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Latino evangelicals challenge Alabama brethren on immigration
The Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference.
November 13th, 2011
09:28 PM ET

Latino evangelicals challenge Alabama brethren on immigration

By Gustavo Valdes, CNN

Birmingham, Alabama (CNN) - When the Alabama legislature approved what is considered the nation's toughest anti-illegal immigration law, much of the state's religious community was quick to condemn it.

The Roman Catholic, Episcopal and United Methodist churches went to court to block the law, calling it "the nation's most merciless anti-immigration legislation." But Latino evangelical leaders say a key voice in Alabama's debate is missing - that of their own denominations.

"Because this is at some level a moral issue, and the religious community cannot stand idly by and allow a moral issue like this to go without a comment," said Carlos Campo, president of Virginia's Regent University, the college founded by evangelical icon Pat Robertson.

Religious leaders met in Birmingham last week to discuss the their role in the debate, with about 50 people gathering in a theater-turned-church.

"What is happening in Alabama is incredible," said the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the California-based National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference. "It is a repeat of the chapter lived by African-Americans, but now the African-Americans are Latinos and immigrants."

Campo and Rodriguez said that while consensus exists among evangelical leaders to speak out on immigration issues, the message is not reaching the pews.

"The pastors are failing, within the evangelical movement, in contextualizing the message to their members to call the elected officials at the local and federal level, and encourage an immigration reform that is not amnesty, but is not Alabama either. We have to find something in the middle that has a biblical balance," said Rodriguez, whose group represents churches with a membership of about 16 million.

According to a recent Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life Survey, more than 45% of Alabama residents identify themselves as evangelicals. But Campo said that group is not speaking with a unified voice.

"I think it is very hard as an evangelical, when I hear it is the Catholic and Methodist churches that came to the forefront and were the first ones to speak out and speak out strongly, but many in the evangelical community have resisted that," he said.

"Justice and mercy should go hand in hand, and I think we have to challenge the evangelical church to come to the forefront and be more unified that we've been," he added.

Alabama's HB 56, which Gov. Robert Bentley signed into law in June, allows police to question crime suspects about their immigration status and arrest those believed to be in the United States illegally. It requires someone renting a house or buying a car to verify their legal status, while anyone trying to connect to services such as public water or sewers must have state-issued identification.

The Episcopal, Methodist and Catholic churches' lawsuit asked a federal judge to block portions of the law that criminalized the transport and housing of illegal immigrants, provisions they argued would prevent them from providing services to illegal immigrants. Though the church lawsuit was dismissed, US. District Judge Sharon Lovelace Blackburn blocked those provisions in a separate lawsuit filed by the federal government and a coalition of civic groups that included the American Civil Liberties Union.

Campo said that, if Jesus was alive today, he'd be in Alabama dealing with the issue. But what would Jesus do?

Proponents and opponents of laws such as HB 56 each have the backing of the Bible, said Barrett Duke, vice president for public policy at the Southern Baptist Convention, one of the largest U.S. evangelical denominations.

"Basically those two positions are two sides of the same coin," Duke said, adding, "What we are failing to see at this point is a concerted effort to bring those sides to a comprehensive approach to what we call a just approach to the illegal immigration problem."

Duke said the SBC does not support broad amnesty, favors securing the border and enforcing existing laws but recognizes the need for some type of solution to the problem. He points to the group's website, where he said there are resources for pastors to draw from and explain the issue to their congregations.

"I would certainly encourage church leadership to engage congregations in a process of discovery and education in the issue of illegal immigration and the development of a Christian response to the plight of the illegal immigrant, as well as the impact on the rest of the nation." he said.

But attendance was sparse at last week's event in Birmingham, where organizers did not allow reporters out of fear that some pastors would not attend if their presence was publicly known.

"I think you are looking at people in local situations trying to address problems in their own ways," Duke said. "I think it probably reflects the reality that they are in conversation with each other and feel it is appropriate for themselves to resolve problems without outside interference."

The one point of agreements among all is the perceived failure of the federal government to address the illegal immigration issue .

