1. Mark Anthony

    Hey Guys,
    God Bless Everyone! I wanted to share why it is I find this article to be very interesting.
    Here’s an excerpt from it:
    “Mr. Richardson said he supported some sort of immigration bill that would permit people who entered the United States illegally to become citizens, and particularly opposed anything that would divide families, echoing a main criticism by opponents of the current bill. But he sounded like one of his Republican counterparts when asked if he would use the word “amnesty” to describe what should be granted people who had entered the country illegally. “I don’t use that word — no, no, no,” he said. “I want a legalization program that does not provide amnesty.”
    I find Governor Richardson’s statement interesting for the following reasons.
    1)He supports a bill that would grant citizenship to those who have entered our country illegally.
    2)He opposes anything that would divide families.
    The governor, (as do many who oppose the current administration’s proposal for immigration reform) states that he does not wish to provide amnesty.
    But let’s clarify the definition of amnesty to begin with.
    Amnesty is the forgiveness of an offense without penalty.
    The offense being unlawful entry.
    So if I am understanding him correctly, he is against forgiving illegal aliens of their offense of unlawful entry without penalty.
    So therefore he is actually in favor of penalizing illegal aliens for their offense.
    It seems as if compassion, as it relates to this issue of immigration, seems to take the forefront of many politicians today and yet the aspects of justice and fairness seem to take the backseat.
    America can and should always be a welcoming society to all immigrants and yet lawful indeed. I am in favor of the current administration’s proposal for comprehensive immigration reform.
    2 Questions: If you want to take the pressure off your border, why not have a temporary worker program?
    If illegal immigrants who have roots in our country, want to stay, why should they not have to pay a meaningful penalty for breaking the law, and pay their taxes, and learn the English language, and show work — show that they’ve worked in a job for a number of years?
    Is this not a reasonable, lawful, and yet compassionate approach to this issue of immigration that faces our nation today?

  2. Mark,
    I’m intrigued…
    1)What would your idea of a penalty be for illegal immigration?
    2)Beside deportation what would your solution be for the undocumented in this country?
    3)Do you feel the undocumented are criminals?
    3)How does being a follower of Jesus inform your response?

  3. Mark Anthony

    Hey Pastor Alvarez,
    *Much of the information given has been obtained by visited the Official White House Website.
    1) As for a penalty, Z visa applicants will have to pay a $1,000 fine for heads of households and an additional $500 fine for each dependent (spouses and children). There will also be a processing fee of up to $1,500 and a $500 state impact assistance fee. The $1,000 is not the cost of the visa, but rather a fine for having broken the law. The processing fee will take care of the costs of the visa. The fines and fees are not the only hurdle – applicants must be employed, pass background checks, pay processing fees, and agree to meet accelerated English and civics requirements to get their Z visas. A Z visa holder wishing to remain in the country under their Z visa indefinitely would still have to renew their visa every four years. Renewing the Z visa means more processing fees (again, up to $1,500 each time). The financial liability for Z visa holders starts to add up very quickly if holders choose to remain in this status instead of pursuing Legal Permanent Resident (LPR) status.
    2) Well, deportation is no solution at all. However the President’s proposal for a temporary worker program would definitely be a start towards bringing solution for those who are undocumented in our country. It will help not only reduce the number of people coming across the border, but it will do something about the inhumane treatment that these people are subjected to. There’s a whole smuggling operation. And it seems like to me that since this country respects human rights and the human condition, that it would be a great contribution to eliminate this thuggery, to free these people from the kind of extortion that they go through. And one way to do so is to say you can come and work in our country for jobs Americans aren’t doing for a temporary period of time. I believe that a temporary worker program is a practical answer that lies between granting automatic citizenship to every illegal immigrant and deporting every illegal immigrant.
    3) The definition of “a criminal” is in fact someone who breaks the law. To use the word “criminal” sounds about right. Those who enter our country illegally are criminals. Though the reasoning behind an immigrant making their way to America is completely understandable, let us not be blind to the fact that they are breaking the law when they choose to enter our country illegally.
    4) Being a follower of Jesus informs my response as does being a follower of Jesus informs my ethics. One of those ethics in regards to the law is that we should never take on the position of a ‘free for all’ type of government, specifically as it relates to this issue of immigration.
    We should never be antinomianists as we know that God is clearly not an antinomianist. He has specifically placed boundaries in our lives for valid reasons. Evidently, God truly is a God of order. The very nature of God is compassionate as He is the definition of LOVE, yet let us not forget that He also is the God of order and boundaries. And I firmly believe that when considering how we should bring about comrehensive reform as it relates to this issue of immigration we must be compassionate in our approach and yet never forget order. Compassion without order leads to chaos.
    And as it relates to those who are waiting ever so patiently to enter our country legally, let us also be fair as to let those who are first in line be first to become citizens. Justice, Fairness, Order, and above all LOVE, are foundational towards our success in this matter, yet isn’t it interesting that all of those attributes describe our Lord? The President’s proposal sounds like the best plan I’ve seen yet for reform.
    What’s your view?

