Bloody Hands: Leaders selling their souls over immigration

A border wall a few miles from the U.S.-Mexico border near Agua Prieta, Mexico, and Douglas, Ariz.  (Cronkite News Service Photo / Courtney Sargent)

A border wall a few miles from the U.S.-Mexico border near Agua Prieta, Mexico, and Douglas, Ariz. (Cronkite News Service Photo / Courtney Sargent)

If Bill Cosby were an illegal immigrant, could he move to a sanctuary city and escape the legal troubles surrounding his inappropriate/criminal sexual dalliances back in the day? Last week, as the Cosby story heated up, news about Kate Steinle’s murder in San Francisco allegedly at the hands of Illegal immigrant Francisco Sanchez (who happened to be enjoying safe refuge in the sanctuary city of San Franciso) went viral. Her tragic murder made me angry. You see, last year two sheriff deputies were killed in and near my hometown of Sacramento by illegal immigrant Luis Enrique Monroy-Bracamonte. Mr.Monroy-Bracamonte had been deported twice before killing the deputies.

According to United States Sentencing Commission data for 2014, Illegal immigrants accounted for 36.7% of federal sentences. Most of us commoners agree that our immigration system is dysfunctional and our leaders in Washington do not have the juice to fix it. Republican politicians exploit illegal immigrants for the cheap labor craved by business while democrat politicians exploit illegal immigrants for their votes, or the votes of their legal family members. In other words, when one of us commoners gets murdered or maimed by an illegal immigrant criminal, Washington considers it acceptable collateral damage. What’s it going to take to fix? Will the father of a child killed by an illegal immigrant someday walk into Congress and shoot the place up? If such a horrible thing were to happen I’ve no doubt our border would be secure overnight.

Here’s the thing: The Bible tells us to welcome foreigners in our land. Read Exodus 22:21-24, Leviticus 19:33-34, and Deuteronomy 10:18-19. These verses convey a tone of empathy that we are to have toward immigrants in our land; I accept that and try to live it. Unfortunately these verses do not provide guidance in the nuance of complicated ancillary issues surrounding illegal immigration, such as: what to do about endless legions of poor illegal immigrants fleeing horrible conditions in their country; the cost of housing, food, medicine, social services and education for illegal immigrants; the crimes committed by a segment of illegal immigrants while here; whether or not illegal immigrants perform jobs that natural citizens avoid; and the cost to the consumer if illegal immigration were shut off.

The primary focus of the Bible’s position on immigration instructs us to have a tender heart toward immigrants and to take care of them if they are in need while here. We can do that. But the Bible does not distinguish between legal and illegal immigration. The Bible also does not say that we must throw open the gate and accept whatever consequences, the good and bad. Just because we want our leaders to manage immigration with greater effectiveness does not mean we are incapable of empathy toward non-criminal immigrants. Perhaps if government did a better job of culling dangerous illegal immigrants from the herd, there would be more room for immigrants who want to work, achieve a better life and participate in civil life within the American community.

Given our current economic malaise, the hard reality is that there are simply not enough jobs and business opportunities for every immigrant, legal or not, who wants to enter America. Long-term moral solutions to illegal immigration are not pleasant (MOST moral solutions are not pleasant). It may require that American businesses pay higher wages to get legal workers. The Democrat Party may need to get by with fewer voters. Consumers might pay more for goods and services. Businesses may have to settle for leaner profit margins. Republican leaders may need to say no to powerful business interests that fund their campaigns. A greater percentage of immigrants may need to come here temporarily to get an education or vocational skills and return to their country of origin to help make things better there. The U.S. may need to slow all immigration to a trickle to give current immigrants a chance to assimilate and to give authorities time to get a handle on immigration and flush out the bad apples. The U.S. may need to apply economic pressure to Mexico and Central America to shape up and provide economic opportunities and safety to their citizens so that they do not feel desperate to get to America. These are the right things to do, and I believe they do not contradict the Bible.

One thing I know, God hears the cries of desperate immigrants as well as the families of victims like Steinle. If America is going to continue the exploitative immigration policies that result in tragic consequences to our own citizens, we will have some explaining to do before Almighty God. The thing is, our excuses probably won’t deflect God’s judgment. I pray for Kate Steinle’s family as they grieve. I also pray that our leaders grow a moral spine and fix the problems that contributed to her tragic death. That’s the only way they can avoid getting more innocent blood on their hands. Steinle’s death raises a sobering question: Who is more dangerous, illegal immigrant criminals or our political leaders?

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Posted on July 14, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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