should admit its systems for handling immigration are overtaxed and understaffed, Carroll said. The government should welcome the help of outside groups, such as the Christian churches. Instead, what is happening is the government is doubling down on its efforts to restrict access at the border and dissuades groups that are trying to help migrants. One of those groups is Border Angels. They leave resources like water at the border for migrants on the journey to the desert. Workers for Border Angels have reported the water jugs being shot or slashed, according to an interview by leaders with NPR.

Carroll said much of the pushback against more compassionate immigration policies come from Christians who do not understand what the Bible says.

“Part of the issue when you have people in churches disagreeing, sometimes it’s because they have no idea what the Bible says,” Carroll said. “Or they may have just one or two verses, that’s what they go to, that’s what they’ve heard on the radio or something like that.”

The one or two verses Christians point to on immigration likely include Romans 13:1, Carroll said. In a 2018 press conference, then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions used the passage to defend the Trump Administration’s family separation policy.

“Persons who violate the law of our nation are subject to prosecution,” Sessions said. “If you violate the law, you subject yourself to prosecution. I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13 to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained the government for His purposes.”

Sessions may have been using the Bible to his defense because the church, specifically the Catholic Church, was one of the most vocal opponents to the policy.

Christians with tough stances on immigration quote this passage a lot, Carroll said. The belief goes that God created the U.S. government, therefore what laws the U.S. government has should be followed.

Carroll said when people confront him with the passage he asks them not to look at the verse in a vacuum but see it in context with all of the verses before it and the numerous migration stories of the Old and New Testaments.

“I take them to 1 Peter, where it’ll say that every Christian is a sojourner,” he said. “And so what we see then is that migration actually becomes a metaphor for the Christian faith itself. We serve a different king. We should have different values. We have, the Bible tells us, a different citizenship. And so, all of us, actually are strangers.”

Theologians said early Christians often broke the laws of the Roman Empire because their faith was more important. Essentially, their loyalty was to the kingdom of God more than it was to the Romans. The apostle Paul, the author of the book of Romans, was often jailed because of his faith. Many of his books in the Bible were written while he was in jail.

Connecting ancient and contemporary

Nancy Pineda-Madrid has spent years researching and writing about how the ancient Bible stories connect with current events. She is an assistant professor of theology and Latino and Latina ministry at Boston College.

The migration stories of the Bible, especially the stories of migration, play differently for a Latina or Latino American audience than they do for a white church.

“There’s a connection to a lot of the current contemporary suffering that people are experiencing today like, for example, immigrants who are trying to make their way into the United States or who fear being picked up in this country because they don’t have papers, and papers that the U.S. government recognizes,” she said. “And so the connection there [is] to how Jesus experienced being marginalized in his life and being considered an outsider, a threat to the powers in his day, the Roman power.”

Pineda-Madrid said US Latino/a theologians highlight ways in which Jesus’ crucifixion is an example of the ongoing persecution experienced by the socially marginalized. While many church members may be able to recite the basic crucifixion story — as performed through the stations of the cross — few Christians see the overlap of the story with contemporary suffering, especially migration, Pineda-Madrid said.

“We can’t understand, adequately, Jesus’s suffering and his brutal crucifixion at the hands of Roman power,” Pineda-Madrid said. “We can’t understand (Jesus’s crucifixion) if we don’t understand the crucifixions that are going on in our own time, that there are populations today who are suffering severely.”

A failure to do so, Pineda-Madrid said, is a failure of the faith.

“We have to make a connection to Jesus Christ or our understanding of Jesus’s crucifixion becomes domesticated and is seen as something that is distant from us and not a reality that makes demands of us now,” she said. “… We need to be about work that calls for an end to the evil that leads to the crucifixion of people, like the women in Juarez or people in the violence throughout Mexico, the violence throughout much of Central America and many other countries around the world.”

Amnesty International has reported that six in 10 women are raped while coming to the United States. Criminal gangs and human traffickers prey on the migrants, many of whom have to trust strangers to make the journey. The immigration journey is particularly dangerous for women, Pineda-Madrid said.

Ana Herrera is one of those women who made the journey from El Salvador. Her parents abandoned her when she was just a few months old. She was taken in by her grandmother. They were poor, Herrera said. The neighborhood was dangerous and she witnessed the murder of her cousin.

The next day, at 19 years old, she left for the United States.