"The Democrats failed," said Rodriguez, who has met with President Barack Obama and his advisers to discuss immigration reform. "President Obama and the Democrats had control of the government for three years and failed to deliver on their promise to the Latino community. The Republican Party has failed in its rhetoric. Their rhetoric has been anti-immigration, anti- Latino, nativist. Both parties have failed."

And Duke predicted that continued inaction at the federal level will result in states debating more laws like HB 56.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Alabama • Immigration

soundoff (367 Responses)
  1. Al

    Hey nasty, Are you affraid of immigrants, 'cause you can't compete internationally, 'cuase your best attribute is to be born in the USA. You did nothing to be American. Now go and do something to improve yourself, instead of messing around w unprotected people to feel that fake power.

    November 15, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
  2. chaz8181

    This has nothing to do with racism..the illegals are just that..ILLEGAL.. the southern farmers want "slave" labor ..well oops ..maybe as far as the farmers , it is racism because they want to go back to pre-civil rights and take advantage of
    and exploit the non whites for cheap or almost free labor to maximize their profits. As far as these illegals are concerned , guess they will have to go to Mississippi , Louisiana or Georgia etc to find work until the Alabama law becomes the law of the land. whch is far away because of national politics. The administration wants the votes of the farmers but now they won't get many from Alabama farmers.

    November 15, 2011 at 8:01 am |
  3. will

    The immigration issue is a tough road to hoe. But if we look back to our nations birth, the race issue was tough and it required thick skin decisions. Per race we allowed it to linger until it took the blood of 600,000 of our nations sons to deal with it. Now we have allowed this issue to be a political hot potato with the states making decisions and nothing on the federal level. Also our southern neighbors, and I ain't talking bout Alabama (roll tide roll), does not have a stable way of life to contain their citizens. Where are the statesmen and women who have thick skin? Not demagogues. But statesmen concerned about the nation, states, immigrants and federal law? As well as our southern neighbors who cannot keep their citizens. If America is that great enemy of humanity, why do people want to live here?

    November 15, 2011 at 1:34 am |
  4. Tiredofit

    Alabama, proudly racist since 1702.

    November 14, 2011 at 10:12 pm |
  5. Joel Wischkaemper

    Yeah, but have you ever been stopped for "Driving While Brown"? That is the problem in the enforcement of this law.

    I don't believe you. I think you get stopped driving white, or driving brown, but it doesn't happen often, and far to frequently, the officer is provoked. Don't beat it any more man.

    November 14, 2011 at 9:54 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Maybe people should stop living up to stereotypes.

      November 14, 2011 at 10:06 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Not my post. My little puppy is following me around again. Poor herbie.

      November 15, 2011 at 7:54 am |
  6. Passive Agressive

    Comment 345

    November 14, 2011 at 8:36 pm |
  7. Passive Agressive

    That dude looks like Pedro from Napoleon Dynomite. I am voting for him so my wildest dreams will come true.

    November 14, 2011 at 8:35 pm |
  8. Jonathan

    Not sure what the problem is. If you are here legally, you have nothing to worry about. I already have to show evidence of who I am whenever I am stopped by a cop or apply for a job.

    November 14, 2011 at 8:31 pm |
    • Joe from CT, not Lieberman

      Yeah, but have you ever been stopped for "Driving While Brown"? That is the problem in the enforcement of this law. Some (and I do emphasize that word) members of Law Enforcement are using this as an excuse to pull over every "Hispanic Looking" individual they see on the flimsiest of excuses. Someone who is a legal immigrant to this country can produce his or her Green Card, which, while not exactly a "Get out of Jail Free" card, does prove their legal status. Now, take someone born in Miami or Atlanta or San Juan, or New York, or even Birmingham. Nothing on any ID this person carries states that he is a US-Born Citizen. How is that law enforcement member supposed to deal with whatever ID that person presents? I don't know about you, but I do not carry my passport with me, and CT has yet to introduce the newer Federally mandated Secure ID licenses.
      Oh, and to get back to my first sentence, I have been stopped just because of my darker curly hair and Mediterranean features. Of course, I look like about half the people you will find in the west of Ireland, and along a good chunk of Argyll and Strathclyde in Scotland, and have had tourists come up to me on the streets of Glasgow to ask directions. So much for profiling, huh?

