Sep 132017
 

So I will pick up Michael’s mantle and speak to an immigration issue.  A topic we know he is passionate about but limits how much he speaks to it in some venues because of the discouraging and hurtful reactions he has often received.  So while he may be hosting this writing of mine on his blog, I take full responsibility for what I write and any negative reactions can be directed towards me as I write this at my own initiative.

The choice by President Trump to rescind DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), which had been put in place by President Obama before him, set off the latest firestorm of furor in our country between polarized sides.  In case you are not familiar with the base details, DACA was an executive order signed by President Obama which allowed some immigrants who had entered the country as minors, primarily brought by their parents but not in a legal fashion, to receive renewable two year periods of deferred action from deportation and eligibility for work permits.  Reportedly, close to 800,000 immigrants came forward to receive the protections and benefits offered by DACA.  Those in the DACA program are commonly called Dreamers, based on an act in Congress known as the DREAM act which addresses similar circumstances but has not been passed into law.

When President Trump rescinded the order, he put in place a six month waiting period before the retraction actively takes place.  It would appear, this was done to put pressure on Congress to take action and put some kind of legislative law in place to address the issue.  Seemingly, in most cases if not all, it is preferable to have legislative law in place as opposed to executive order as the Legislation branch was set up in our country to make law, not the Executive branch, and legislative law is substantially more robust and stable and difficult to overturn than any executive order.

We all know that the immigration situation in our country, most especially along the Mexican border, has some significant difficulties.  No matter what side of the political aisle one resides or particularly where they may fall on immigration and border issues, it is hard to find many people who think everything is just fine and should just keep going the way it has been going.  For many, many years now, there has been a significant flow of people coming over the border into our country without proper authorization to do so.  A good many of these people stay for the long term.

My aim here is not to get into a shouting match of sorts between opposite sides with one side yelling about the need for border security and enforcing laws and the other side screaming about discrimination and racism and a lack of compassion.  I believe both sides have some legitimate concerns and points to make and, once again, I find myself falling somewhere in between the far ends.

However, I did want to specifically address the DACA matter.  And I want to do this looking through a Christian filter, not a political one, as I believe as Christians that is what we should always do first.  God calls us to do what is true and right.  He calls us to be compassionate and act kindly, most especially for those in lesser circumstances and greater need.  He also calls us to act justly and to respect ruling authority, of course, with the understanding that if ruling authority directs us to do something that violates what God commands, we do not accede to ruling authority in those cases.

It can argued whether or not it was the wisest or best or right thing to do for President Obama to sign the executive order putting DACA into effect in the first place.  However, when President Trump decided to rescind DACA without first having legislation in place to protect those who had been offered protection under DACA, I believe this was unequivocally wrong.  Especially, again,  when looking through a Christian filter, and not a political one.

Our government had extended to this group of people known as the Dreamers, who primarily had been brought here as children by their parents or guardians, an offer to be free from the threat of deportation and aids in gaining work legally.  The offer was not given as an everlasting promise, but it was given to be renewable and to be honored for each two year period.  In order for the Dreamers to take advantage of the program, they had to come forward and apply for it, thus giving their information to the government, and almost 800,000 had done so.  Likely, many of these 800,000 had been living in the shadows to some degree and our government didn’t have full information on them, if much at all in some cases.  They made themselves vulnerable to a government who told them they would be helped if they came forward.  Additionally, in order to qualify for and maintain status within DACA, there could be no criminal record.

However, when President Trump decided to rescind DACA without first having legislation in place to protect this same group of people, it was akin to pulling the rug out from underneath the Dreamers.  These Dreamers, who have never violated the law in any capacity, were now being told by our government, “Never mind, and cross your fingers that legislation gets passed to protect you before time runs out.  And, oh yeah, now that we got your information, it will be much easier to find you.”  It was unfair and unjust and unChristian.

These are people’s lives we are dealing with, not some inanimate political collateral.  Playing games with their lives in efforts to achieve a political end is ruthless.  Many of these Dreamers have grown up in this country and now they face the possibility of getting ripped apart from their families and sent back to a land and people they do not know.  They are being placed in a very unsettling and frightening situation and their very lives could be at risk if they were to be deported.  All the more, they have done absolutely nothing wrong themselves to bring about such consequences.

I understand the need to have security and rule of law; a country can not sustain itself under anarchy.  I understand a country is responsible for protecting its own citizens.  Further, I understand the desire to not want to incentivize people to keep coming over the border illegally by regularly granting asylum or citizenship to the children they bring with them.  These things do have real importance and I share these concerns.  Nonetheless, if we look at what has been done in this specific situation to these Dreamers through a Christian filter, I can not see how we can come to any conclusion other than what has been done is plain wrong and that something more now needs to be done to protect them from that wrong coming to fruition.

I do not have the depth of knowledge on all the interlaced immigration and border matters to act like I have all the answers.  I believe the issues are far too complex to solve with a couple singular simple solutions.  There needs to be consideration for both national security and compassion for those who are attempting to rescue themselves and their families from bad, if not sometimes horrendous, conditions.  I believe we fare far better when the primarily lens through which we view these situations is a Christian one where we see people who are precious in the sight of the Lord, rather than a political one where we see a battle to be won.           

