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Saturday, January 26, 2008

Foreigners in Our Land

Hopefully the examination of the candidates on poverty was helpful if that is an issue of importance to you. I'd like to take a similar look at immigration. First off, let's think about the Biblical stance on immigration. I think the Bible is definitely not multicultural. You are allowed to charge only foreigners interest, don't sell the bride you're unhappy with to a foreigner, don't marry foreigners, etc. But, perhaps the following passages suggest being accepting of foreigners that want to accept your culture:
For the generations to come every male among you who is eight days old must be circumcised, including those born in your household or bought with money from a foreigner—those who are not your offspring.
Gen. 17:12.
As for the foreigner who does not belong to your people Israel but has come from a distant land because of your great name and your mighty hand and your outstretched arm—when he comes and prays toward this temple, then hear from heaven, your dwelling place, and do whatever the foreigner asks of you, so that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you, as do your own people Israel, and may know that this house I have built bears your Name.
2 Chonicles 6:32-33.

I did not find anything on Edwards website about immigration, so I'm comparing Clinton, Obama, Romney and McCain.

John McCain is for strong borders. "Tight border security includes not just the entry and exit of people, but also the effective screening of cargo at our ports and other points of entry." McCain puts protecting American business needs in his discussion of immigration too, by "[r]ecogniz[ing] the importance of pro-growth policies -- keeping government spending in check, holding down taxes, and cutting unnecessary regulatory burdens -- so American businesses can hire and pay the best" and thinks that we must "[r]ecognize the importance of assimilation of our immigrant population, which includes learning English, American history and civics, and respecting the values of a democratic society."

Hillary Clinton wants reform that "strengthen[s] our borders, [allows] greater cross-cooperation with our neighbors, [includes] strict but fair enforcement of our laws, federal assistance to our state and local governments, strict penalties for those who exploit undocumented workers, and a path to earned legal status for those who are here, working hard, paying taxes, respecting the law, and willing to meet a high bar." "She opposes a guest worker program that exploits workers and creates a supply of cheap labor that undermines the wages of U.S. workers."

Barak Obama supports "Creat[ing] secure borders," "keep[ing] families together and meet[ing] the demand for jobs that employers cannot fill,"remov[ing] incentives to enter illegally, [i.e.employer sanctions]," "a system that allows undocumented immigrants who are in good standing to pay a fine, learn English, and go to the back of the line for the opportunity to become citizens," and "promot[ing] economic development in Mexico to decrease illegal immigration."

Mitt Romney thinks this graph shows that illegal immigration has exploded. In case you can't see, the red bar is the total of the other bars, not the value for the most recent period. He also want to secure the borders, punish employers that employ illegals, punish illegals who come here, and punish "sanctuary cities" that don't follow federal immigration law. I think Romney is inconsistent because he doesn't want to punish the borders.

I will hold off declaring my choice. (Hint: It is not Romney)


JimII said...

Are folks bored of immigration? Perhaps. I think John McCain's stance seems to spring most clearly from the scripture I quoted. (Which, btw, I did before reviewing their stances.)

Of course, the Israelites weren't concerned about exploitation of foreigners resulting in lower wages for the Israelites.

I'm uncomfortable with the short treatment Obama gives to the issue, and note that Hillary sounds less pro-business than he in this case.

So, I think I prefer Hillary's stance. Although, I wonder if Edwards would be even better, based primarily on what I've learned from David re: his anti-globalization stance.

Really, this issue gives me headaches.

Josh Gentry said...

I was just reading a report from Stratfor that says no American government will enforce strict borders with Mexico (or Canada, for that matter) because of the drag it would put on transportation of goods to our 2 main trading partners. I don't know if they are right, but I believe its a big consideration.