Herrera was held in a US detention facility for a month. She said the cell was crammed with people. She had to sleep sitting up because there was not enough space on the floor.

“There’s nobody there for you, like a family member,” Herrera said speaking through an interpreter, her husband. “... Everyone has needs and whether they be emotional, physical, spiritual, and none of those are taken care of in a place like that.”

Eventually, Herrera was sent to live with her aunt in Maryland. She worked with a Catholic Charities legal team and won her case to get a green card.

But getting the ability to stay in the United States was not the end of Herrera’s struggle.

The second crucifixion

If the journey to the United States is one kind of crucifixion for immigrants, the struggle to fit in at a moment when the nation has demonized immigrants is another kind of crucifixion. About half of Americans feel people seeking asylum are not fleeing real violence and over a third of Americans feel people are taking advantage of the asylum process, according to a 2018 poll by NPR/Ipsos.

One of Herrera’s biggest fears was being a stranger in a foreign land, she said. She had no one she trusted to turn to. She felt lonely. There was no other solution than to hold onto her faith, she said.

The isolation and demonization of immigrants in America are antithetical to the Christian understanding of compassion, said Juan Martinez, a professor of Hispanic studies at Fuller Theological Seminary. Martinez said American Christians too often believe they won some kind of spiritual lottery in which they have a God who has rewarded them with wealth without any strings attached, without any obligations.

“The Old Testament, the Hebrew Scriptures depending on how you would refer to them, make it very clear to the people of Israel that they’re supposed to take the foreigner very seriously,” Martinez said.

Politicians, whether they are of any faith or no faith, have to recognize the threats people are fleeing in Central America are real, Martinez said. The dangers there are forcing people to leave. They are breaking laws and they know it but they are seeking safety.

“If I have real, credible death threats against me and my own do I hang around because XYZ country won’t give me a visa? Or do I flee anyway, take the risk of what that implies, knowing that I’m fleeing certain kinds of violence that will take my life for sure and I’m taking the risk that I will find a way to get through this situation?”

People are in real, immediate danger, Martinez said, and it is the duty of Christians to respond.

Catholic social teaching offers one way of thinking about a response, Pineda-Madrid said. The central idea is thinking about the common good, which is not the greatest good for the greatest number of people or a kind of popular vote, she said.

“It’s concerned about how do we create a social order that enables more and more people to find their way to God, to know who God is in their lives?” Pineda-Madrid said. “And how do we create a social order that supports that? … The common good calls us to make that kind of a critique and to act on behalf of life and to protect the lives of children and families. And those have to be the fundamental goals and values that guide us when we’re looking at questions of immigration.”

The questions about immigration in America are unlikely to go away. The talk of caravans and walls will not stop. There will be debates and news stories, more debates and more news stories.

In the meantime, immigrants will keep coming. They will begin dangerous journeys to cross the border, journeys like Guevara and Herrera made. They walked that path. They both said prayer gave them strength during the dangerous trip.

They were praying to the same God many migrants pray to on their journey, the same God many Americans worship on Sundays.

Follow Wyatt Massey on Twitter:

@News4Mass.

(18) comments

mrnatural1

On Apr 28, 2019 @ 4:03pm, MD1756 said:

"First, religion should be taken out of the mix for the debate (separation of church and state). Any religious organization can at any time send money to anyone (not associated with a listed terrorist organization) for any reason, so anyone so inclined can send their charitable donations to help immigrant if they want, I choose to support mostly environmental issues (although I have donated to Children's Hospital and St. Jude's in the past). Immigration policies (as any governmental policy) should be based purely on logic and problem solving to address basic rights of the country's citizens and not emotion."

I agree. Religion should have nothing to do with the federal government's immigration policies.

All decent people want to help others. Unfortunately:

a) America is already seriously overpopulated. We are at DOUBLE our sustainable population. We should be decreasing our population, not increasing it.

b) The US treasury is BANKRUPT. Our debt is now $22 trillion and counting, that's $181,000 per taxpayer: https://www.usdebtclock.org/

We might be able to reduce our spending on defense and use the money for foreign aid, but we must severely restrict the number of immigrants we allow into the country.

It's not anti-Chistian; racist; or xenophobic to want to protect the country from further ecological and financial ruin. In fact, it is the moral thing to do.

DickD

Gabe, let me apologize for calling you a Republican. . This is one apology I am happy to make.