  112 Responses to “Kevin’s Conversations: Defending the “Dreamers””

  1. Well done, Kevin.

    A couple corrections I’d like to make.
    The Mexican migration has been in reverse since about 2012…the “flood” of people coming over the border is actually a trickle and the majority are from Central America.

    This is particularly true of Central American countries where we have been active for decades helping to create the situations some are fleeing.

    I don’t write much about these issues anymore because it’s proven fruitless…as Charles Bowden said would happen years before he died.

    Years of misinformation and outright lies from certain media sectors have so poisoned the well that real conversations can’t be had…and there are issues here that no one wants to talk about.

    It takes courage and real biblical convictions to address this issue anymore…and to remember that we’re talking about human beings, not political collateral as you said.

  2. congratulations to Kevin on a balanced examination – from all aspects…
    it seems this nation has devolved into a political animal that, as the years go by, digs us deeper into a morass, rather than a government of, by and for the people – perhaps, it is by God’s design – dunno – and that brings me to a question that Christians can’t seem to answer… if we’re not a Christian nation, why do we expect to be governed by Christian principles?

    BTW – enjoyed the Martin Luther special on PBS last night… wonder if the Lutes among us felt it was fair…

  3. I will add this from pastor and immigration lawyer Scott Hicks;

    “In the discussion on immigration, frankly, I am sick and tired of “It’s the law.” There are two kinds of laws that prohibit conduct. There is malum in se and malum prohibitum. Malum in se prohibits actions that by their very nature are considered wrong and evil – murder, rape, theft, etc.. Malum prohibitum prohibits actions that in and of themselves are not wrong or evil, we have simply decided to draw a line and say this action is not allowed because we do not want it. I.e. the speed limit is 60 not 50.

    Guess which category immigration laws are? Yep, malum prohibitum. We simply decided to draw the line here and not there. That line can be redrawn at any time. But much of the commentary seems to conflate the two and make all immigration violations malum in se. They are not. And when you are dealing with lines that are changeable, it is a lot harder to argue that these people deserve no discretion and should be treated as criminals. Yes, they violated a civil law. The punishment should match the crime, and the violators should not be treated as if they are common criminals.

    The Rule of Law is indeed crucial. But it is NOT the only value. We were founded on the bedrock principle that ALL people are given inalienable rights- including the right to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. Those values, frankly, do not square well with how we treat immigrants. We also value mercy and compassion. We also value hard work and opportunity taking. We value keeping families together. We value rewarding risk taking. The Rule of Law is important, but if we allow it to become the only value we recognize, we destroy everything that the Rule of Law is supposed to be in place to protect and support.”

  4. maybe my real life example of Malum prohibitum applies in some way… i think those speed limit laws are very necessary and keep us from some horrible accidents…

    years ago, i was on my way to my office, driving on a back road that i traveled every day and i was going a bit above the speed limit – just a bit – but then i entered a school zone where i always slowed down and drove right past the school going, maybe 50 mph… and those flashing lights came up behind me
    “Officer, i drive this road every day – my mind was on something else – i have no excuse..” and i waited while he wrote in his little book…
    “Well, mam, i’m letting you off with a warning this time…”
    say what? i deserved a ticket for speeding – period!
    i think it was the Marine Corps decal in my rear window that got me off… was the officer right to show compassion? dunno… do our biases affect our decisions? of course they do
    but then, so do God’s

  5. I once asked my Mexican then-not-ex, whose whole family crossed the border without papers (all of whom gained citizenship or green card statuses), “why have immigration controls in the first place if millions go around them?” She’s a proud Mexicana, Trump-hater, etc… She blanched, “Oh you wouldn’t want that! Then EVERYBODY would come here!”

    I don’t see many moderate views on this. When people say “Christian compassion,” it seems to imply that there should no longer be nation-states in NA, maybe the North American Union like the EU. There are probably a billion people who would come here if they could. What’s the line?

  6. Kevin

    Well done and bravo! My wife has an intern who is a dreamer – she goes full time to college, works as an intern and holds another part-time job. She has only rudimentary Spanish having come to this country at the age of two. She pays taxes and receives no benefits whatsoever. She is bright, young and able… When DACA was rescinded, she was in tears for days. It’s heartbreaking…

  7. Victor,

    I’ve been studying and writing about this issue for years.
    I am not, nor have I known any serious advocates of “open borders”.

    What I do believe is that we need comprehensive immigration reform that takes into account both the needs of this country and the responsibility that we have for the situations that people are fleeing.

    Contrary to what your ex said, most people would like to stay home if they can live at home…

  8. Whether we like it or not the biggest issue facing the world now and in the future is the migration of the poor from third world countries to established economies.

    The coming African migration will dwarf anything we’ve ever seen.

