Monday, April 26, 2010

Down on the Border -- Wrestling with Arizona's Inhumane Anti-Immigrant Law

I was hoping to get Robin Hoover to write something up for the blog about the situation in Arizona.  Robin is a Disciples pastor in Tuscon, AZ and a tireless worker on behalf of migrants who founded a ministry more than a decade ago called Humane Borders.  I said, I hoped to get a piece from him.  But all he had time for was this brief statement sent via his Blackberry:

No time to write. Get goups down here. Protest where you are. Send resources for migrants, dollars for advocacy.
Maybe that's all that needs to be said, but of course more needs to be said.

It is interesting that right now, as Arizona seeks to clamp down on migration from the south by requiring the police to stop and question anyone who seems suspicious -- a law that, despite the promises by the governor that such a thing won't happen, is bound to lead to racial profiling and infringement on civil rights, efforts are underway to delay discussion on immigration reform.   It is our unwillingness to deal with immigration reform, including making provisions for guest workers, family unity, and paths to citizenship, that has led us to this point. 

In an earlier post I quoted scripture, but today I quote the words found on the Statue of Liberty:

"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"   (Emma Lazarus)
Of course, we've never truly embraced this motto, and our immigration laws have rarely reflected the realities that confront us.  The reason why migration is happening, is the same reason that it's always occurred.  Changes in global economic, social, cultural, and religious conditions.  Workers come north in search of jobs and the opportunity for a new life.  The trek is dangerous and often ends in tragedy.  Migration makes major impacts on communities, and they are often unable to handle the realities.  It is time for Congress to act, but already we're seeing efforts to delay and bury such things.  But if we do this, then Arizona will be just the first of many.

Robin Hoover is working on a plan that would, if enacted, bring fairness and justice to the conversation.  It's extensive and deals with economic and social issues.  It involves with providing migrants with legal ways of coming into the country, that would end the chaos at the border and make the nation safer.  I think it has promise -- but it will take political will not yet shown by our government.  Let us use this new law to stir the conversation in Washington, demanding that they deal with the issue now.   

7 comments:

David Mc said...

Ironically, this controversy could have a positive outcome. Thank you Rev. Dr. Hoover

Gary said...

The Arizona law is not inhumane, and only those who want open borders think it is. People who come into any country illegally should not expect to be welcomed, and should not expect to be allowed to stay.

Our "amnesty" programs of the past demonstate that the people of the US are stupid, and have lead to more people coming here uninvited and breaking our laws. Liberals have no interest in stopping people from coming here illegally. What they really want is to abolish the concept of "illegal aliens", and open our borders to anyone who wants to come, as long as they are "poor".

Sitting Bull said...

I whole heartedly agree with Gary. If you let all these uninvited immigrants cross over the borders, you'll never get rid of them. Take it from me!!

David Mc said...

We're talking about compassion for people finding themselves in desperate and dangerous situations. Our current laws and systems have allowed too much suffering and death. I feel these conditions have persisted through our collective greed, selfishness and apathy. We're not talking about open boarders. We're talking about humane boarders.

David Mc said...

eww I spelled borders wrong. Freudian slip?

Gary said...

David Mc,

No, you are talking about open borders. obama, the Democrats, and some Republicans don't want to stop people from coming here illegally. They want to "legalize" those who have already broken our laws, and leave the borders open.

David Mc said...

Bush didn't want to deal with these issues. He didn't want to lose votes and he didn't want to lose cheap contract labor for his buddies.