Friday, October 30, 2009

Better to harness prayer than anger.

The group Americans for Legal Immigration issued a press release where it vowed to prepare "tea parties" to oppose comprehensive immigration reform and "to organize and channel the backlash wave of anger that is coming into peaceful civic action designed to remove many lawmakers who do not serve the wishes or interests of their constituents in 2010!" According to their website, there is a tea party protest against immigration reform scheduled for November 14, 2009 at the Tarrant County Courthouse from 12-3pm.

I have blogged before that immigration is a hard issue to discuss because it invokes so many emotions. But this is a blog that seeks to view immigration from a Christian perspective.

So what would Jesus do on November 14th if he were in Fort Worth?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

"Sanctuary" fight in San Francisco

The San Francisco Gate, the online portal of the San Francisco Chronicle, reports that the City's Board of Supervisors "passed legislation that relaxes the year-old policy of reporting undocumented youth to immigration authorities as soon as they are charged with a felony." This is part of an ongoing dispute between the Board of Supervisors, the Mayor, and other officials. About a year ago, Mayor Gavin Newsome began requiring probation officials to notify the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) when undocumented juvenile offenders were charged with a felony. The Board of Supervisors amended the Mayor's policy and only requires notification if and when the juvenile is convicted of a felony. Supervisor David Campos was quoted as saying, "The whole point of having a sanctuary ordinance is that we choose not to be in the business of federal immigration enforcement. We are not an arm of ICE." The Mayor, however, vowed to ignore the legislation.

You can read more about so-called "sanctuary policies" in the August 2008 ISAAC E-News here.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Religious groups seeking common ground on immigration

U.S. News and World Report has a good article suggesting that both Republican and Democrat evangelicals could come together about immigration reform. The article quotes former President Bush speechwriter, Michael Gerson as saying, "There has been a significant shift among evangelical leaders who view the immigration reform debate as an important measure of their [Christian] witness."

It's a good thing that Christian leaders are framing the debate in terms of their own faith. Too many times, Christians have allowed others to frame the discussion for them.

Friday, October 16, 2009

You can't have your flan and eat it too.

The group calls out CNN for airing a feel-good special Latino in America featuring Soleda O'Brien while also carrying talk-show host Lou Dobbs on its network. In a new video, (NOTE: It has some salty language toward the end when someone interviews some immigration protesters) the group fact checks Lou Dobb's anti-illegal immigration rants and juxtaposes them with a speech that Ms. O'Brien gave where she said, "The worse thing you can do is do nothing and say nothing when your voice is needed." Then the video has a graphic that says, "CNN. You cannot have it both ways." The group is calling for CNN to drop Mr. Dobbs from their network.

Maybe I am cynical but I don't think CNN considers this a brown or white issue. Green is the only color important to CNN. We will have to wait and see whether CNN thinks it can make more green with or without Mr. Dobbs.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Immigration reform likely to wait until next year

Jared Allen writes in The Hill today, "Hopes for action on legislation to create a pathway to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants have steadily eroded since President Barack Obama twice delayed a White House immigration summit and his attention became all but monopolized on health care reform." According to the article, we may see some legislative action in 2010 but there is no real consensus as to what it will look like.

As an aside, I read some of the comments to Mr. Allen's article and was dismayed that they contained often repeated but untrue statements about "free health care to illegals," "anchor babies" and other myths. It's really difficult to discuss immigration reform with so many lies being repeated and spread.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Repeating something does not make it true

As we have posted previously here, here and here, the proposed health care reform will not give free health care for illegal aliens. A new television ad named "Socialized Medicine" by the U.S. Citizens Association claims that health reform means that we will be forced to pay for health care for "20 million illegal aliens." Either this group has not read the proposed legislation or they are simply refusing to tell the truth.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Never let the Constitution stand in the way of political grandstanding

“In the past, some states have included illegal immigrants during the census, resulting in the allocation of additional congressional seats. We shouldn’t let these states be rewarded for skirting our federal laws, and this amendment will help stop this practice.” This was the statement of Senator David Vitter when he proposed his amendment to to prevent states from counting illegal aliens for the purposes of determining population levels and other data associated with the 2010 Census. Senator Bennett of Utah also supports this amendment.

Sec. 2 of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution states, "Representatives shall be apportioned among the several states according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each state, excluding Indians not taxed." The purpose of the 14th Amendment was to count everyone and end the fractional counting of African-Americans that preceded the Civil War. According to a very informative site on the Census, "The Attorney General ruled, in 1940, that there were no longer any Indians in the United States who could be classified as 'not taxed.'" So everyone is to be counted in the Census. You can read the statutory rules for the Census here.

I suppose Senators Vitter and Bennett will have to think of something else...

Friday, October 2, 2009

USCIS to consider raising fees again.

The Los Angeles Times reports that the USCIS is considering raising application fees again in an attempt to close a budget shortfall. Fees increased significantly in 2007 and it resulted in a plunge in applications. For example, it costs every man, woman, and child (who is not filing through an Armed Forces program) a non-refundabel $595 just to apply to become a U.S. Citizen. That does not include other miscellaneous fees that could be added and there is no guarantee that the application would be approved.
A fee increase would be short sighted. If the USCIS is truly underfunded then it should ask Congress for more money. A fee increase is simply going shift the costs to those that can least affort it.