    Both politicians and clergy will have to wrestle with this…

  9. “She pays taxes and receives no benefits whatsoever.” that is one observation i hear often that i must take exception to… benefits? i’d say that the good luck of being here is a great benefit…

    now, that said, to come here as a child, (a sponge, really, soaking up what makes a child’s reality) growing and being educated alongside their contemporaries… it is a cruel joke to then tell them, “you don’t belong here.” well, they were led to believe they did, every single day…

    and i do understand some of the resentment, too… in my state at least there were some special privileges in being Latino when it came to education that were not available to gringoes … one of my daughter’s best friend, a girl with below average grades, was offered a four year full scholarship to the University of Washington because her mother was Latino…

    even tho there are true victims – this is not exactly a black and white issue – Kevin’s article does a very good job of making us face that

  10. “The coming African migration will dwarf anything we’ve ever seen.” … i have heard this said elsewhere and i’m wondering, with an ocean to cross, how will this happen? and why? i know the Chinese are a big presence on the African Continent now – is this a motivator?
    i think the welcome mat here in the northern hemisphere is pretty shredded by now…

  11. Let’s revisit why the last Mexican migration happened, just for the sake of facts.

    NAFTA destroyed peasant and subsistence agriculture.
    This created a migration from the southern and central part of Mexico to the northern part of the country where these unskilled farmers could get a job for slave wages in American owned factories.
    Then, many of those factories moved to China.
    Thus, these people had the choice of coming north to America or joining the drug trade.
    That was the genesis of the last migration.

    What also should be noted is that undocumented migrants are the ones that rebuilt New orleans after Katrina.
    Watch how long it takes to rebuild Houston and Florida now…

  12. Thanks, Michael, Em, & Duane.

    Michael, as per your correction about it now being just a trickle coming over the border, if I understand you right, there could still be a good number of people crossing over the border to come to the U.S. but that the overall population number is balanced by those who crossed over once before but now are crossing back over the border and leaving our country. In which case, I would imagine that those who are coming are still often coming for similar reasons – to escape terrible conditions. And regardless if the people are Mexican or are from Central America, they’re ultimately crossing over the border at Mexico to get into our country to find some kind of relief from those terrible conditions.

  13. Em,

    The African migration will hit Europe…which is already dealing with a refugee crisis.
    I don’t think it hyperbole to say that a lot of people are going to die…

  14. an interesting side to this… many people who identify as Mexican go back as many generations as any of us as U.S. citizens and you will hear them voice resentment toward the ones now coming across the border from the South as it is often their jobs that are being taken by the “illegals”

    we’ve got to stay balanced on this, not allowing ourselves to be manipulated by any of the haters at either end of the spectrum, if we have any hope of unraveling this tangled web

  15. KevinH,

    The Central Americans are indeed fleeing violence and poverty…the violence, more so.
    That violence is over the drug trade to the U.S….

    There also used to be a seasonal stream of migrants who would come and work in California and the Pacific Northwest for harvest, then go home.

    Now, it’s too difficult, dangerous, and expensive to get across, so these workers are staying home.

    As a result, we have a huge labor shortage and some crops go unpicked.

    Dole just closed it’s strawberry facilities in California and here in my neck of the woods our famous pears are being uprooted for grapes.

    Watch produce prices over the next couple of years…

  16. a lot of us were wondering at the rebuilding of New Orleans as another Katrina will happen again someday…
    Houston and Florida are a much bigger disaster than was New Orleans, is it too much to hope that the recovery will take into account that the storms will come again someday?

    goodness, like him or hate him, if you’re not praying for Trump’s presidency now, you’re either not a Believer or else you’re not a believer in what our eyes tell us

  17. #15 – right on target on all points there… i remember when the busses would pick up workers at the border and return them at the end of the season and it benefitted all sides…
    mourning the thought of losing pears in favor of wine grapes… just how much wine can we consume? as a whole we’re not a nation of smart drinkers, i don’t think… there was a reason that prohibition was able to gain favor… dunno, tho, maybe we’ve grown up…

  18. What needs to be addressed is the elephant in the room.

    The current immigration angst is being fueled by a desire to make America white again.
    All one need do is read any of the alt right material that loudly proclaims that it was Western European culture that made America great in the first place and that we must take steps to insure that our white European culture not be watered down or compromised.

    This ideology celebrates Christendom…but is a far cry from Christianity.

  19. Em,

    Rebuilding New Orleans was hazardous work.
    Mold set in quickly and those working came down with “Katrina cough” very quickly.

    There were simply not enough workers in the first place and when the risks became known the labor pool shrunk again.

    There will be similar issues with these last two storms…

  20. Speaking once again specifically to the DACA situation, one of the things that has really disturbed me is when I have seen and heard Christians calling for all the Dreamers to be deported, almost even in a joyful sense sometimes. I have seen them call them law breakers (which is untrue and bearing false witness) and say they should be sent back to live with their families (which is also untrue in many cases as their families are here, not back in their countries of origin). With some Christians, there seems to be an utter lack of compassion combined with a complete disregard for the truth.

    I see this as being a poison of partisan politics. It can and does affect people, including Christians, on both sides of the political aisle and on issues beyond immigration, too.

  21. KevinH,

    I’ve seen the same…and I wonder how it can be.

  22. Charles Bowden from 2006…the last paragraph prophetic as always.

    “Five days after Katrina made landfall, I walked into an Italian bistro in Houston on Interstate 10. The cluster of surrounding motels had counters piled high with fliers from churches offering aid. The bistro sat 200, and every chair was taken by an evacuee. They were easy to spot with their dazed eyes, disheveled clothing, and sudden fellowship that crossed race and class lines. One black man said he’d spent 18 years as a janitor in a complex near the Superdome. Now he planned to stash the wife in some Houston rental and head back to grab what he saw as fine jobs that would sprout from the soggy ground as reconstruction got under way. But what struck me about the entire scene was the staff toiling in an open kitchen. Except for the hostess and the guy manning the cash register, the entire service crew—cooks, dishwashers, busboys, waiters—were short, dark, Indian–looking people from the Mexican south. I doubt many had papers that were in order. And so I dined amid the constant ringing of cell phones and the constant chatter of evacuees as they were fed by other evacuees from the collapse of a Latin world. One group was helpless; the other group was, probably for the first time, in control of their lives and fortunes.

