With Congress making progress on actual legislation, everyone seems to have an opinion on how to handle the problem of illegal immigration. I fall in the “fences: bad; guest-worker programs: good” side of this very hot debate.
Some months back I wrote a series of three posts on the subject. In these posts I talk about the history of the Mexican migrant workforce, the Mexican and US economic issues driving migration, and some of the moral and ethical questions that need to be addressed in this debate. Here are the links to those posts:
Coming to America: A Christian response to illegal immigration, part 1
Coming to America: A Christian response to illegal immigration, part 2
Coming to America: A Christian response to illegal immigration, part 3
You can find other posts, including basic comparisons between Mexico and the US here.
Too many conservative thinkers are so hung up on the legal aspects of this issue that they have forgotten about the moral side. We have a duty, especially those of us who are Christians, to treat illegal immigrants with dignity and respect, even as we disagree on the bigger issue of their presence here.
Along those lines, I highly recommend David Wayne’s post at Jollyblogger: A Couple of Thoughts on the Illegal Immigration Issue
But the main thing I wanted to point out is that Christians ought to operate from a position of identification with illegal aliens. The fundamental Christian confession is that we are all lawbreakers, hence we are all illegals. And our identity on this earth is that of aliens and strangers.
I bring that up not to condone the actions of illegal immigrants, especially those who would show blatant disrespect for the flag of the nation that has welcomed them. But knowing our own identity as “illegals” and “aliens” ought to help us hold in check any illusions of moral superiority.