Ross Douthat also continues

Ross Douthat also continues November 12, 2012

to address reality. The only thing I would add is that as the Church, we should welcome the stranger, not in order to get his vote, but because we should.

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  • The Deuce

    As Christians, we should show love to everyone in this country while they are here. However, it’s also wrong – morally wrong – as government policy, to harm and dislocate your existing citizens and their families, and to cause social unrest and undermine the laws and customs they rely on for their well-being, by flooding the job market with tons of people who can work for lower wages and not pay taxes, and who are unfamiliar with and quite likely hostile to those existing laws and cultural norms.

    It’s especially wrong when it’s done, as is the case with the political Left, for the express purpose of dislocating those existing families, devaluing their vote, making them dependent on the government, creating a more politically “desirable” demographic, and stoking the flames of racial discord to be exploited by your politicians.

    The main example for Christian witness the Apostle Paul, who went to other cultures to preach the Gospel, and did his very best to adopt their cultures and customs while he was there in order to avoid giving any offense, so that there wouldn’t be any unnecessary stumbling block between them and Christ. What he didn’t do was lobby the Roman government to import huge numbers of immigrants from competing cultures into Israel, with no regard to the offense it would cause to them, then accuse his countrymen of being a bunch of xenophobes if they protested the resulting chaos, all so he could show how welcoming he was by contrast and witness to those cultures without having to go anywhere.

    Full disclosure: I help teach ESL classes for my church. At least a couple of our students that I know of have been illegal. I have made friends with them, invited them to my house, invited them to church, etc. I feel bad for their situation, but that doesn’t change what the law should be. I also feel bad for those families that have been disenfranchised by our deliberately weak enforcement.

    • I don’t particularly disagree with your comment. However, I would add that the immigration laws are unnecessarily complex and difficult to navigate which is one of the key drivers of illegal immigration – the promise of meaningful work that will support their family(s) with the only barrier being a man-made dividing line or months of red tape. Which, given sufficient desperation, would you choose for your family?

      The issue is that being undocumented leads to people being exploited, leads to more criminal activity (can’t go to the police as a witness if your status is illegal), leads to less taxes (since their wages aren’t being reported or taxed), etc. Much like the illegal activity surrounding Prohibition, create a simple way for migrant workers and others seeking to live in our country and be productive to be legal and many of those issues evaporate overnight.

      • Arnold

        “The issue is that being undocumented leads to people being exploited” : I object to the use of this euphemism “undocumented” to describe what are actually people illegally in our country. That is why they lack documentation. I realize that the word is chosen to lessen the impact but honesty in terminology should be a first prerequisite. The same goes for the abortion issue where the “a” word is studiously avoided through euphemisms like “choice,” “right to choose” and “reproductive freedom”

      • The Deuce

        It’s not a question of which *would* I choose for my family, but rather which *did* I choose. My wife is Japanese. I went through all the hassles of getting her a permanent resident green card. We had to delay the wedding three times because of the government’s utter incompetence, massive delays, and lack of communication.

        After going through all that, one of the things that really burns me is the unjust manner in which illegals are privileged over those who enter legitimately in many ways, and our politicians are trying to make disparity even greater.

        • Kate

          It’s funny how differently an experience can strike you…my own experience with USCIS left me in deep sympathy for illegal immigrants, as the paperwork and bureacracy involved in immigrating legally was complex enough that I, a native english speaker and college graduate with access to friendly (free) legal advice from within my community and technology to make accessing information easier…that with all my advantages I STILL made mistakes on some of the paperwork, was given bad information by a USCIS flunky that I didn’t catch until it had already screwed things up, had my paperwork lost – twice – and had to negotiate for an extended timeline to get things refiled…

          It just left me wondering how on earth we could possibly hold it against these people that they don’t have the resources to do all of that? And my application was the SIMPLE kind, for a spousal application! Dealing with USCIS as an immigrant made me far more vehement a defender of undocumented immigrants than I had ever been before. 🙂

      • CJ

        You do well to present the immigrant’s view of things, but what about the host country? Why do we need guest workers when our unemployment is at least around 8%(and is likely higher when you look at the labor participation/population ratio)? When real wages have been stagnant or in decline for decades, why increase the supply of labor and drive down prices(wages)?

        This, in a nutshell, is the problem I have with those who are more “dovish” on immigration. The focus is strictly on the interests of the immigrants, with no consideration for the host country.

  • James Isabella

    Republicans will also have to realize that there is no easy fix for the demographic problem. Many minorities feel uncomfortable voting for Republicans….even Republicans that reflect their own demographics! Mia Love and Allen West, who were seen as up and coming stars, both lost in the last election.

    The party is going to have to spend a lot of time and money identifying minority candidates and supporting them even in losing causes for a long time. It may take 20 years of spending money on losing candidates to create soil fertile enough to allow minorities to even *consider* voting Republican.

    But, its got to be done.

  • Alexander Anderson

    Gathering votes instead of money? What a novel idea! I think it may be too radical for the Republican Party to ever embrace, though. I don’t know, I think that with soon, a clever use of “new media” can allow people to win elections while being massively outspent. I could be wrong, but you have to think that’s coming soon.

    • Ted Seeber

      At $50/vote, I say they just buy us all a nice bottle of whiskey and be done with it.

      • ivan_the_mad

        Ted Seeber 2016!!!

  • Ted Seeber

    Part of the reason Venerable Fr. Michael J McGivney started the Knights of Columbus, was to provide a path for the immigrant to learn to be American, while protecting his widow and children in the worst case.

    We need more immigrant round tables and councils.