    The migrants started showing up a few weeks later at the Shell station at Lee Circle near the Superdome—one of the many informal hiring halls of a new city. For a few months, there were 300 or 400 a morning, a land–office business in soft drinks and snacks for the gas station. Now it’s down to a hundred or so a day. No one knows how many Latin Americans have swarmed in since Katrina. One estimate guesses at least 100,000 in the Gulf region. Last October, Mayor Ray Nagin complained that his city was being overrun by Mexicans. In the 2000 census New Orleans was 3 percent Hispanic. Now one sees more brown faces than black. But then no one really knows what the current population consists of. It is a work in process, a new kind of place for a new world. And yet some things are the same: When black contractors pull into the Shell station, they seem to hire only the few blacks milling around; white contractors seem to hire only Latinos.

    At the Monte de los Olivos Lutheran Church, Pastor Jesus Gonzales ministers to a flock of these newest New Orleanians. He feeds them, helps them find housing, clothes them, offers a clinic (for, among other things, the prevalent Katrina cough resulting from the mold, asbestos, and general filth of demolition work), and teaches them English. Gonzales toiled in the oil fields of west Texas and then felt the need for more meaningful work. His congregation was largely Honduran—refugees from the hurricanes of the ’90s—but is now 60 percent Mexican. When Gonzales walks New Orleans he mainly sees some upscale whites walking big dogs, and Latin Americans. At Mardi Gras this year, he was stunned that half the conversations around him were in Spanish.

    His congregants are making $12 to $15 an hour. Their employers keep an eye peeled for the Border Patrol—some have reconfigured their small businesses so that no one can enter without warning. One of his Mexican congregants was assigned an Arabic name by his employer and wears his new identity on a tag. Local Spanish radio issues alerts in code on Border Patrol movements. The coyotes in his church tell him that they’ll take a few months off until the newly assigned National Guard units finish puttering about the border. Gonzales sees no end to the deluge of new migrants so long as there is a need for labor. And right now all the fast–food places are having trouble getting help at $10 an hour.

    Out in St. Bernard Parish, destruction was close to total. In the parking lot of the parish’s only open grocery store, Jesse Melendez, a 43–year–old roofing contractor, cuts a deal with a plumber. He’ll get the plumber Mexicans for a finder’s fee of $100 each. Melendez is a wiry man and well decorated with tattoos. He goes to Fort Worth for his illegals, because “there’s a shortage, big time.” Melendez is native born, Puerto Rican in ancestry, feeble in Spanish, and keen on Mexicans. “They bust ass—work hard and consistent.” He pays them twice what he pays blacks. He is convinced the reason St. Bernard Parish is rising from ruin faster than New Orleans is that locals understand the care and feeding of Mexicans. In fact, that’s why the grocery reopened — otherwise contractors had to drive their Mexicans out of the parish to buy food, and while off shopping they might get better offers of work.

    The tens of thousands of illegals who’ve poured into the Gulf Coast are but a trickle compared to the numbers who will come if reconstruction is ever seriously undertaken. By early summer, only about 25 schools had reopened in New Orleans. Housing starts are running around zero. And no one of any color or political persuasion thinks the rebuilt levees are worth a damn.

    We want an answer, a solution. But there is only this fact: We either find a way to make their world better or they will come to our better world. At the moment, we insist on the wrong answer to the wrong question. And so, the Border Patrol will grow. There will be a wall. Tougher laws will be passed by Congress. And the people will keep coming.”

  23. Kevin H @ 20,

    As long as I’m getting in trouble…
    When I read those comments you reference I do wonder how it could be.
    I wonder how one can believe that Jesus smiles on such an attitude, then I conclude that either we know a different Jesus or that their Jesus takes a backseat to their political considerations.

    One is apostasy, one is idolatry…or maybe I’m completely deceived.

  24. #18 – hmmm… i think that race had nothing to do with what was built on this north american continent in the last 400+ years… but i do think that, for reasons known only to God, He chose the white barbarians of northern Europe to cultivate a civilization that was fueled by Christianity – we did spread that Faith as we (us white guys) prospered

    interesting that now there are some who want to take the credit but, with a nod to God, want to wear a sanctimonious label … just as bad, tho, are the others who want to label any progress by any, other than their own, as a supremacy/hate move

    i’ve spent the whole morning pontificating… time to quit 🙂

  25. Looking at 300 year results, is Europeans settling in North America the greatest evil ever on the earth?

    Just a question, not a statement.

  26. Immigration always tells you what nations are known to be sick and which ones are perceived to be well.

  27. Josh,

    I don’t understand the question.
    On the surface I would saw it’s a gross overstatement.

  28. What has been more destructive than white people migrating to this continent?

  29. @28 White people using forced immigration to man their work force.