Now let me state if there's a uniform wage, which the Republicans refuse to legislatively pass, no one would be working for less - unless some employer is illegally paying less. Still, not all would be willing to work for even $15 per hour. Would immigrants work for that, most likely, unless they can get higher paying jobs.

And it is most of the Southern states that are not willing to pay $15 per hour - Republican states. The same states that have "Right to Work " laws. Laws that undermine unions that would negotiate fair wages.

And most of these southern states are very religious, just like Jim, but they don't practice their religion when it comes to immigrants. .Just go down to Carolina, you will see signs all over, "Thank you Jesus " for giving them Trump. It makes my son in law sick.

MD1756

First, religion should be taken out of the mix for the debate (separation of church and state). Any religious organization can at any time send money to anyone (not associated with a listed terrorist organization) for any reason, so anyone so inclined can send their charitable donations to help immigrant if they want, I choose to support mostly environmental issues (although I have donated to Children's Hospital and St. Jude's in the past). Immigration policies (as any governmental policy) should be based purely on logic and problem solving to address basic rights of the country's citizens and not emotion. More directly to your minimum wage point, the problem is that what we think of as the standard minimum wage doesn't apply to everyone. Farmers and restaurant owners are two large groups that are excluded from the standard minimum wage (not sure why they should be excluded, I don't think they should be). If they were to pay $15+/hr you'd probably have more Americans working those jobs, but if someone wants a family in this country they better be shooting for much higher than $15/hour, and to get they one needs to develop skills that businesses are willing to pay for or skills to start one's own business. Why do you think people from Mexico will come work farms when Americans to a large degree won't? Guest workers that return to Mexico after harvesting season have a much lower cost of living to meet. As an example from (http://theconversation.com/what-does-a-living-wage-look-like-in-mexico-67826) "The Consejo Nacional de Evaluación de la Política Social, which measures poverty with a multidimensional methodology, calculates that for a daily minimum basket for two people to live on, the minimum wage would need to increase more than 145%, to 178 pesos per day (US$8.75)." So while the current situation continues to exist (not having to pay farm workers a decent wage for American standards), wages for guest workers in agriculture will never go up to $15/hr when two people can supposedly live on $8.75/day in Mexico. Minimum wages need to go up, but not necessarily to the point that someone can have a living wage in this country for a family of four. We need to be careful about policies that promote population growth and having children is a want, not a need (like the needs one has after you actually have children). I don't want to pay for someone's wants when it causes problems I think need to be addressed (i.e., human induced climate change, human induced extinctions of species, other environmental problems, etc.).

gabrielshorn2013

I wouldn't be too smug if I were you dick, the Democrats are nothing to write home about either. I mean come on, really? How bad did the Democrat candidate have to suck to lose to Donald Trump of all people? Dont give me the nonsense of she won the popular vote, but it was the crooked Electoral College that let Trump win. She won by 3 million votes, but the margin of victory was 4 million in California. Plus, like it or not, that's how we elect Presidents, by state, through the EC as per the Constitution. If that candidate were strong, she wouldn't have lost in formerly blue states.

Now, as far as wages, it is not the government's job to set wages. Unless we are the owners, our labor is a business cost. Wages should be set by the value of the work, and the number of available candidates. You cannot pay people more than their job is worth. Doing so results in loss of lobs when the cost of that employee is more than the cost of automation. You also have to look at price elasticity. Some industries can absorb the increased costs, and pass them on to customers. For others, customers have choices on what to purchase, and will purchase products elsewhere, including lower priced imports. Basic economics.

MD1756

It is the governments role to provide safety from abuse such as poor working conditions or taking advantage of workers. The private market does not always work or work efficiently. Why else would all these seafood operations dry about losing cheap legal and illegal immigrant labor? One could/should argue that if a company/farm/operation cannot hire people at the price they want to pay, they are not paying people what the job is worth and shouldn't be bailed out by allowing cheap labor from outside to come in and take over since they have an unfair competitive advantage as I point out above. My being taxed to support the American children of illegal immigrants is the direct result of businesses willing to hire people that shouldn't be working in this country. I have no children and yet because many if not most illegal immigrants have such low paying jobs their children qualify for all kinds of taxpayer assistance. I'm being crewed by the businesses hiring illegal immigrants just as much as by the immigrants themselves and yet I'm not the one having sex and producing the children. There is not enough food being produced elsewhere to feed this country so not everything can be addressed by cheaper imports nor can lawn maintenance, house or office cleaning, home aides, etc be farmed out to other countries with the exception of possibly moving to some other country to lower those costs. Taking your argument to its logical conclusion, maybe we could farm out people on welfare, SNAP, etc. to other countries to lower the costs of living to allow a higher standard of living for people on those programs. In fact, once someone goes on Social Security, medicare and/or medicaid, maybe they should all be shipped out of the country to allow more room for productive people to come in? That would have the additional benefit of reducing immigration since jobs would be created in those countries with low labor costs because right now we are paying more than the work is worth in the form of higher taxes. Export our poor and those on any kind of government assistance and taxes can be reduced. How about that gabriel?

