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  • Writer's pictureJim Donaher

Bring us your...

I don't know the right answer for the immigration issues faced by the United States.

I do know that all my life, I've been assured that we are a nation of immigrants, including my ancestors, who came here fleeing less hopeful (to put it mildly) situations in other countries.

I know that those folks, as today, were not always warmly welcomed by all, but they were entitled to stay, follow the law, do what was needed to become citizens and make a life for themselves. Preventing someone from entering or sending them back where they came from usually involved serious crime or credible information as to the intent to commit one.

I've also been told that we are 'one nation, under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.' Does it say 'all, except Muslims?' Does it say 'all, except people from Latin American countries?' In fact, when I used to pledge allegiance in school, there were no exceptions on the 'liberty and justice' passage. All citizens? Nope. It just said 'all.'

The other phrase, is 'under God.' Focusing on God, what is it that He wants from us? He wants two main things: we are to love Him (God) with all our heart and mind and soul and strength. And we are to love each other (without exception, presumably, since Jesus didn't make any exception when it came to love.)

Do the people who are railing against the 'infestation' of immigrants or demonizing them as thugs and rapists realize that, aside from the ignorance of stereotyping, these folks are people too. (See above the non-existent list of exceptions to God's 'love one another' command.) How can we call ourselves a nation 'under God' when we don't follow at least one of His two fundamental commandments?

There are practical limits to what our country can do to solve the world's problems. Realize, though, that ours is the richest, most open society in the history of the world. Our way of life here is envied by anyone elsewhere with the ability and access to learn about it. Is it so hard to believe that the worlds most oppressed people long to come and live here? Unless you are a Native American, your ancestors were in the same boat (so to speak).

Like U.S. citizens, immigrants are not all saints. There are some who come here with the intention of taking advantage of our openness, freedom and opportunity for purposes that are not good. This has always been true, even when our forefathers were coming here from other places.

It is agreed by most that the circumstances faced by innocent people in many foreign countries are unbearably dangerous, corrupt and unlivable. We tend to discount the safety worries of these folks because we cannot (most of us anyway) imagine the fear of gangs of armed criminals roving the streets at night, including government sponsored gangs, terrorizing people to consolidate their power.

Imagine it for a minute. Now imagine you are a little kid. Imagine that your mom and/or dad packs you up and sneaks out of town to travel a dangerous road to a place you'll be safe. Now imagine that journey reaches its goal, the U.S. border. And you are turned away. Or you are arrested and separated from your parents. Even if you are detained together as a family, things still aren't going well. But relative to back home, you are somewhat safe. That's progress.

For a country with a long history of compassion, the recent activities of the government are abhorrent. And despite the ham-handed misuse of the Bible to justify these actions, they are not Godly either.

People with a moral compass - that is, most of us - have to assert that we do not want our country to behave this way. We have more than enough resources to help the truly desperately needy and fulfill our pledge to be a nation that is truly under God, and one whose activities, in this area at least, are pleasing to Him.

God bless you.

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