  30. As long as Michael is getting into trouble, I might as well do the same… Yes, Europeans settled and civilized much of the continent. The colonies, however, were agrarian for almost two centuries – the most important export crop being tobacco with cotton following, especially after the invention of the cotton gin. Both were profitable only because of slavery and the buying, selling and breeding of African-Americans. Industry in the post Civil War South was also built on the backs and bodies of some 200,000 African-Americans caught in the legal peonage system of the Southern states, while indentured sharecropping was the norm for the agrarian revival in those same states.

    Yes, Irish, Italian and Slovak immigrants faced discrimination in the North, but that discrimination was not accompanied by lynchings, wide scale false imprisonments and everyday violence without recourse to redress by the law.

    This, of course, is not to even speak of the treatment of Native Americans…

    There is a long legacy of injustice that has not really been addressed in our history. My concern with both DACA and the larger issue of immigration reform is the hope that we have learned something from actions in the past and that we will not perpetuate those actions in the future. It is a matter of simple human justice.

  31. @29 – but not before killing off a different civilization.

  32. Just remember the current slogan;
    “America is not a Christian nation – it is a nation held hostage by Christian terrorists.”

    The upshot being, if you call yourself a Christian, you are indeed a terrorist.

  33. #32 MLD

    I Googled the slogan and found no matches.

  34. Duane, Your research is limited – mine is expanded, remember, I get mine from comic books.
    For the past several of months, Facebook has been wallpapered with memes that say just that.
    Even if I made it up, it would still be as I stated “the current slogan”

  35. #25

    Well, let’s see.

    There’s the genocide of Native Americans.

    Slavery, including bringing slave ships here from Africa.

    Global warming.

    White/European folks seem to like to subjugate others.

    Other than that…not the greatest evil.

  36. bob1 – if we want to get down to the nitty gritty –
    1.) blacks slave traders were a prominent force in the slave market.
    2.) Far more Native Americans were killed off genocide style by other Native Americans. Read some of the histories of tribe vs tribe in the upper midwest areas … brutal.

    I said yesterday – sinful mankind is the common denominator.

  37. #34 MLD

    “Even if I made it up, it would still be as I stated ‘the current slogan'”

    As I thought…

  38. The only people I’ve heard say anything close to #32 are a few fringe people.
    It just skews the argument one way…

  39. #36

    In 1491, about 145 million people lived in the western hemisphere. By 1691, the population of indigenous Americans had declined by 90-95 percent, or by around 130 million people. This figure does not include the westward expansion of the United States in the 18th and 19th centuries.

  40. Hmmm, if the alt left says something it is “a few fringe people”.
    If any kind of hate speech is stated its the millions on the alt right – absolutely LOL.

    There are great numbers and growing numbers who want to pretty much outlaw the religious right as a terrorism group. Such a the Southern Poverty Law Center labeling everything that moves right as a hate group —- to much applause.

  41. I don’t think the “alt left” is a very large group at all.
    There is a large contingent on the left that opposes the church on the grounds of being pro abortion and pro LBTGQ.

    I don’t support either side of the “alt” coin.

    In terms of the legacy of the U.S., I think we need to acknowledge the vast good done while also being honest about our sins…which have also been significant on occasion.

  42. I’m bone tired of both sides of the political schism using the worst extremes to engage in debate with each other.

    There is (or used to be) a reasonable middle that is comprised of the best of both sides and committed to solutions.

    These problems aren’t going to resolve on their own…

  43. I didn’t promote this article on Facebook or Twitter because I knew it would draw a bunch of trolls.
    It’s sad that such a well written, reasonable piece can’t get the exposure it deserves because it would get buried by extremists and trolls.
    This has to change…

  44. it is the nature of man to look for scapegoats – much easier, simpler than to reason, honest introspection and the discipline of constructive solutions… or so it seems to me…

    speaking as one with Native American blood in my veins (Iroquois Confederacy)… i pretty much agree with MLD’s #36… it’s just that some of the colonists and their offspring were much better at it…
    “sinful mankind is the common denominator.” amen and amen again to that

  45. First of all, DACA was not a signed executive order as the author of this article wrote…it was merely a memo sent by Obama to his Govt. depts. to set up this “temporary” (Obama’s words) program to give 2 year residency and work permits to certain qualified people.

    It’s not legal anyway or within Obama’s power to do what he did.

    Even if Trump did not rescind it…the courts will. They already rescinded DAPA which Obama tried to implement in the same way.

    Secondly, Why am I , because I’m a Christian, obligated and shamed to demand my secular government enforce or not enforce laws specifically by someone’s so-called Christian standard? I might be sympathetic personally (because of my Christianity) to the plight of undocumented workers in America. But I cannot and should not demand that my secular government not enforce those laws because of my Christian sympathies.

    The Federal government is not the church. It has the responsibility to protect the sovereign borders of the United States from illegal intrusion. As a U.S. citizen, I fully expect them to carry that out. That’s a basic law and common sense that almost all countries and normal people have historically recognized. Why is it so bad and “un-Christian” now?

    When someone knowingly breaks the law to enter the U.S. illegally, they have actually committed a sin according to the Bible. We are supposed to honor human laws, unless those laws hinder the practice of our Christianity. Current immigration laws do not hinder the practice of Christianity in any way, so no Christian can say we are justified to not obey them or encourage others to not obey them and thus commit a sin.

