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Saturday, September 5, 2015
Texas Faith: Illegal immigration, the Bible and Donald Trump
We are a nation of immigrants, and each group of immigrants has significantly added to the collective prosperity of us, and we should welcome legal immigration.
September 1, 2015 2:32 pm
Presidential candidate Donald Trump, campaigning in Laredo over the summer, has been more outspoken than most on what to do about illegal immigration.
If you’ve paid any attention at all to the presidential campaign, you’ve probably heard Donald Trump sound off about illegal immigration. The Donald has talked about building a wall on the remaining portion of the 2,000-mile border with Mexico, deporting every unauthorized immigrant in the U.S. but letting the “good ones” (his quote, not mine) come back to the country after they’ve paid a fine.
Trump’s hard-line views against unauthorized immigrants have helped make him the top contender so far in the GOP field. But many Christians, Jews and other people of faith think otherwise. If you read the Old Testament, you find a more positive view about immigrants than you hear on TV, at your workplace or in discussions with friends:
– Moses gives God’s law: “You shall not wrong or oppress a resident alien; for you were aliens in the land of Egypt.”
– “Now there was a famine in the land. So Abram went down to Egypt to reside there as an alien, for the famine was severe in the land.”
– “You shall not withhold the wages of poor and needy laborers, whether other Israelites or aliens who reside in your land…”
– The aliens shall be to you as citizens, and shall also be allotted an inheritance.
There are obviously legitimate security concerns about allowing everyone and anyone into our country. But do you think the U.S. should be more welcoming to immigrants who are crossing the borders to find better-paying jobs and better lives for their families? Why or why not?
MIKE GHOUSE, president, Foundation for Pluralism and speaker on interfaith matters, Dallas
We are a nation of immigrants and each group of immigrants has significantly added to the collective prosperity of us, and we should welcome legal immigration. Indeed, we need to revisit the wisdom that formulated our immigration policy to begin with and keep it going. However, we have to stop the illegal immigration and figure out how to absorb those who are here.
We should to be grateful to the Native Americans for not building an electric fence around their borders to keep the Trumps out. Of course they did not have the technology and were weak, and we took advantage of them with our guns and artillery, the old-fashioned, uncivilized way. Today, we are one of the most civilized nations on the earth and we need not regress from our civility.
The prosperity of a nation hinges on her ability to welcome new factors of growth; labor, material and capital. With the exception of capital, very few nations in the history of mankind were built by indigenous people exclusively; it was always the “others” who have contributed significantly to the growth of nations. The “others” were brought in as slaves and/or bonded labor. They built the Pyramids, the Roman Empire and the Taj Mahal, picked cotton, harvested tobacco, grew sugarcane and built railroads and oil rigs. Now they run the information technology, build our homes, cook food and work in convenience stores.
Americans with locked-in minds want the nation to be locked in as well. They do not have the vision to foresee that to grow we have to add, and we cannot add the factors of production from thin air.
The deport mania is obviously driven by phobias, and we need to address them and remove the legitimate fears of the xenophobic men and women and restore sanity. Mr. Trump may not be xenophobic, but as an opportunist, he is invoking the dormant prejudices in a small percent of the population and got them stirred up, but fortunately the other candidates are vying to get a part of the carcass. Trump simply cannot deport 12 million people; he can run their mouths, but it is not practical.
What is practical is to stop illegal immigration through a variety of ways including monitoring the borders in the short run, and for the long run, we can put together pilot economic projects in Latin nations on our borders, which will become their models of growth. We have the best system in the world for economic prosperity, and we must franchise it out.
We also need to address the fears that our system of life will be turned upside down with immigrants. We forget that it is our system of business, capitalism, governance, politics and freedom that has given us prosperity, and if we strengthen our systems, we need not fear no matter which group becomes dominant.
We are a nation of immigrants, and each group of
immigrants has significantly added to the collective prosperity of us, and we should welcome legal immigration.
To check the other opinions, please visit Dallas Morning news
Here is my speech at Immigration rally -
Mike is a speaker, thinker, writer, pluralist, TV-Radio commentator and a human rights activist committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. His info in 63 links at
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