I’m going to lose some friends over this post…and that’s okay, because it is time for me to be completely honest about this one area of personal moral conviction. I think that I can best sum things up with this following statement: We have a horribly broken immigration system that is incredibly unfair and only someone who has been whipped into a frenzy of xenophobia and racism/nationalism by ultra-right-wing interest groups could miss the point that Republicans and Conservative Christians ought to be backing massive Hispanic immigrant amnesty with full gusto. If you are someone who is politically conservative and you don’t back immigration reform, then you have not been paying attention.
Now, I’m going to pause for a second so that you can un-friend me on Facebook or start composing your condescending comments or email. Still with me? Good. Now I can clarify a few things before I get to my point. First, I am someone who votes mostly Republican. I own lots of guns, several of which Nancy Pelosi and her ilk would like to see banned in the United States (with high capacity magazines, to boot). I am a Christian…and I’m white…and I’m male. I come from a family of land and business owners. I hate Obamacare and no matter how I feel about immigration, I personally believe that Mr. Obama is the worst American president in my lifetime, which is hard to believe, since I’ve lived through Nixon, Ford, Carter, Clinton, and two Bush administrations. I hate our current entitlement-driven welfare system and I despise big government.
So, you might be asking yourself why someone with such credentials is backing Obama on this immigration issue. The answer is simple, but it is fourfold:
- I work in property management and a significant portion of our large holdings are mobile home parks in Western North Carolina. I know hundreds of illegal immigrant families and the vast majority are hard-working, honest people who work six or seven days a week to provide for their families. Often they are doing jobs that most people do not want, either because they are unpleasant or because most Americans are lazy and entitled. These people are providing the services that are keeping our country going and they have none of the rights we have. They are cooking our food, building our homes, paving our roads, and raising our children. They deserve our gratitude, not the short-end-of-the-stick.
- Every illegal Hispanic that I know would pay whatever penalty and go through whatever program that we established to be able to stay here and become a U.S. Citizen. Most of them are already paying into our tax system through fake or borrowed Social Security numbers and they certainly won’t be seeing any of that money coming back to them. (In fact, many believe that this whole issue stems from wanting to keep illegal immigrants in a position where they are propping up the failing Social Security system) They come from corrupt countries where people are cutting their heads off if they don’t grow drugs. In Mexico, they just had forty-three student protestors who were beheaded and left in the desert. Oddly, no one seems to think that is such an atrocity, although we sure will raise hell about three Americans getting beheaded in Syria and Iraq. These people came here to escape and for an opportunity to live the American dream. Maybe you don’t read history, but that is exactly what our ancestors did; which brings me to my next point.
- I am not a racist. Sure, both myself and my kids are blond-haired and blue-eyed, but that doesn’t mean that we hate brown people. Last time I browsed through my history books, I noticed that we annihilated a whole lot of people who looked just like these folks from Mexico and Central America to colonize and develop this country. We are the imports here, folks, not the brown people. Oh, and if you say it’s not about the color of their skin, it’s just that they belong in their home country? Great, that makes you a nationalist which is the first step on the road to being a Nazi. Awesome for you.
- I believe that this country was founded on Christian principles by mostly Christian leaders. Why is this important? Oh, I don’t know…maybe if you’re not a fan of gay marriage or abortion or legalized drugs; don’t you think it might be a good idea to find a way to legalize a population of nearly eleven million (let’s look at those zeros – 11,000,000) people who are overwhelmingly Catholic and almost completely Christian in their religious beliefs? Numbers like that, coupled with areas of population concentration, could significantly change the outcomes of elections all over this nation.
If you’ve stayed with me this long, I would invite you to take a deep breath and consider what I believe is my most important point. Jesus told us to love “the least of these.” In American, these immigrant folks are exactly that…and they are Christians. What does that make you?