      November 14, 2011 at 9:36 pm |
  9. Stereotypical Mexican

    God Damn my years of street education and learning Ebonics. I Meant to say Their's Is no god Eh?

    November 14, 2011 at 8:05 pm |
  10. Stereotypical Mexican

    Eh Holmes Their's god Eh! Thanks To:http://www.urbandictionary.com/

    November 14, 2011 at 6:52 pm |
  11. ActivePacifist

    Reply 935

    November 14, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  12. Kay

    Frankly, given that the American consumer, businesses, and politicians have made it possible for tyrants to have so much power in other countries, I have no problem whatsoever that good people would come here for both opportunity and protection. After all, we do nothing as businesses put indigenous peoples off their ancestral lands in order to harvest resources for sale to the American consumer. We have no problem allowing American businesses pollute other nations with chemicals that aren't allowed in our own nation because they are known carcinogens or are known to cause birth defects. We have no problem planting mines and then leaving them for some child to stumble upon later on. The drug cartels are risch and powerful to a large extent because of the American consumer. The list just keeps going on and on, and in the meantime we have all the whiners who think that it's wrong for those who can no longer live safely in their own countried to come to one that promises freedom, protection, and opportunity to the huddle masses of hungry, oppressed, and war weary people.

    Shame on some of you.

    November 14, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
  13. Kay

    Given that Jesus was a devout Jew who only ever preached Judaism, I would think that his self-proclaimed followers were pay a bit more heed to what is written in the OT given that those are the ones that would have influenced him most. In them you can find one instance after another where the lord is depicted as lammenting the fact that the people aren't doing right by the aliens who come to live among them. In fact, as "far back" as Exodus, the lord insists that his people not do such things to aliens because they were once used, neglected, oppressed aliens in Egypt and therefore should know better.

    November 14, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
    • Kay

      For examples see: Exodus 22:21-22; Exodus 23:9; Leviticus 19:9 and 23; Leviticut 25:35; Deuteronomy 24:14 and 17-19; Deuteronomy 27:19; all of Isaiah 58 and much of the remaining chapters of "the books of the Prophets" wherein the lord laments that the people are still being unjust and oppressive toward the poor, the alien, the homeless, the orphans, etc. Then, enter Jesus, the Jew, who tended to the poor, the oppressed, the alien, and the orphans.

      November 14, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
    • Vern Ackular

      Notice that the Jews did not listen to him and still practice bigotry against non-Jews. Good grief, what a lame, stupid, ineffectual cult leader Jesus "was"!
      Nothing he said was listened to by anyone, much less the majority of his followers – a pack of hypocrites who follow a guy who spoke against hypocrites. Irony is not lacking here.

      November 14, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
    • Nate

      Yes, I'm sure Jesus was completely in favor of illegal immigration.

      November 14, 2011 at 10:17 pm |
  14. Reality

    If we would cut our own grass, do our own landscaping, pick our own vegetables/fruit, cook our own food, clean our own laundary, care for own kids and clean our homes and churches/temples ourselves, there would be no need for Mexican, Haitian, Irish, Italian and/or Asian "slaves" and therefore there would be no illegal immigration.

    ---------------------------------------------------

    November 14, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
    • Free

      Might I suggest that 99% of us don't?

      November 14, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
    • hippypoet

      ok... but then how do we fit time in to work and make the evil dollar? which of course is what this countr is ran off of! without that, we yes, could all be self sustained but the country and governing power would fail... so the idea of paid slaves comes to mind – but illegal ones are cheaper.. real slaves are cheapest... and being dead is by far the most cheapest way for everyone. No one to need protecting, no one to need food... its a win win! If we destory the money system of this planet and go back to valuing life and the things we have, then i think we might all be a bit more moral, safer, and most likely – less inclined to go to war as that might kill you and by default kill your family!

      November 14, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
    • Kay

      I've never understood what kind of person pays someone to be responsible for taking care of their home. If you can't do the things that need done yourself, then I propose that your house is too big?

      November 14, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
    • hippypoet

      kay, its the same type of person who gets a dog then doesn't train them... gets a company like mine to do it for them!

      November 14, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
    • Kay

      HippyPoet.. and those who have kids and hire nannies to raise them.

