I Am An Illegal Immigrant

Listen to this piece.

Did you know I have been living here illegally for some time? In fact, you may be here illegally, too, and you might not even know it. If First Nations people had borders in place like we do today, we would not be having this conversation! Good thing for those of you like me, a US citizen, who does not happen to be an indigenous person.

Some of you may say that the First Nations people themselves immigrated from other shores. Even if that is true, they still had/have squatters’ rights. At least they should have them. “Finders keepers, losers weepers” doesn’t even apply here because they never lost the land. It was stolen from them.

Why am I saying all this? Because the conversation on immigration reformation needs to expand and become more complex. In my conversations with First Nations people on immigration reform, they remind me of what has happened to them and how many Anglo Americans’ understanding of nation states and borders does not reflect how our Euro-Anglo ancestors approached border crossings and also promises made that were never kept (See the late U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye’s foreword to Documents of American Indian Diplomacy: Legal History of North America Series #4. There Senator Inouye writes that the more than 800 treaties made with indigenous peoples over our nation’s history were broken or never ratified).

At The Institute for the Theology of Culture: New Wine, New Wineskins’ conference “Immigration Reformation”, we hope to engage in open conversations which are honest and truthful and that complexify the conversation on immigration reform.

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About Paul Louis Metzger

Dr. Paul Louis Metzger is the Founder and Director of The Institute for the Theology of Culture: New Wine, New Wineskins and Professor at Multnomah Biblical Seminary/Multnomah University. He is the author of numerous works, including "Connecting Christ: How to Discuss Jesus in a World of Diverse Paths" and "Consuming Jesus: Beyond Race and Class Divisions in a Consumer Church." These volumes and his others can be found wherever fine books are sold.

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  • Rick Cordell

    In another sense, the whole earth belongs to the Creator, and we only “own” parts of it–not as absolute possessors, but as stewards who are responsible for the care of what has been entrusted to us. And we are to treat all others as co-stewards, with proper regard for their rights and dignity. Without justice for all (oooh, that sounds nice; wonder where that came from?) our “ownership” can become jeopardized in the eyes of the Judge.

  • mary

    Sounds like a recipe for disaster.no thanks. Go home.we don’t need more chaos.law and order works much better. Adios

  • rs

    Any way it happened the Native Americans were going to get the worse of it. If the Chinese or Mongols had come over to the New World, they were fierce horsemen and pillagers, too, especially the mongols. Smallpox originally came from India or Arabia and then spread through Africa, so Africans could have brought it to the New World—-before they spread it to Europe that is. At least the Native American people got horses from the Spanish, which gave them some defensive ability, because before the 1700′s they were getting around on foot. That’s not a very good position to be in against mounted cavalry. Any other questions?