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July 14th, 2010
02:11 PM ET

Congress debates biblical stance on immigration

Congress tackled the role of religion and ethics in the politically explosive immigration debate Wednesday as biblical passages and church doctrines were invoked during a heated discussion of various reform proposals.

The argument exposed a sharp philosophical divide on an issue that has taken center stage in the wake of Arizona's passage of a controversial law designed to crack down on illegal immigration.

"We are so far apart philosophically," one Democratic congresswoman said, that it's hard to see how a middle ground can be found.

The debate occurred during a House Judiciary subcommittee hearing featuring Richard Land, a leader of the Southern Baptist Convention; Bishop Gerald Kicanas from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops; Mathew Staver, dean of the Liberty University law school; and James Edwards Jr., a fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies.

"Immigration is ultimately a humanitarian issue since it impacts the basic rights and dignity of millions of persons and their families," Kicanas said. "As such, it has moral implications, especially how it impacts the basic survival and decency of life experienced by human beings like us. ... Our current immigration system fails to meet the moral test of protecting the basic rights and dignity of the human person."

Kicanas, who is bishop of the Catholic archdiocese in Tucson, Arizona, noted that thousands of men, women and children have died in the desert over the past decade trying to cross from Mexico into the United States.

The current law has to be changed, he said. "Because of a broken system, immigrant families are being separated. Migrant workers are subject to
exploitation by unscrupulous employers, and those attempting to find work by
coming north are being abused and taken advantage of by human smugglers."

Most illegal migrants are coming "not for nefarious purposes," but to reconnect with family members or find work, he asserted. "Church teaching acknowledges and upholds the right of a nation to control its borders. (But) it is our view that the best way to secure our southern border is through (comprehensive) immigration reform."

But Texas Rep. Lamar Smith, the Judiciary Committee's top Republican, repeatedly cited passages from the Bible in support of a stronger crackdown on illegal immigration.

"The Bible contains numerous passages that support the rule of law," he asserted. "The scriptures clearly indicate that God charges civil authorities
with preserving order, protecting citizens and punishing wrongdoers."

Smith cited, among other things, Romans 13: "Let every person be subject to governing authorities."

He also noted a passage from Leviticus: "When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong." This, he contended, does not imply that "foreigners should disregard civil laws to enter (the country) or that we should overlook it when they do."

Addressing a passage from Matthew 25 about caring for "the least of these my brothers," Smith contended that it "advocates individual acts of kindness (but) does not mandate a public policy."

"Americans need not repent for wanting to uphold the rule of law and provide jobs for legal workers," he said. "A truly Christian moral approach would be not to acquiesce to illegal immigration, but to work to end it."

Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Illinois, argued that the government is fundamentally "a reflection of who we are," and that there should therefore be little distinction between individual and governmental roles.

"Focus on (the undocumented) families" at the center of the debate, he said. "Let's focus on the human beings."

Iowa GOP Rep. Steve King, however, complained that for many reform advocates the only "biblically acceptable option ... seems to be open borders."

"I didn't realize that the Bible barred the enforcement of immigration laws and neither did I realize that it erased borders, demanded pathways to citizenship for illegal immigrants, or ... forbid the leaders of a nation from caring most about the well-being of its own citizens."

King noted approvingly that "in the land of the Bible the leaders of today's Israel (have) built border fences to protect their citizens from terrorists or illegal job seekers alike."

There is a "greater and more immediate" moral obligation to take care of
U.S. citizens first, he said.

Land asserted that while "we have a crisis," it is not insurmountable.

"I believe that Congress can and should devise a plan to bring (illegal immigrants) out of the shadows. The more protracted the delay in action the more severe the problem will become." Arizona's law is a "symptom" and a "cry for help ... because the federal government has not done its duty" to control the border.

"Some people would argue that it's immoral to enforce our nation's laws," he argued. "I don't think it's fair and I don't think it's right." But once the border is secured, "I believe we have to have a six- to nine-month grace period for people who are here in an undocumented status to come forward, to register, to agree to pay fines, to pay back taxes, to undergo a background check, to learn to read, write (and) speak English, to pass a test that they've done so, and (to) go to the back of the line so that they are not being rewarded."

Turning to conservative critics of the current reform effort, Land said that he does "not believe that you can strain the English language into saying that is amnesty."