    Besides there is a legal way to enter the U.S. that avoids sinning and breaking a law. . People have the

  46. No politics from me at all. Just stop and consider…

    You’ve got a group of people who are poor and destitute and want a better life for their families. If they leave, they may die, but if they stay they will definitely die. They pack up their families and leave. Some make it. Many die in the process.

    That was our white ancestors.

    Got here and infected those living here with disease and killed them with our superior weapons. Brought in another race as forced labor. Killed the planet because we had to have so many factories to make…stuff. Gotta have more stuff.

    But now we want a fence around this land we grabbed so that no other desperate person can get in.

    That doesn’t bother anyone?

  47. Josh #46,

    That is all true, but what also is true is that the kingdom of God is NOT of this world.

    That is why the Church never, ever, cosies up to any temporal government. The best temporal government that money could buy would be filthy rags compared to the kingdom of God.

    Actually, and this contrary to popular belief, if Christians really understood and wanted a more virtuous, just and moral government and Chief Executive, instead of kissing his a*s, they would speak truth to power. Not amen-ing or ignoring, or like some here do, rationalizing, making excuses for, or comparing the Chief Executive with former presidents, but actually being salt and light, which is what the Church is supposed to do in the world.

  48. #46 Josh

    Love your heart and your passion….

  49. #47 Jean

    Love the theology… and “truth to power”.

  50. Ron,

    If I need to explain why dumping 800,000 people into a hellhole they’ve never been to is anti- Christian behavior, then no explanation will suffice.

  51. When I read this article before I published it I was alternately proud of Kevin and fearful for him.
    I knew it was necessary to say and that it would draw a lot of fire his way.
    More than that, I just felt tired…it is beyond my ability to understand why this is even a contentious issue.
    My mentor on these matters saw this day coming many,many years ago.
    He knew that few would listen to facts or consider history.
    He didn’t let that stop him from speaking anyway.
    Truth to power.
    Truth for the powerless.
    God bless you wherever you are Chuck…I heard you.

  52. No one has taken a shot at Kevin.
    If you are looking for only comments that say “ditto” you just need to say so.

  53. MLD,

    As I noted, I didn’t post the article on Facebook and Twitter as I normally do.
    Had I done so, I have no doubt shots would have been taken.

    To suggest after all these years that I only want people to post that agree with me is delusional…my record speaks for itself.

  54. Ron,

    Eveywhere I have ever seen it reported, DACA is described as an executive order. So I believe you are wrong.

    But even if you were right, you’re still wrong in missing the far bigger point that our government is yanking around the lives of 800,000 innocent people and that is plain wrong. If you can’t see this, then I don’t think there is much more I can say.

    Our government has laws allowing for abortion on demand. Is it wrong to oppose these laws based on our Christian sympathies? Because to be consistent with what you said earlier, it would seem it would be wrong for us to oppose the abortion laws.

    Kind of hard

  55. Last line got cut off.

    Kind of hard to have it both ways depending on your political preference at the moment.

  56. Saw a headline tonight that Trump and democrats have DACA deal.

  57. #54 Kevin/Ron

    Owing to it’s origin in the Executive Branch, DACA is commonly referred to as an executive order, but it was in fact a memo from Janet Napolitano. It is probably more accurate to call it an “executive action”. The full text may be seen here:
    https://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/s1-exercising-prosecutorial-discretion-individuals-who-came-to-us-as-children.pdf

  58. #57 Addendum

    I should add, the designation of DACA as an “executive action” in no way blunts Kevin’s very measured approach to this issue…

  59. Duane,

    Thanks for the clarification. Before writing this article, my understanding was that it was an executive order from what I had previously read or heard broadcast. Then when I went to write the article, I read up at several different sources, liberal and conservative to make sure I got the details right. Every place I read called it an executive order. Goes to show how accurate our reporting is sometimes these days.

    I’m not even sure what the qualitative differences are between what is an “official” executive order and a memo that would fall under executive action. Regardless of the differences, the bottom line is that our government is yanking around these innocent people by telling them one thing and offering them a program, and then turning around and telling them never mind after people signed up and made themselves more vulnerable. And it is wrong. I know you get it. I wish more could.

  60. #59 Kevin

    Agreed on all points.

    I only decided to post the clarification because I think it’s important that we are accurate with regard to our facts (at least as much is as possible). As we’ve seen too often, too many people are willing to simply “make things up” in support of their position. There are times I don’t like the facts… but, as I’ve said, facts are stubborn things. Most importantly, this does nothing to diminish the force of your very fine article.

  61. Duane,

    I’m all for the facts. If I get one wrong, I want to be corrected.

  62. No one is stopping *that* baby from crossing our border.

  63.  And so, the Border Patrol will grow. There will be a wall. Tougher laws will be passed by Congress.
     
    Bowdens prophecy hits at 33.33333%.

    As I said before, no dreamer is or was going anywhere. Tougher laws are not being passed, there is no wall (unless you consider fence repair a “wall”).

