Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Immigration -- Can God Inspire Us To Solve The Problem?

Search For God

Is the spirit of “give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free” still alive and well in God’s country?

Talk about “huddled masses”, what do you call twelve million illegal immigrants? Is this what the poet Emma Lazarus had in mind when she used the term?

Perhaps if we stopped offering illegal immigrants free health care and schooling for their children we could reduce the flow substantially, but I am afraid we might run the risk of growing our own illegal immigrant terrorists from this formerly hard working lot who would become upset at the lack of equal social services being supplied to them. Besides, we probably don’t have enough buses in this country to send twelve million people home and we surely can’t expect them to walk although that is how many of them got here.

Do you think this whole problem is part of a French conspiracy? After all they sent us the Statue of Liberty on which Emma Lazarus’s poem is inscribed. I doubt it. It seems unlikely given that they have their own immigration problems.

What does the temporary or guest worker program proposed by the President and by some in congress really mean? Does it mean that illegal immigrants will have to work in this country until they are granted citizenship and then can stop working and go on welfare or refuse to take the low paying jobs that some corporations originally hired them for.

What’s to stop these twelve million illegal immigrants from forming their own union and going on strike for higher wages and pension plans? Can illegal immigrants have 401K plans? Can they take tax deductions on their tax returns for foreign travel as a business expense? So many questions and no one seems to have all the answers. What would happen to our trade deficit if these people stopped buying American goods that are made in China? Perhaps we should institute a buy Mexican policy. It might be cheaper than buying goods from China considering that we wouldn’t have to pay long distance freight charges and it might encourage some of the illegal immigrants to go home to find jobs.

What should we do to protect ourselves from foreign terrorists who might sneak across the border with all these peaceful and hard working immigrants? Perhaps we should install an honor system instead of a wall. We could ask all the illegal immigrants to report any terrorists crossing over with them – anonymously of course. Another approach that might work is to require all illegal immigrants to travel lightly. We should limit them to one small carry across the border type bag and allow nothing big enough to conceal a bomb. Probably something the size of a passport wallet would be safe.

You might well ask where God comes into this whole mess. I believe it goes back to my belief that this is God’s homeland every bit as much as it is ours. I can almost see Him using the poet Emma Lazarus’s famous words, “send these the homeless, tempest-tost to me,” as His own. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if God put those words in Emma Lazarus’s mind. Maybe we should find a way to honor the words of the poet and the thoughts of God at the same time.

There has got to be a better way to protect the rights of American citizens and at the same time give comfort to these struggling masses of immigrants. Why can’t we look to God for the inspiration to find the answers?

Arthur Levine is the author of The Magic of Faith and the Faith Patch Manuel. Check out more of his writing at http://www.faith123.com and at http://www.faith-patch.com and get inspired to find more faith in God. You can also do this by clicking on “Find Faith” or “Find More Faith In God” on the sidebar.