      November 14, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Kay, you don't know what reasons people have for hiring others to do some of the chores around their houses or to help care for their children. In case you're not aware, many women work full-time while raising children. They aren't having nannies "raise their children" anymore than they're having the schools do it. Women who drop out of the workforce to stay home with children are at great risk of losing income toward retirement and of being unable to re-enter the workforce should divorce or death of their spouse end the marriage. People who hire others to clean their houses or take care of their yards often do so because they work long hours at an office for a substantial income. Their free time is worth more than the cost of hiring someone else to do those chores.

      Get off your high horse.

      November 14, 2011 at 7:35 pm |
    • Kay

      Blah blah blah, excuses, excuses. That's all anyone ever has in this country.

      November 15, 2011 at 2:14 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What "excuses"? Why would anyone need an excuse to hire someone to clean anymore than he/she would need one to hire an electrician, a landscaper, a babysitter, or an architect?

      You're not Kay, you're just a troll and a stupid one, at that.

      November 15, 2011 at 7:56 am |
    • AGuest9

      Gee, Kay, I guess you don't have a job that requires on-call, overtime, weekends and holidays?

      November 16, 2011 at 10:40 pm |
  15. Ed

    "No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Consti-tution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States."

    You are not required to be born on US soil you just have to be a natural citizen of the USA regarless of where you were born.

    November 14, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
    • Free

      Which is why Coco Solo Naval Air Station, Panama Canal Zone was never an issue in the 2008 election, right?

      November 14, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
  16. lunchbreaker

    I need the number for this guys barber. That is a sweet haircut.

    November 14, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
    • Bob

      You're joking, right? Guy looks like yet another preacher with plastic hair. They must know the demographics they are going after to fleece money from, and they know the greasy, no hair movable thing works on that group.

      November 14, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
    • Is It Just Me

      For some reason, I see him as looking like a young, very tan Michael Keaton 🙂

      November 14, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
    • Denise

      What demographic would that be, bob? Greasy hair, brown skin, kind of short etc. That what you're saying?

      November 14, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
    • Bob

      No, Denise. I was just thinking of others with similarly immovable hair: Jimmy Swaggart and Pat Robertson for example, not that I want to give them further publicity.

      November 14, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
  17. abinadi

    Nonimus, We Americans are incredibly naive. We enjoy kicking these people around because they don't fight back. It's fun! Nobody has asked what will happen if they get sick and tired of it and start pushing back. We don't want 156 million enemies on our border. There needs to be another way. If caught in a flood, it is better to swim with the current and control your situation than to fight it and die.

    November 14, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @abinadi,
      Of all reasons to do something, fear seems to be one of the worst.

      November 14, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
    • Free

      " it is better to swim with the current and control your situation than to fight it and die."
      You're a Taoist?

      November 14, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
    • abinadi

      Micah 5:8-15 is a prophecy of our day and refers to the Latinos (the remnant of Jacob). We are the gentiles. If we repent, we can escape God's wrath. But, I am as Jonah. I don't believe we will repent. I think we are not smart enough.

      November 14, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
    • Free

      abinadi
      "the Latinos (the remnant of Jacob)."
      Is that a Mormon belief, like indians being a lost tribe of Israel?

      November 14, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
    • hippypoet

      abinadi did you really say you are like jonah.... LOL.... wheres your fish story?

      November 14, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
    • Free

      hippypoet
      Jonah was the original big fish story, along the lines of "That fish was so big they used ME as bait!" 🙂

      November 14, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
    • abinadi

      Need I say more?

      November 14, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
    • Sue

      @abinadi
      Need you say more? Yes, unless you actually want to be viewed as a total loon.

      November 14, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
  18. hippypoet

    HotAirAce

    @hippypoet

    "The USA is going to need that mind reading technology as soon as possible..."

    where the hell did that come from...dude you are on the wrong article... and i think i said i have no power over it, it comes and goes like the strenght of the wind. What we really need is Professor X!

    November 14, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Sorry for being obtuse...

      If you are going to want to try show conclusively why someone travelled to the US and apparently coincidentally had a baby, you might need some mind reading capability.

      November 14, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
    • hippypoet

      yup... X-MEN time!