CNN's Alan Silverleib and the CNN Wire Staff contributed to this report

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Politics

soundoff (624 Responses)
  1. OM

    What a difference a financial crisis makes! Conservatives were loving cheap "illegal" immigrant workers during the boom years. The talk radio crowd would rave daily about how hard they worked producing such quality while expecting so few benefits and compensation. They built, and maintained many communities all over the country. Oh if those "other" minorities could just be like them instead of subsisting on the dole they would imply. These people were welcomed when times were good and now conservatives want to preach law and order and kick them all out. All that wealth they deluded themselves into thinking they created just disappeared so "The Especially Angry" (Due to My Own Stupidity but I Feel Better Scapegoating Others) Party was formed. Take it out on the "illegals" and make them disappear as well? Good luck with that.

    July 14, 2010 at 10:08 pm |
    • Sara

      Thank you! Let's remember who really loved this immigration stuff: good ol' Ronald Reagan.

      People exploit when times are good, blame when the going gets tough.

      July 14, 2010 at 10:16 pm |
    • wizowl

      OM, those industrious Mexicans that you speak of replaced the so-called 'other' minorities on the good old dole. They overloaded all of the social services and bankrupted the hospitals who were screaming about it but no one would listen. They got paid under the table sending their earnings back to Mexico and Salinas, CA went bankrupt because there weren't enough people paying taxes to support all those who did not. All one had to do was to go to the Welfare offices and see who was really abusing the dole. It's like they had a pamphlet on how to use the US Social Services. That minority that you speak of was replaced by Mexicans, or other South Americans, including replacing them on the evening news for doing most of the crime.

      July 20, 2010 at 4:34 pm |
    • wizowl

      Sara, did anyone lie about Ronald Reagan signing the Amnesty bill allowing millions of illegals to become legal in 1987? Is it wrong to see the truth? Can't you deal with the truth?

      July 20, 2010 at 4:40 pm |
  2. robert

    its not surprising that the point of my post was missed. too many people in this country are screaming about immigration laws being broken when thay have no problem breaking laws themselves (reguardless of how small the infraction).

    July 14, 2010 at 10:02 pm |
    • Unit34AHunt

      That is not merely a straw man argument but also, I contend, possibly a lie. Or maybe it is a statement of the world view of supporters' of illegal immigrants that they are the sort of people who break laws so routinely that one more law does not matter. Either way, it suggests your capability for either reason or moral conduct is impaired.

      July 14, 2010 at 10:06 pm |
    • robert

      sorry, my moral conduct is just fine. i'm trying to hold up a mirror to americans, who daily break laws without getting caught or punished, and then complain when someone else breaks a law. just read through this message board or any other on the subject of immigration, hatred has taken over. if this country wants to remain a world leader, we can't act like children or worse, animals.

      the severity of breaking immigration law can be argued to be worse than speeding. both should be enforced and punishments handed out.

      i stand by my challenge. if you demand that one law be enforced, then you have to demand that all laws be enforced, and morally, if you have broken a law (no matter how major or minor) you are obligted, as a law-abiding citizen, to turn yourself in and pay the penalty. so, how many people are willing to do that? and how many are just hypocrites?

      July 14, 2010 at 11:06 pm |
    • asrael

      Actually, Unit34AHunt, it suggests nothing of the kind. This is an incredibly complex situation, and certainly not something to be "solved" by the issuing of passionate sound bites, whether religious or not. How easy it is pontificate about illegal behavior, as though making legality the sole issue renders it unnecessary to actually ponder and seek an effective mechanism. Well, if illegality ...is ...indeed such a cause celebre, then of course it ...should ...apply to eveyrbody's actions everywhere, in every aspect of life, and not just when, where, and for whom it is convenient to sound so very "moral". Or, alternately, why not seek a substantial, durable mechanism to deal with the immense challenge of contemporary immigration instead of the endless repetitions of "simple" solutions and single-minded harrangues...?

      July 14, 2010 at 11:18 pm |
  3. allison

    Uhhh, separation of church and state? Get the bible out of my government please! It is a moral issue, and a financial one too. Reform needs to happen- starting with the families that are already here- can we just get them processed and paying taxes already? Why not make them citizens?!?!? They are our largest growing population, and thier motives are to have a better life- sounds like the American Dream to me..... accepting their culture will create more jobs and opportunities for Americans. There are criminals that cross the border too, but that goes both ways- we have tons of American criminals that run to Mexico to escape the law. No different.