    Trump is a pragmatist who seems to me to be without personal moral philosophies or ideologies, or to be needing political favors. Owing to that he has forced congress to legislate DACA, a moral test most of us agree on, something both parties largely agree on. DACA was a game. It WAS political fodder and a string of campaign promises. NOW it’s real. NOW when it’s real people get pissed because they see how awful the game was. But we were all playing it via our respective political party. The pendulum is swinging in the progressive direction, and yet still we hear the racism card being thrown, the fascist card being projected from the left. Why? Because the game is up, and progressives (in both parties) are obviated as having failed and failed and failed the Latino population in this regard.

  64. As another case in point, look at the 3 month revisit on the debt ceiling, Pelosi tweeting via Trump.

    The day there is actually a mass deportation of Hispanics is the day I, as a fundamentalist, moderately Pentecostal Christian, start looking to leave as well. Because then a wall may actually go up, and it won’t be to keep people out.

  65. Btw
    Where did all the podcasts go?

  66. “The day there is actually a mass deportation of Hispanics is the day I, as a fundamentalist, moderately Pentecostal Christian, start looking to leave as well.”

    So…you are agreeing that the idea of a wall and deporting large numbers of Hispanics is abhorrent.

    But you are OK with it as long as it is just talk?

  67. Podcasts will return soon…we just took some time off for me to recover.

  68. Is the Dreamer our neighbor? In my part of town, this is literally true.

    What honors the Image of God the most? <—– This is what you must ask yourself.

    All this sudden interest in obeying the absolute letter of the law… Was it really an executive order or something else? Where can I find the loophole? Is everyone who wants to quibble about the letter of the DACA law as strict in their own lives? I assume they always observe the speed limit with the same degree of strictness? Reporting to the IRS I assume is always done with absolute scrupulosity.

    There are plenty of laws and quasi-laws in America. Ask yourself why you are so intensely interested in this particular law being normalized.

  69. My last post was not directed to anyone in particular.

  70. Josh

    Okay with it? No. Realistic about it, yes. The old cliché: money talks, ….

    For some reason Trump is still campaigning, and the wall is “walking”, so to speak. There is no wall, just as there is no embassy in Jerusalem.

  71. Sorry Michael
    Total brain fart on the podcast thing.

  72. The problem with continuing to say awful things is that eventually you will have to carry through on them. This DACA decision was a first step on that path.

  73. Now what if it works out the way Trump has it set up where he has forced the hand of Congress to codify it into actual law where it should have been all along? Then is Trump your DACA hero?

  74. Still awful on his part. I have no faith in his good intentions.

  75. Josh
    Did Reagan carry through with his promises on abortion? Who did he seat on the bench and what were the outcomes of those appointments in other matters?
    Did Bush 2 carry through with his, promises on taxation ? By November 2008 what was the state of our children’s national debt inheritance?

    Political promises are rarely followed through on, common knowledge, yet everyone now wants to act as if politicians are pastors telling God’s truth to the poor, unenlightened masses. If my ire is apparent don’t take it personally. I’m just frustrated at all that is in the news

  76. That is just pure bigotry and hate on your part. If it gets elevated from “memo” status to actual law protecting the ‘dreamers’ – that’s a good thing.

    I was in the car with my wife yesterday and she has some guy ,Mark Levine on the radio (I don’t know who he is) but he was apparently representing conservative republicans, and he was all mad at Trump for working with the democrats on saving DACA. Sounds like Trump is the new hero of the left.

  77. I guess not “telling God’s truth”, but are being honest aouot their intentions

  78. Bigotry and hate towards what? Trump?!?

  79. MLD
    This is what I don’t get

    He can’t win for losing. Progressives have their wet dream handed to them, a malleable pragmatist in Republican wool, and because of the party label, his campaign lies, and/or an inability to reason, they still castigate him. Truly shooting themselves in the feet. On fiscal and social levels he has proved in their camp.

  80. Descended – exactly why I don’t do politics. Lots of liars. The Trump rhetoric has been particularly nasty.

  81. MLD,

    I hope Trump gets something done with Congress to codify DACA or something similar and will be glad if he does so. It’s still wrong to be using these people’s lives as a negotiating tool when there is no guarantee as to how things will play out.

    Plus, along with Josh, I have no faith in his good intentions. His longstanding history of displayed debased behavior and character leaves me unable to trust him. Not that he never has good intentions, I just cannot trust when appearances look like they may be there.

    Not liking the way he apparently is going about making a deal or not trusting the man has nothing to do bigotry and hate.

  82. I don’t give a hoot in hell who does the right thing as long as the right thing gets done.
    Obama made a lot of promises on immigration and didn’t get anything done.
    We need comprehensive immigration reform but I’ll settle for 800,000 young people being able to sleep at night for now.

  83. Michael
    For real.

    Kevin
    I don’t see how it can be any other way. Politics is the business of negotiating the livelihood of our neighbours. As I said before, Obama et al made a political game out of illegal immigration, vying for Hispanic votes. NOW it’s no game, getting real, tenuous, scary. That is the process of codifying into law the real details of people’s lives.

  84. Josh, “Bigotry and hate towards what? Trump?!?”

    Yes

  85. Ha! Ok.

  86. Guy says awful things about certain races of people.
    Guy says he wants to build wall to keep those people out.
    Guy rescinds order that has allowed some of those people to stay here.

    “He’s doing it for good reasons!”