      November 14, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
    • I_get _it

      HotAirAce - it wasn't obtuse at all (but maybe you mean 'oblique') - quite easily understandable, really.

      November 14, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
    • Free

      HotAirAce
      I thought that the government had that ability now, according to a recent article here?

      November 14, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
    • hippypoet

      Dibs on Logan...And if we aren't allowed only one, then Storm too!

      November 14, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
    • Free

      hippypoet
      I thought we were talking about mind readers here, in which case I have dibs on Emma Frost and Psylocke. 🙂

      November 14, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
    • hippypoet

      ok i will go along with the mind readers only thing... Dr. grey! shes wayy hot! and when she becomes the Phenix or however you spell it... even hotter!

      November 14, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
  19. DamianKnight

    Here's my opinion. Borders don't really exist; they are a creation of man. That said, we live in a society of rules and laws. And regardless of who the person is, what situation they're going through, or whatever else, those laws have to obeyed. And when they are not obeyed, there need to be consequences.

    I'm married to an immigrant from Canada. When she came here, I filed the paperwork, we had to wait for the feds to do a background check, interview us, get her a social security number, and whatnot. She's now here on a green card, and she's a contributing member of the American society.

    So as you can see, I'm not against immigration in the slightest. What I -am- against is people breaking the law and then having the audacity to ask for "mercy" and "leniency" when they KNEW they were breaking the law. Their crime wasn't an accident. They willingly and knowingly committed a FEDERAL FELONY. Let me tell you another federal felony. Bank robbery. Shall we offer "mercy" and "leniency" to bank robbers as well?

    Illegal immigration leads to a laundry list of other crimes, such as terrorism (many of the 9/11 terrorists were here on expired student visas), drugs, identi.ty theft, and other such things. It's the "gateway crime", so to speak.

    I don't mind if people want to change the way we do immigration. We probably could use a good overhaul of the system. But while the laws are the way they are, everyone has to obey them. It's really as simple as that.

    November 14, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
    • Chuckles

      Damian

      Long time no see! There aren't many other Star Wars geeks out here on this blog and I feel some of my references are being lost.

      Anywho, I can agree mostly with your above statement, the one issue I find is the children of illegal immigrants. What should happen with them? Using your analogy, what if these bank robbers stole money and ended up using it to rebuild an orphanage, how should the money be returned or reimbursed? and should it be at the expense of the orphans?

      November 14, 2011 at 1:08 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      @Chuckles,

      Hey man. Yeah things have been busy.

      As to your question, well, in the case of rebuilding the orphanage, I don't think there is much that CAN be done. It shouldn't be torn down or anything, but I still think the bank robber needs to go to prison. The ends don't justify the means.

      In a broader scope, what of the children born to illegal immigrants (we are as.suming both parents are illegal) in the United States? Frankly, I believe that the parents should have to make that decision. The children would need to be placed with someone willing (not fostered or using a government-funded organization) who is here legally (possibly a relative or close friend) or return with their parents. They can return to the United States at 18 or when they are declared an emancipated minor . I know that's harsh, but that's the consequences of the parents' decision.

      November 14, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
    • Chuckles

      Well this situation has sort of been happening especially along the border in texas, cali, arizona and new mexico. Parents, or just mothers make it across the boarder and have their child on american soil, which automatically makes them an American citizen, so you can't deport the kid anywhere. If you wish to deport the parents then the kid has to go into foster care because a lot of the times these illegal immigrants don't have family or friends in America and come to America to send back money to their relatives in Mexico.

      I find it a tricky situation that isn't as easy to solve as a lot of conservatives might think. Illeglal immigration is wrong and needs to be enforced, however a lot of our labor depends on jobs that immigrants will take that americans will not and considering our country was founded upon principals of immigration, we're going the wrong way trying to completely seal the borders and make it near impossible for immigration.

      I'm also not nexesasrily ignoring the threat of national security and the implications of letting illegal immigration just slide, but instead of being globally aggressive and then spending more money on protecting ourselves with bigger guns and tighter security control, we use the national defense budget for other, more pratical things that will make us a leader in the world not based solely on military power.

