Monday, July 6, 2009

Urban police chiefs weigh in on immigration reform- and the Long Term view

Photo of City of Miami Police Station used under Creative Commons from whitneynmatt.

The July 1, 2009 online edition of the New York Times has an article about city police chiefs from large urban areas, like Austin and Miami, calling for "an overhaul that would integrate immigrants into the legal system, possibly with driver’s licenses, and separate the local police from immigration enforcement." The article went on to state that the police chiefs were critical of attempts by federal authorities to put immigration enforcement in the hands of local law enforcement. They argued that such practices hurt criminal investigations because witnesses were reluctant to come forward for fear of deportation. Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo said, "When you remove the emotion from the debate, no one can argue that it is in the best interest of public safety to keep these people living in the shadows.”

Ah, "when you remove emotion from the debate," that is the hard part isn't it? I'm not sure why this topic generates so much emotion even among Christians. Is it genuine fear that this country's values are allegedly being harmed by illegal immigrants? Is it fear of the changing demographics of this nation? Or is it something else? Whatever it is, I ask you to read Hebrews 11:13-16 (ISV):

All these people died having faith. They did not receive the things that were promised, yet they saw them in the distant future and welcomed them, acknowledging that they were strangers and foreigners on earth. For people who say such things make it clear that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking about what they had left behind, they would have had an opportunity to go back. Instead, they were longing for a better country, that is, a heavenly one. That is why God is not ashamed to be called their God, because he has prepared a city for them.

Let's not forget that as Christians we are all merely strangers and foreigners looking for a better country- a heavenly one. That kind of long term outlook puts all earthly problems in context, doesn't it?

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