Thursday, September 17, 2009

What about the rule of law?

Libby Grammer Garrett has a well written article entitled On immigration: Do Baptists believe the Bible. In the article, she gives the example of Lidiana, an undocumented immigrant, who married a legal resident. Her husband petitioned for her to remain in the country legally:

But in the meantime, her marriage became abusive, and Lidiana was forced to leave her husband. He withdrew the papers he had filed for her, making her ineligible to obtain legal status. Her only option to regularize her status was using novel legal arguments from a skilled attorney, but she still faced the possibility that the petition could be rejected. If rejected, she would be put in deportation proceedings, leaving her children with no mother and no income to support them in the only home they have ever known.

Ms. Garrett then argues that Baptists must respond more Biblically and choose to either "view them [illegal aliens] through the lens of our Kingdom citizenship -- or our national xenophobia." This provoked a comment from "Robber":

So where exactly does the rule of law fit in with your thesis?... I don't want them here because they entered the country illegally; and if they don't have respect for our laws then what else might they do when they're here? What you present is a sad story. If I were her neighbor, I would do what I could to help her. Make sure she was clothed, and fed. But it wouldn't change the fact that she was here illegally; and she should return to Mexico. I'm having trouble making ends meet right now, but that doesn't give me a right to break into my rich neighbor's house and take money or food -- no matter how desperately I might need it. It's a matter of law (emphasis added)... .

I would make this reply to Robber. It fits in perfectly. The fact scenario states that Lidiana did enter illegally but then attempted to adjust her status to that of a legal resident. She was trying to follow the law and the law allowed her to apply for an adjustment. Immigration law is not written on a postage stamp. The law, to which Robber so sacredly upholds, has many variables and alternative courses of actions for illegal aliens depending on the circumstances. That was what Lidiana was doing. So if Robber is upset that Lidiana had the option to apply for a chance to stay legally, then Robber's quarrel is with the law and not Lidiana.

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