    July 14, 2010 at 10:00 pm |
    • Unit34AHunt

      I agree that biblical one-upmanship has no place in establishing policy. However, I'd rather see the illegals sent home and the border secured. Without securing the border - which we mostly have not even tried yet to do - there will always be a constant stream of impoverished, low-skill workers putting deflationary pressure on blue-collar wages. It's not that I don't recognize the despair of the illegals, most of whom suffer from racism and poltical exclusion in Mexico that rivals that of Iran, but I don't see why legitimate visa holders and citizens must suffer wage deflation on their behalf.

      July 14, 2010 at 10:10 pm |
  4. ShannonInCT

    Any politician deciding public policy based on Bible verses should be impeached.

    And Sara is exactly right. The Mexicans flooding over the borders are a problem of our own making. Mexicans were able to make a living in Mexico before NAFTA Farm Subsidies started killing Mexican agriculture.

    July 14, 2010 at 9:59 pm |
  5. Unit34AHunt

    Statistically, illegals are much more likely to commit crimes (excluding their illegal entry) than citizens or legal immigrants. Illegals are so thoroughly and primarily responsible for property crimes in Arizona that they comprise almost 30% of Arizona's state jail/prison population. And that is despite the fact that most illegals arrested for property crimes are turned over to ICE, rather than charged, and deported.

    The revolving door of illegal immigration–>crime–>ICE needs to be slammed shut. And illegals must be driven out of most blue collar jobs, such as meat cutting, poultry, and construction, where their effect has been to erode blue-collar wages to unsustainable levels. Anyone who believes that all workers should earn a "living wage" can only, if reason matters to them, oppose Mexico's constant labor-dumping on the US labor market.

    July 14, 2010 at 9:54 pm |
  6. Mark Buxman

    I was going to write some long little story about all ofl this but I think suffice it to say LEGAL=RIGHT, ILLEGAL=WRONG. If you do something ILLEGAL you go to JAIL. Seems pretty simple to me.

    July 14, 2010 at 9:54 pm |
    • Jason

      Makes sense... short point = better

      July 15, 2010 at 1:16 am |
  7. Smart Man

    How about we make up a license to shoot the one coming across the boarder, something like a Hunting License or a Bounty. Where could one sign up for that?

    July 14, 2010 at 9:53 pm |
    • asrael

      No license unless you can spell "border"...

      July 14, 2010 at 10:52 pm |
  8. Olive

    People do die if they put themselves in positions to be hurt May sound like fun swimming in
    the ocean but not when there are signs up warning of a shark alert. Then again you have to read the sign.
    Follow the Laws , quit complicating and justifying. That is what laws are for.

    July 14, 2010 at 9:49 pm |
  9. robert

    it is very disturbing to see all the hatred spewing from this country, whether its from the mouths of ring-wing conservatives or left-wing liberals. we should all be ashamed of our behavior. this country will not progress into the future as a world leader if we tear ourselves apart now.

    as far as dragging the Bible into this mess, a quote comes to mind (excuse me if i paraphrase a bit) "let he who is without sin cast the first stone."

    i challenge each and every american that has violated to laws of this nation and his or her state (i would bet that includes almost 100% of the posters here) to go down to your local police station and turn yourselves in and pay the fines and penalties for every time you drove over the speed limit, failed to come to a complete stop at a stop sign (or just ignored it altogether), drove without wearing a seat belt, littered, jaywalked, etc., etc., etc.

    cleanse your souls before you start condemning others for their tresspasses.

    July 14, 2010 at 9:44 pm |
    • Olive

      get real..........we have our own problems in America we don't need more at the police station not enough police now
      they took their jobs too

      July 14, 2010 at 9:51 pm |
    • Reality

      So Robert we should not "caste stones" at murderers, rapists, bank robbers, embezzlers, tax cheats, et al?

      July 14, 2010 at 9:51 pm |
    • Daniel

      I have never sinned or broken any state and federal laws. I dislike how the country has turned a blind eye to immigration and their illegal counterparts for the past few decades. It's like a moldy spot on the drywall with a poster tacked over so as to ignore the problem. Those are my thoughts and my conscience is clean.

      If science were to disappear we would live in caves but if theology were to disappear we wouldn't even notice.

      July 14, 2010 at 9:54 pm |
    • Andrew

      As one of those evil liberal atheist hence clearly an anarchist type, I refuse your challenge. I don't think I have enough cash to pay for all the times I've gone over the speed limit over the past week, let alone my lifetime. I'm a self-preservationist, and that requires not sending myself into bankruptcy.