      November 14, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
    • hippypoet

      i can see you folks are having a nice convo but i just want to add – if we can prove that the prego mother came over here for the sole purpose of giving birth to her child in the United States so it is instantly a citizen then i think we should have the power to deport them both as that is terribly deceitful and a complete wrong use of the system! I love my baby and daughter but i stick to what i just said.

      November 14, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      @hippypoet

      The USA is going to need that mind reading technology as soon as possible...

      November 14, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
    • Chuckles

      But Hippy you're asking to change the law, the consti.tution, on how to become a US citizen. If we go and start changing that law, what will then stop us from changing to say, "you're a us citizen if you're born on us soil unless your the child of an illegal immigrant, or terrorist parents, or communist parents, or....", I know that's a horrendous use of the slippery slope fallacy, but the thing is, if we want to really follow the morality of not punishing a child for the parents mistakes, we have to uphold the law. We might have to deport the parent if they are caught, but the moment the child is born on US soil, they are a citizen and deserve the rights afforded to any other child born in this country.

      November 14, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
    • hippypoet

      i agree chuckles, but the fact is we the true citizens are paying for the health care, food, and clothes of these parentless children because they ran over here, dropped out a kid, then got deported back.... i say we do one of two things, make it harder to become a citizen or tare down the borders and open up to the north american people... there is a choice coming, i hope its that one, i would chose to tare down the borders.... its as Damian said – " Borders don't really exist; they are a creation of man."

      November 14, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      Citizenship is one of the areas that I think needs to be redone in regards of immigration. I firmly believe that just being born here shouldn't make you a citizen. At least one parent should need to be a citizen. But that's my own personal viewpoint and how I think things should change. But really, we're not deporting the children. We're deporting the parents and a cause of that is the children go with the parents. The children are free to stay here, but I don't believe it's the government's (and by extension, you and I because we pay taxes) job to take care of these children. They're not "abandoned"; most of these parents are not unfit parents, so they don't need to go into government custody.

      I tend to disagree with the idea of jobs that Americans don't want to do. There are a lot of people out there who are unemployed. Over 9% of the country. Here is where I think immigration can be hit HARD. Go after the employers. Give an ability for these employers to do checks on SSNs and hold them responsible for compliance. I think there should be a three strikes thing. First incident, $20,000 fine. Second incident, $50,000 fine. Third incident, loss of business license. Let's provide a disincentive for employers to continue to hire them. You can do other things like make it a crime to knowingly rent or sell a house to an illegal immigrant. Make it impossible for them to get driver's licenses and register vehicles. Have schools, hospitals and other public service required to report illegal immigration.

      The key is, make it SO difficult for them to even come here, they leave and won't come in the first place. I think securing our borders is only part of the solution. Because right now, once they hop the border, they're scott free.

      November 14, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @hippy,

      I can agree with the sentiment. Borders are a creation of man and I would love to envision a world where we could remove the boarders between the US, Mexico and Canada inasmuch as it makes sense and have a fully unified North America, but I think we'll have to wait for a superpower the likes of China or a unified Europe to ermerge and really threaten our soverignty before we reach that point. It's pretty hard to become a citizen of this country nowadays, creating more barriers would just be a hinderance and probably create more illegal immigration, not less.

      @Damian
      I think we may have to redo immigration, but when we do, we'll also be changing the fundementals of what this country was founded on, I'm not saying thats necessarily a bad thing, but thats the reality of it. The main issue I see with having to have one parent as a citizen basically means that parents who may have immigrated to America but have yet to become citizens either have to wait to have a kid, or face having a child without a citizenship anywhere.

      As for jobs that americans won't take. Although the Colbert Report isn't exactly the best newsource out there, watch the bit he did on what is currently happening to Alabama's economy now that illegal immigrants are fleeing the state. It's interesting stuff and gives insight to why illegal immigration is happening so much and how these illegal immigrants stay in America after making it across the boarders. I think it would make a lot more sense to go after businesses that are caught employing illegal immigrants and paying them well below minimum wage. I almost want to say that pickers should be based more on commission in order to attract american citizens to work there and actually do the work.

      November 14, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
    • Free

      DamianKnight
      "I firmly believe that just being born here shouldn't make you a citizen"
      How many of us would be citizens now had that been the policy when our ancestors immigrated to America?