    “I’m not so sure about that.”

    “You’re a bigot!”

    Pure comedy there, MLD.

  87. Josh

    What racist comments has he made? Links?

  88. I could give you 40 millions more links if you like. I’ve got a feeling none of them will qualify as “saying awful things about certain races”.

    Heads in the sand.

  89. #89 Josh

    And perhaps from Fortune magazine, that bastion of liberal opinion…
    http://fortune.com/2016/06/07/donald-trump-racism-quotes/

  90. So Trump is an awful person. Automatically disqualified from doing good?

  91. It automatically disqualifies him from receiving the benefit of the doubt in issues that may affect Latinos.

  92. well… am i the only one who’s getting a big smile out of watching Trump “disrespect” the Republicans and their stonewalling by turning to the other side of the aisle to get things done – either way you’re making a deal with the devil, tho…

    also something nags at me that doesn’t seem to be considered in all of this is the fact that DACA, as it was implemented, is about as tenuous as anything could be… a smart dreamer couldn’t have felt secure in its provisions, i don’t think…

  93. #94 Em

    When you have nothing you have nothing to lose… They had no status, some were being deported and DACA allowed for some hope, even if temporary. That they would risk identifying themselves for something that all knew was tenuous is a measure of their desperation.

  94. John

    Zactly.

    Josh and Duane

    I could say I stand corrected… Still…

    For anything to scrape the surface of Trump Teflon, these articles have to go back nearly 45 years. Everything else can be construed as an old man describing his world in passé terms. I’m with MLD, He isn’t disqualified from doing any good. I’m with Josh a well, kinda, in that he’s a pragmatist and will assume the rule that works for the circumstance. Machiavelli advised as much.

    We get the leaders we deserve. A self important person addicted to Twitter without ideals. Its a reflection of us.

  95. John 20:29

    You have an official handle and unofficial one?

  96. Duane

    “They had no status, some were being deported and DACA allowed for some hope, even if temporary. That they would risk identifying themselves for something that all knew was tenuous is a measure of their desperation.”

    “At issue are those former DACA beneficiaries whose protected status was canceled either because of a criminal conviction or gang activity.”

    LA Times

  97. Josh,
    “It automatically disqualifies him from receiving the benefit of the doubt in issues that may affect Latinos.”

    This is unbelievable. So if Trump pressures the GOP to get on board with the Dems to pass an effective DACA, and he signs it, you are saying that Latinos should reject it until they know he is of pure heart and good intentions? Unbelievable …. oh, I already said that.

  98. Congrats MLD, that’s one of the more nonsensical reaches you’ve ever made
    🙂

  99. Well then what do you mean that he cannot receive the benefit of the doubt?
    You must admit that if this all works out the way I have described Trump should at least be given the praise and adulation that he latino community showered on Obama for his “memo” — right?

  100. He isn’t reaching. Just walking out your logic 🙂

  101. The next White Christian bashing coming down the pike is the “medicare for all” – I am already hearing the rumblings from the xian progressives that you cannot be a christian if you don’t support single payer.

  102. As I look at this thread there are white Christians on both sides of this issue…

  103. #98

    I was speaking of those who signed up for DACA in the first instance… replying to Em.

  104. #97 – i’ve posted here for an embarrassing number of years… my “handle” has always been Em – part of my real name
    then i started using 2 web browsers and here on Chrome i’m using John 20:29 cuz i like the verse 🙂
    not trying to hide, Michael knows who and where i am, but, as a real person, i’m pretty irrelevant

  105. To quote myself so MLD and Descended get one more chance to understand, and then I’m done:

    Guy says awful things about certain races of people.
    Guy says he wants to build wall to keep those people out.
    Guy rescinds order that has allowed some of those people to stay here.

    (Part 3 is where I don’t give him the benefit of the doubt)

    That being said, If I haven’t made myself clear, I am unable to do so. Any further rambling just leads down MLD’s constant argumentation.

  106. Part 3 should read

    Guy rescinds tenuous order directing Congress to strengthen it through legislation

    How awful!
    Here’s a smiley 🙂

  107. And really, if Trump is disqualified from good intention by reason of his public statements, though his actions say otherwise, doesn’t that automatically disqualify us by reason of our private thoughts, when our public statements say otherwise? I should think so…

    Putting myself in the boat on that, S.S. Hypocrisy

  108. Hello,

    I find it fascinating that people are willing to send the children (i.e., descendants) who were brought here by illegals back to their home country, when the vast majority of everyone (including those who want to send the kids back and those who don’t) are descendants of illegals.

    Once again, the Christian Satire site The Babylon Bee makes this point in a humorous way.

    http://babylonbee.com/news/millions-u-s-citizens-deported-native-americans-rescind-300-year-old-dream-act/

    Therefore, everybody else should be deported unless one of your ancestors was native american.

  109. eightt score and some odd years ago our forefathers set out to build a new codified nation on this continent – there were tribes scattered throughout the land, lands that they’d fought each other for and won fair and square – the new nation didn’t appeal to them much… this time the “firefathers” won the fight and did build their new codified nation – from sea to shining sea 📝 📐 🗽 ⚓ 🍕 🍭
    Now there is a new set of eyes looking at the land of opportunity and wanting a piece of the pie, too, eh? What a wonderful country !

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