  4. Mark Anthony

    Check out this interesting poll conducted in the U.S. on the temporary worker program.

  5. Dear Mark,
    Thanks for taking the time to comment. I was on an Esperanza USA call last week with Secretary Gutierrez. He answered questions regarding the proposed immigration legislation. He readily admitted that the law is certainly imperfect. He also added that it was a hopeful beginning toward fixing a broken immigration system. I would agree with him. Although, I believe that in order to make it viable and more humane toward families, it must be amended.
    In regard to calling the undocumented immigrants criminals, I don’t believe this an heartfelt depiction of someone comes to this country in hopes of a better life, that works tirelessly to support his/her family. Who is a positive and contributing member of society and who wants a chance that’s not afford them through an unfair immigration system. The economic pressures of our neighbors to the south is unbearable.
    With regard to the word’s meaning, a criminal is someone who commits a crime. A crime is defined as the breaking of a law by an action or an instance of negligence that is deemed injurious to the public welfare. The determination of crime or simply the breaking of law can determine if someone is incarcerated or pays a fine to jail. If everyone who breaks the law is criminal then everyone who ran a red light or parked illegally would be a criminal. These traffic laws are needed for order and control. Illegal immigration certainly involves the breaking of our border control laws, but it is not a crime. Interestingly enough last year many wanted to blur the distinction and criminalize the undocumented and people who helped them.
    Now this is where Christianity kicks in for me, the Bible consistently shows God’s heart for the marginalized in society, the widow, the orphan and the foreigner:
    ‘For the Lord your God is God of gods and the Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the alien, giving him food and clothing.’ (Dr 10:17-18)
    God defends the cause of the needy. Jesus’ second greatest commandment to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Mt. 22:39) is couched in the Old Testament understanding of hospitality to the foreigner. Israel had to respect the rights of aliens living in her midst. As individuals, the Israelites had to go further. The command to love your neighbor (Lv 19:18) was extended to the foreigner:
    ‘When an alien lives with you in your land, do not ill-treat him. The alien living with you must be treated as one of your native-born. Love him as yourself, for you were aliens in Egypt.’ (Lv 19:33-34 cf Dt 10:19)
    Although I’m certainly not an advocate of law breaking, I do believe that when law is unjust and when it does not reflect God’s heart it should be challenged and sometimes civilly disobeyed. The United States has a long history of this, e.g. the Abolitionist Movement, Women’s Suffrage and Civil Rights. In almost all of these cases committed Christ Followers played a crucial if not a central role.
    Mark, imagine if they passed a law to stop us from preaching the Gospel in the US. They have in other countries and I hope those Christians overseas break that law. The Sanhedrin did this and Peter and the Apostles replied “ …we must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).
    You mentioned that we should not be antinomians, an antinomian is a person who maintains that Christians are freed from the moral law by virtue of grace as set forth in the gospel. This best describes what Paul refutes as a cheapened grace in Romans: “What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! “ (Romans 6:15) not opposing a civil law that is immoral. To be on the side of the undocumented is not freeing ourselves from moral law, but appealing to moral law.
    For Jesus love and compassion always trumps order.

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