      July 14, 2010 at 10:13 pm |
  10. mrrealtime

    god is imaginary. Faith is delusion. Theism is a mental disorder. Congress needs to grow up and stop giving deference to religion, and make decisions based on reason, science, and humanitarianism. A bronze age book written by desert roaming mystics and centuries old regimes has no place in government or leadership of any modern society.

    July 14, 2010 at 9:43 pm |
    • Reality

      Amen to that!!!

      July 14, 2010 at 9:49 pm |
    • Olive

      There is a true living God and His son is Jesus. I know. We can't be all right. There is only one God in three, God , Son, and the Holy Spirit may you find Him . You draw close to Him and He will draw close to you, He will prove Himself. and there you will find peace.......Please I want to see you at the golden gates I will wait for you!! IT is going to be soooo coool

      July 14, 2010 at 10:05 pm |
  11. striker

    With all due respect for your great country and it's citizens that have bravely fought and died to uphold the belief's of the fathers of your great republic, from my perspective i can see that there are some important points that need to be addressed. I feel the USofA has been a bastion for democracy and freedom for the rest of the world to look up to! Thus I don't understand the argument posed by the left. I don't want this to sound like a history lesson , especially from a Northern neighbor but if I remember my American history correctly, the civil war was fought over a couple of huge issues. I realize i am simplifying and I apologize. The two issues I am referring to are States rights and Slavery. In my opinion it would seem those who fought and died in this war for these great and noble causes are having to witness it resurfacing again with the help of the Democrats. In effect The right of AZ. to enact law and legislation to protect it's citizens should not be tampered with by the federal government in Washington. Remember States rights! As well it could be argued that these illegals for the most part are nothing more than slaves to corporate America . In my opinion it is an insult for your politicians on the left to allow this abomination of respect for these civil war heroes to resurface.
    God speed
    Striker

    July 14, 2010 at 9:41 pm |
    • Reality

      Amen!!!

      July 14, 2010 at 9:47 pm |
    • wizowl

      Striker I am on your side, but don't put the all the blame on the Left or Democrats. Please google what Reagan did back in 1987 when he allowed Amnesty for millions of illegals already in our country. That started the floodgates and they have been coming ever since, knowing that once inside the country the bleeding hearts would find a way to allow them to stay..

      July 20, 2010 at 4:16 pm |
  12. Matthew

    So much for 'The Wall between Church and State'

    July 14, 2010 at 9:39 pm |
  13. Daniel

    I call on Richarcd Land, Bishop Gerald Kicanas, Mathew Staver and James Edwards Jr to give over their homes to immigrant families and live in low rent apartments for the rest of their lives. This is an important humanitarian issue which would go a long way in protecting the basic rights and dignity of the human person. After all the four mentioned above care about the people enough to speak about it on Capital hill; I doubt they have any other agenda. They wouldn't mind such an inconvenience as giving up their homes to less fortunate but deserving people.

    Somehow a phrase about something freezing over comes to mind.

    July 14, 2010 at 9:37 pm |
    • wizowl

      I second your motion Daniel. This is not about religion it is about self preservation of our country and our American lives. If these do-gooders want foreigners taken care of, then they should accompany them back to their own lands and help them to get it right for themselves where they were born instead of forcing themselves and their cultures on us. These do-gooders need to get it right with God for themselves, instead of trying to tell me how to get my soul right. My soul is between me and God. Most of them are throwing rocks and hiding their hands.

      July 20, 2010 at 4:10 pm |
  14. fishfry001

    Oh, and Sara, we will GREATLY reduce illegal immigration through attrition by aggressively going after business that hire illegals and enforcing the existing laws, which work perfectly well, when enforced. And with the latest economic and job outlook for the US, these efforts couldn't come soon enough.

    July 14, 2010 at 9:35 pm |
    • Sara

      One small problem: we NEED those illegal workers, because frankly, they do the work that US citizens will not. Maybe you don't come from a rural area, but I do, and I see very few people except illegal Mexicans jumping up to do the grueling job that is farm work. Last year I visited a local Apple-harvesting and packing business, and the head of the business was very clear in his explanation that without illegal workers, his business would get nothing done. In fact, think about what you've eaten in the last 24 hours. I bet some product was harvested, packed, or shipped by an illegal worker. They fuel the economy, and if you'd like to ignore it and throw them out, be prepared to deal with the consequences.

