The Common Good

Labor is Part of the Immigration Equation

100520_100321-0397-immigration-rallyIf migration policy was "freed" or emancipated, people could respond to real work opportunities, economies would be able to grow globally, the federal and state focus could be put on fighting crime and not families trying to provide. Emancipation of migration would allow people to come and go as the economies expand and shrink. We speak of global economy -- it is time we allow labor to be part of the equation.

I presently am in conversation with several African and Latino immigrants who would love the opportunity to use the skills and resources they have developed here in the United States to return to their home countries to help build the economies there. If migration was less controlled and freer, these immigrants could launch businesses and build the global economy. This would also reduce global wealth disparities, fight poverty, and decrease the need for international aid. However, the web of immigration law makes such types of dream almost impossible, because leaving the country often closes the door on the ability to return.

While my conservative Tea Party and "Law and Order" friends go on and on about "smaller government," their proposals for immigration reform are for big brother forms of control. Simplified migration would mean smaller government, more individual freedom, and more incentive for the free market economic growth.

Policy in line with the above concerns would also seem to be more consistent with the biblical concept that the "fullness of the earth" is the Lord's and for all people.

Migrants of Mexican, Latino, African, Asian, and European descent, for the large part, are working hard and supporting our economy, and are not the criminals they are characterized as. Let's create a policy that protects families, honors work and honesty, and encourages building community. The present system is capricious in who it punishes and measures like the new Arizona law do nothing to create a harmonious society. Instead, these laws build walls, destroy communities, and even encourage people to participate in the "underground" or vice economies.

As I sat in church last May 2, I listened to our pastor talk about change and transformation. I was struck by some thoughts:

  • Presently the Latino community is mostly a conservative and Christian community. A majority are Catholic and a large percent evangelical.
    • Will the present "outrage" against immigrants, which finds its voice centered in conservative and "Christian" communities, drive Latinos and other migrants from the church?
  • The arguments used by the "law and order" crew are very similar to why most fundamental Christians did not get involved in the Civil Rights Movement.
    • "
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