SalMele

Democrat 2020 Platform & Goals:

*Open Borders.

*Sanctuary Cities.

*Elimination of ICE

*Disarming Americans.

*Infanticide..

*Voting rights for illegal aliens.

*Pack the courts with radical liberal judges (Like the 9th circuit)

*Increase refugee's from the third world.

*Illegal aliens allowed to hold public office.

*Socialism.

*Free Abortions (Taxpayer funded)

*The green new deal.

*End of Electoral College

*Free health care for all including non citizens (taxpayer funded)

*Raise Minimum Wage

*Have adolescents vote

*!00% free college for all, including non citizens. (tax payer funded)

*Reparations for every race "harmed" by the white man.

*Convicts, Terrorists voting.

*Susie & Bobby using the same restrooms.

*Late term abortions.

SalMele



THE STAMPEDE:

Lets see, we have Democrat / Socialist / Activist / Lawyers in the Northern Triangle

of South America & Mexico; even as you read this instructing the populations the

"benefits" & laws of coming top the USA....."credible fear." Then you have a

Democrat House saying the crisis is "manufactured" as literally thousands attack

our border daily? National Sovereignty is a myth to Democrats. The crisis is

manufactured...by the Democrats themselves. Make no mistake about this,

Democrats want this to happen and never stop.. They will with hold support allowing

as many illegal aliens to enter the country before assisting in border security (if

ever). Democrats offer rewards, incentives so.....More caravans on the way.


The current migration at our border is costing U.S taxpayers a Kings ransom.

Fleeing persecution? or fleeing for freebies? they sure don't stay in Mexico when

they reach "safety" or ask or offered political asylum in Mexico. Why? because

Mexico will give them NOTHING. So they make the long journey to our border, our

generous Democrats, and our tax dollars. Notice how many have made the long,

difficult, dangerous journey to our country 8-9 months pregnant? Give birth on

American soil and the U.S. taxpayers will not only pay for the birth of you're child

but will also give you state government assistance.


TPS / DACA

To Democrats/Progressives/Socialists (whats the difference?) programs like

Temporary Protective Status (TPS) or Deferred Action for Childhood arrivals

(DACA) are permanent programs. There is nothing "temporary or deferred" about

these programs to Democrats. These programs are designed to admit refugees

(usually from the third world) then Democrats fight to keep them here permanently

using the charge of racism, religion, guilt against anyone opposed. Simple formula

works great.


THE PRICE:

It seems Democrats view U.S. citizens as acceptable collateral damage to their

future long range goals of flooding the country with refugees & illegal aliens and

having taxpayers paying the cost. Democrat politicians and their voters have put

families at risk of being victimized by illegal aliens as in the cases Kate Steinly

(nothing done) then, Mollie Tibbetts, (nothing done) Police Cpl. Ronil Singh,

(nothing done) now Bambi Larson; butchered in her home, nothing will be

done...who's next? These victims would be alive today if our border was secured.

Most of these killers have been deported numerous times. Bambi 's killer claimed

"amnesty" to get into the country.


Google search "illegal alien crime" or "victims."


Just a few examples of the more outrageous costs associated with illegal

immigration, we will pass this burden on to our children & grand children as has

been passed on to us.


* City emergency services Taxpayer pay for every police, fire, paramedic service

call for illegal aliens in their city. Taxpayers also pay for all hospital, emergency

room treatments, ambulances, medications....everything. Hospital wait times for

citizens are negatively impacted.


*Cost of educating illegal aliens is staggering. From K-12 it costs taxpayers on

average $122,000 for EACH illegal alien student. This does not include the millions

spent on bilingual ED, instructors, special need children & day care. It is estimated

nearly 100,000 illegal aliens graduate each year......you do the math. School class

size are also negatively impacted by illegal aliens and our students suffer as a

result.