      The problem of illegal immigration is far larger than many people are willing to admit. It's a question of supply-demand interactions, globalized economies, and poor domestic and international policy. It's not just a bunch of brown people coming to take our jobs, as so many American citizens would love to view it. And anyone who does is turning a blind eye to the real issue and over-simplifying it to justify their own bigotry.

      July 14, 2010 at 10:11 pm |
    • usafsam

      @ Sara... WRONG!!! They are not doing viatal jobs Americans won't. I know many sanitation, landscape, construction, meat packing, restaurant & factory workers all US citizens that work hard and take pride in their jobs. THere are Farm Worker programs the farmer just needs to get off his butt and fill out the proper documents to obtain a LEGAL migrant work force. We do not need the illegals here. They are a drain on the economy more than they contribute. If a citizen held those jobs in the factories & construction, landscape, sanitation , etc.,, they would be paying income taxes and only getting their fair share back. And we would not have such a high unemployment rate therefor more of our own citizens would be contributing to the economy. All the citizen income generated would be used here in the USA by citizens not sent out to support other countries economies.

      Now on the jobs citizens won't do... lets start with raping kids, killing BP, smuggling drugs & human sex slaves, commiting ID theft, commiting tax fraud, skipping out on medical bills, bancrupting hospitals, bancrupting public school systems, fraudulently obtaining welfare, wic, foodstamps, subsidized housing, medicaide, all on the taxpayer dole while not contributing except thru fraudulent means....

      ID theft is NOT a victimless crime!!!! Neither is illegal immigration!!!! Pretty bad that we as citizen parents must have credit checks done for our minor children because illegals are racking up debt and committing tax fraud with their stolen SS#s.

      July 15, 2010 at 1:57 am |
    • usafsam

      Sara you are wrong!!!! We do not NEED those illegal workers, because frankly, they do the work that US citizens will just at an under the table no taxes taken out wage. I grew up in a rural area but live in the real world! I know many citizens that are construction, factory, sanitation, meatpacking, and hotel workers that have lost jobs due to illegal hiring practices favoring illegals due to them working for half the price without benefits or insurance. Why pay for insurance when they can go to an ER and get free medical? (same can be said about auto) As for farm work there are avenues that are available for unlimited number of LEGAL farm workers no illegals are needed. As for your local Apple-harvesting and packing business, he should be reported to ICE for using illegal workers and then sued by the local citizens and Legal immigrants. They only fuel the economy by committing ID theft & fraud which are not victimless crimes.

      "The problem of illegal immigration is far larger than many people are willing to admit" is true there are more than 20 million here illegally from nearly every nation on the planet! However it is only the hispanic illegals that shove it in our faces every day by protesting and demanding rights that are not theirs. Foreign Nationals are not afforded the same rights & priveledges as citizens especially when here illegally. If Pres Calderon is concerned about HIS citizens then he needs to call them all home & draft all able bodied into an army to combat the drug cartels. Not all illegals are HIS citizens though. As for pot calling kettle... Perhaps you would like that we should adopt Mexico's or other countries' immigration laws.... many countries shoot on site no questions asked....

      July 15, 2010 at 4:09 am |
  15. Gary

    I'm hoping someone already noted this but what happen to separation of Church and State?

    July 14, 2010 at 9:34 pm |
    • realworld

      Bush repealed it.

      July 14, 2010 at 9:56 pm |
  16. jamesnyc

    We have to stop the ability of illegal aliens to gain from the system. That means punishing them. That means making the penalties and consequences unbearable. That means not allowing people to get citizenship through serving in the army or any other way besides the appropriate channels. No one without one legal parent can be born a U.S. Citizen. If you are found in the U.S. the first time, You are deported. If you found again...well contemplate something worse. This has got to stop. Don't whine about how bad it is in Mexico. If you don't like things in your country, do what Americans had to do for their own country STAY AND MAKE IT BETTER.
    As for the Az police, watch how you treat your prisoners. treat them with dignity and respect because if by chance an American is in Mexico illegally, that is how you would hope they would be treated. Oh that's right, Americans are being MURDERED.

    July 14, 2010 at 9:32 pm |
  17. fishfry001

    These religious leaders stumping for amnesty have no idea of what they are talking about. America is not a bottomless pit that can hold all of the rest of the world's population, nor can it survive under the conditions that anyone can just waltz into the country whenever they want (illegally) and we must accept them. Preposterous! Those people fleeing Mexico? They are Mexico's problem, NOT ours. Let them stay in their own country and fight to fix it and make it a better place for ALL Mexicans, instead of bailing out and expecting the US to accommodate a never ending stream of millions of Mexican nationals into our overburdened country. We allow more legal immigration than any other country in the world! Where do these religious leaders get off saying we're not doing enough?? They all better head back to their pulpits and leave governing to the people and our elected officials.

