Emancipation of Migration
If migration policy was “freed” or emancipated, people could respond to real work opportunities, then economies would be able to grow globally, while federal and state energies could focus on fighting crime and not families trying to provide. Emancipation of migration would allow people to come and go as the economy may expand or shrink. We often 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 USA to return to their home countries to help build the economy there. If migration was freer, less controlled, these people could launch businesses and build the global economy. This would in turn reduce global wealth disparities, fight poverty, and decrease the need for international aid. However the present web of immigration law makes such types of dreams almost impossible. To leave 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.
Mexican and Latino migrants, (not to exclude African, Asian, or European either) for the large part, are working hard, supporting our economy, and NOT the criminals they are characterized as being. 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 AZ law do nothing to create a harmonious society, but 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 and very similar to why most fundamental Christians did not get involved in the Civil Rights Movement.
- “….well, they are breaking the law…”
- “… if the law is wrong there is a proper way to change it…”
- “… protests are just making things worse…”
- “… people should just be happy they got what they got, its worse in other places…”
When we look back on this moment in history:
- Will it be a time when we are proud that followers of Jesus Christ, and others of good will, joined together to do right?
- OR… will it be a time when our children will wonder, why didn’t the church stand together for the rights of the poorest and most marginalized?
- Will we join with our brothers and sisters in Christ, regardless of immigration status, seeking just and Godly systems to live in this world,
- OR… will most of the conservative church continue to serve as a puppet of the political powerful to help maintain broken laws that benefit only the most privileged and wealthy?
- Will the white conservative church repeat the mistake of the 50’s and 60’s in which it supported the status quo racial systems (either by silence or outright advocacy)?
- OR.. will it buck political pressure to be a prophetic voice, as many did in opposing slavery?
- Will Christians listen to the Bible as the rule for faith and life?
- OR… will they let politically motivated, radio entertainers, tell them what the bible really says?
This is a time of opportunity, a time for action. Let us rise and find our voice to support those who have no voice.