*Taxpayers in some states are funding "in state college tuition" discounts for illegal

aliens. (AZ voted to terminate this taxpayer expense.) Cost to taxpayers over a

billion dollars annually.


*About one in five inmates in federal prison are foreign-born, & more than 90% of

those are in the U.S illegally. This does not include local jails and state prisons. At

roughly $24,000 per year expense per inmate.


*$3Million Dollars a DAY is spent to incarcerate, process Illegal aliens in the criminal

justice system.


*$2.2 Billion dollars a year is spent on is spent on food assistance programs such

as SNAP, WIC, & taxpayer funded school lunches. Visit youtube search "cost of

illegal immigration."


*Mexico received 33 billion last year in remittance from our country. $120 billion

total was sent out of the United States in total remittance last year.

*Every child birth by illegal aliens in the U.S is paid for with tax dollars.In the US, the

average cost to have a baby without complications during delivery, is $10,808,

which can increase to $30,000 when factoring in care provided before and after

pregnancy (July 9, 2018 google.)


* Section 8 housing. Illegal aliens take full advantage of this program. Citizens &

their families in poverty in many cases wait years behind non citizens for

emergency housing.


http://www.illegalaliencrimereport.com/


http://www.ojjpac.org/memorial.asp


https://www.fairus.org/issue/publications-resources/fiscal-burden-illegal-immigration-united-states-taxpayers?fbclid=IwAR1iwyyzS6kHHl46uJEqU2epvJDrgNi1ZDGAYiIlhyabKysb-uTJoH3QSG4


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S3kFNOhnBqQ&ab_channel=OneAmericaNewsNetwork&fbclid=IwAR2_pWX9XgWFgXDzH3lw-91lysPT2P98DnINCR4DXrMfSJ9Y_thn8Dhd5O0

DickD

The Republican Evangelicals want more judges appointed by Trump, they are not interested in helping immigrants. .They refuse to recognize Jesus as a liberal. Instead they want all immigrants turned back at the border. The moral majority has lost their morals and soon will be the immoral minority.

gabrielshorn2013

Dick, again, you are conflating immigrants with illegal immigrants, and paint the response with too broad a brush. There is a process for coming to this country, and jumping the border isn't it. This isn't just a Republican issue. A lot of Democrats support it. Please read the reports from the US Border Control for information on what is really happening at the southern border.

Comment deleted.
gabrielshorn2013

Dick, in your next response, please address the following. The effect of unskilled immigrant laborers flooding the already bloated unskilled labor pool. The effects on the projected loss for the need for unskilled laborers due to automation, thus the loss of jobs. The effects of illegal workers on the wages and job opportunities of that unskilled labor pool. The effect of illegal immigration on public services. The effect of providing such services to the taxpayer. As a former union representative, I am sure you know the answers. I am looking forward to your response.

Comment deleted.
gabrielshorn2013

BTW, not confused at all. Conflating does not mean confused. Look it up.

Comment deleted.
DickD

You are trying to change the subject, Gabe, because you are wrong.

Labor by immigrants is usually the type most U.S. citizens would not do. In many cases it's for employers failing to check their status. For instance, your hero, Trump was employing them at his golf courses, even helping to falsify records. Then they under pay them and violate the labor laws on wages and hours. Trump cheated a bunch of Polish laborers. We need more enforcement on employers.

If the Republicans didn't keep blocking minimum wages, wages would be higher, as the State of Maryland has done for the State.

The Republicans passed a tax bill for major corporations, saying it will help wages. So far it has had little effect. Instead, corporations used extra money to buy back their stock and enrich the wealthy.