    July 14, 2010 at 9:32 pm |
  18. kb

    So much for separation of church & state. The Bible, Koran, Mother Goose or any other fictional book should not be used to justify anything, let alone establish laws.

    July 14, 2010 at 9:31 pm |
  19. Sara

    I love how people debating immigration reform miss the ENTIRE reason behind illegal immigration. I have worked with a number of illegal immigrant children and their families, and all of them have told me they came here to find opportunities they did not have in their own countries. Now you can complain and whine that it is not US fault that other countries do not provide the same opportunities for their citizens, and you can shout about border control and enforcement of laws, but none of that will prevent people from coming here. Think about what people are up against when they come here: a new language, a new culture, low wages, not to mention a slew of people who hate them because of their skin color and the language they speak. They don't come here to make friends, they come here to give their children a chance at a life away from drug wars and poor education systems.

    I don't want the US to be burdened by overpopulation anymore than the next person. But if the US wants to stop illegal immigration, why don't they sit down with the Mexican government and find out what the country needs, ask if our foreign policy is screwing over Mexico's economy (e.g. a combo of NAFTA and the Farm Bill), and work from there. Spending millions on a wall that won't keep smugglers from doing their thing is an ineffective waste of money.

    July 14, 2010 at 9:25 pm |
    • asrael

      Sara, your cup runneth over with reasonableness; thank you...

      July 14, 2010 at 10:42 pm |
    • usafsam

      So I grew up a poor descendant of Native Americans & I want opportunity... does that give me the right to break into your home & set up residence because I want a better life for my child? Does that give me the right to steal what is not mine because I can't afford to buy it? Does it give me the right commit fruad so that I can stay where I do not have the permission to be because where I came from was too dangerous to live or would not provide a decent life for my offspring?

      We can not pick and choose which laws to obey or disregard without there being consequences, so should it be for those who enter illegally and break our nation's laws. The consequence for me as a citizen for the above would mean prison time in my own country... so should it be for those illegally here. Their country should be forced to take them back & punish them. THere in lies the problem.... the other countries encourage this lawlessness as they themselves are lawless. The governments are corrupted and they count on all that money in remitence coming in to make their own country run instead of doing what we did here in our country.... get off their butts and get it done. If the millions here illegally all went home they could overthrow their own governments and make it right the way we did in 1776 and the years following.

      July 15, 2010 at 1:19 am |
    • sim

      Look, there are people all over the world who deserve to be here–unfortunately for them, they don't live in Mexico and can't just dance across the border at will. When Maria and Juan show up uninvited they take away the chance of some other–more deserving legal immigrant. We have the duty and the right to secure our borders. When I fly the boys at the airport search me like a criminal–then they take pictures of my junk. All the while anyone who wishes just walks across our borders with utter impunity. This will either stop or we will go down. Look at CA and learn the price of illegal immigrants.

      July 15, 2010 at 7:42 am |
    • Sara

      I fully agree with both of you. Mexicans don't and should not have a right to come here illegally. However, they do come here illegally, and rather than spending millions on border security and a wall, which seem like temporary solutions to a far more complicated problem, why don't we ask ourselves why they are coming here and go to the root of the problem? As I've already said, I don't want the US to be burdened with overpopulation anymore than either of you.

      I don't necessarily think it's fair to suggest that Mexico solve its problems via another revolution. Their situation now could not be more different from our situation in 1776. The country is pretty much run by drug cartels, they already led a revolution in the early 1900s which only set the stage for more corruption, and their culture is marred by a long history of subordination. You're welcome to suggest that history doesn't matter, that Mexican people have the power to stage a revolution just as we did, but it won't change the past, and it won't make the people rise up against the corrupt government and the drug cartels.

      I'm not asking for a slack in the laws. I'm merely suggesting a multi-faceted solution to a multi-faceted problem.

      July 15, 2010 at 1:05 pm |
  20. Ralph

    Smith cited, among other things, Romans 13: "Let every person be subject to governing authorities.." and this guy is the top Republican? How does this square with the Republican chant against big government?

    July 14, 2010 at 9:24 pm |
    • asrael

      Well done, Ralph, and thank you...

      July 14, 2010 at 10:39 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.