Comment deleted.
gabrielshorn2013

Changed the subject" I'm wrong? Were you not the same DickD that stated "...Instead they want all immigrants turned back at the border." at 9:25 AM? I merely pointed out the fault of your statement, that there is a difference between immigration and illegal immigration, and that most Americans support LEGAL immigration (those that applied and are waiting in a queue for admission). Read the reports you will find on the DHS and Customs websites, and you will see that the claims of "sanctuary" are mostly a farce used to gain entry ahead of those that applied for admission by the law. If you support all immigration, legal or not, then you should have been able to answer my follow-up questions, and suggest ways to support these people without hurting those already here. Your silence indicates that you cannot answer them, which I find strange because as a retired union representative it was your job to protect the interests of your constituents. All the questions I asked directly influence those that are already on the bottom rung of of our society. You state that the "immigrants (illegal or not) take the jobs that Americans are unwilling to perform." Allow me to correct your statement. Immigrants take the jobs that that Americans are unwilling to do AT THE WAGE OFFERED. And why are those wages so low? Because the immigrants (illegal or not) ARE willing to do them at that price, thus reducing the wage for a job. Didn't you realize that you were answering my third question? It's straight economics Dick. As for the others, think about them. Sometimes I wonder which DickD I am addressing, the one that rails against "illegal aliens driving because of an accident on Route 40 by the Weis supermarket", or the one who welcomes all illegal immigrants because it is the line of the Democrat leadership. Neither major party has, or is willing, to do anything about the situation. It becomes a bludgeon to beat the opposition with.

As for your attempted swipe by referring to "my hero Trump", Jeez your Trump Tourette's is getting bad and affecting your memory. How many times have I said that #1, I am not a Republican, and #2, I didn't vote for Trump because I have known about him since the early '80s, growing up just outside of NYC. I also had a friend that worked for him after grad school that said of Trump, "what an @$$#__e". I did not vote for anyone for president for the first time since 1976. I am actually hoping for someone more moderate from either side. Maybe Biden? Buttegeig? Hogan? Please not Trump.

jsklinelga

Gabrielhorn2013
I loved your comment about DickD's "Trump tourette syndrome. He really does seem to lose all sense of logic. Fixated if you will.

To me the saddest

jsklinelga

gh2013
(My comments get [posted before I finish)
To me the saddest part of this whole issue is the lack of concern for the actual people. That is where the true Christianity should play a part. Consider the article:
"Amnesty International has reported that six in 10 women are raped while coming to the United States. Criminal gangs and human traffickers prey on the migrants, many of whom have to trust strangers to make the journey. "

These folks are political pawns. Sessions was correct on one point. A legal system would be a safer system. A legal system would take millions out of the shadows where they are ripe for abuse. And I find it utterly disgraceful to say we need this people to do the work that Americans do not want to do. SPEAK FOR YOURSELF.
One Christian attribute I have always held firmly to is that I would never ask someone to do what I would not.

MD1756

Dick, you keep stating the old tired "Labor by immigrants is usually the type most U.S. Citizens would not do." That may be true is you narrow the industry sector you are looking at such as shucking oysters. CIS provides some statistics: (see https://cis.org/Report/There-Are-No-Jobs-Americans-Wont-Do). They state that "...However, among the 474 separate occupations defined by the Department of Commerce, we find only a handful of majority-immigrant occupations, and none completely dominated by immigrants (legal or illegal). Furthermore, in none of the 474 occupations do illegal immigrants constitute a majority of workers...." and "...Only 4 percent of illegal immigrants and 2 percent of all immigrants do farm work. Immigrants (legal and illegal) do make up a large share of agricultural workers — accounting for half or more of some types of farm laborers — but all agricultural workers together constitute less than 1 percent of the American work force...." Roughly 53% of illegal immigrants work in agriculture. The next largest concentration is in construction. A person from S.E. DC whom I mentored, got a job in construction until he was laid off (probably due to the increasing use of day laborers as a cheaper source of labor).

The Pew Research Center also has some interesting figures about immigration (https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/11/30/key-findings-about-u-s-immigrants/). The project that 88% of the population growth in the US will come from immigrants. Population growth is the biggest cause of our climate change and other environmental problems and the US is one of the largest emitters of greenhouse gases on a per capita basis thus making it harder for us to reduce our adverse impacts on the planet. According to their study 49% from Central America and 57% from Mexico do not have a high school education. Theefore they are not likely to find high paying jobs which means when they have children, it is more likely that their American citizen children will be poor and eligible for government assistance. And if you're concerned about helping those in need, there are people with greater need of assistance in Africa and Asia that can't make it hear because of the oceans that separate them from us. How about we take in several million and provide them with living wage jobs? After all, if we want diversity, those who continue to come in from Mexico and Central America are actually making us less diverse at this point and we need many more from India and China to come to this country to help with our diversity.

Dwasserba

"The isolation and demonization of immigrants in America are antithetical to the Christian understanding of compassion, said Juan Martinez..." It's really pretty simple. Welcome the stranger.

DickD

And stranger does not mean a law that is passed by a country. They can be legal or illegal, it is how we receive and process them.

Welcome to the discussion.

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