      November 14, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
    • Ed

      I agree Damian, as for the children are they immigrants if so are they legal? If they were born in America they are ciizens they can either stay or returen to their parents home land then come back and claim the rightful citizenship as adults

      November 14, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @free

      My thoughts exactly, not to mention people currently staying in America who are waiting the 14 years before they can even apply for citizenship. We also have to keep in mind that the law stateing you have to be born on american soil to become president of the united states would also have to be rethought and could now include any american citizen, which something tells me wouldn't be amenable for most people in the US

      November 14, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      @Chuckles,

      I agree. Our laws have to be flexible and have to be adapted as things change. While I respect the Consti.tution, we need to recognize that our founding fathers would not have respected the claim that someone breaking the law should become a citizen of the United States. They weren't dealing with the issue at the time. In regards to your statement about waiting to have children, yes, I agree. They should. Although there are certain provisions for registering children as citizens when they're under 18. I just don't like the idea of "anchor babies" being able to legitimize people's ability to stay in the United States. Simply because you are capable of breeding doesn't mean you should be enti.tled to stay. That's an abuse of the system.

      I am glad though, that we agree on actively going after employers. That's the crux. It's the root of the problem. Kind of the "head of the dragon" so to speak. Once it becomes impossible for them to find a lifestyle here, they'll stop coming.

      @Free,

      Well that's called "grandfathering." When my ancestors came over, there were different rules regarding immigration and they came in under those rules. A lot of other people's families did the same thing. Things have changed since those ancestors came over in the early 1800s, and thank goodness for that! But if they were to do that today, we’d have to respect the laws that were in force today.

      November 14, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
    • Ed

      "No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Consti-tution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States."

      You are not required to be born on US soil you just have to be a natural citizen of the USA regarless of where you were born.

      sorry for the repeat didn't hit reply

      November 14, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Damian

      I don't necessarily mean that two immigrants living in America waiting for citizenship should abuse the system and have as many babies as possibly, but conversly they should not be restricted for 15 full years from having children just because they immigrated to America. You're also forgetting, what about couples that just have children and get pregnant without meaning to. Even if there was a couple who were immigrants and wanted to respect the law of waiting 14/15 years to have kids, nature takes its course and could surprise this couple anyways, what then? I dare say we would turn to what pro-lifers actually fear, forced abortions, but would we have to then deport these people just because a condom (ironically an american made just for kicks) failed?

      November 14, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Ed

      I'll try to find the exact wording later, but that's the whole point of birthers and their entire stance on why President Obama is supposed to be ineligable, because they can't "prove" he was born on US soil. It's also the reason why Arnold Shwarzenegger is not able to ever become the president, because he's austrian born. I promise you that a child that is not born on US soil is most certianly not eligable to be the Preisdent of the US.

      November 14, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
    • hippypoet

      to ed and chuckles, if i remember correctly, if you are having both citizens as parents and are born not on us soil you are still considered to be a citizen as long as you are back in the us by age whatever... but since you were born elsewhere, you have duel citizenship – not an uncommon thing... now if your parents are only half citizens, dad is mom isn't, or vice versa, then you must be born here in the us... again, this is according to menory – normally my memory serves me well, while other times... i end up running towards the cops instead of away! it was the lights, they called me to them!

      November 14, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
    • Ed

      @Chuckles.

      That is the exact words form the Consti-tution. Copy and pasted from the following site http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/consti-tution_transcript.html.
      Its why the birters were allways wrong about the soil thing. He was a citizen either way. As for arnold he is not a natural citzen either way. He is a naturlized citizen of the USA he is a natural citizen of Austria and therfore can not be president, unless they amend the Consti-tution.

      Comrade Obama's mom was a citizen so he was too. Regardless of were he was born. I also verified this with a lawyer I know. The Birther's were always wrong. Thats why the supreme court woull hear ther arguements. They didn't matter.
      Even ief he had lived abaiord his entire childhood he could have returned to the USA with in a set period of time after turning 18 and claimed his rightful citizenship and become president.

      November 14, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      @Chuckles,

      I may need to clarify, but I think we're comparing apples and oranges.

      Issue # 1
      Two people who have legally immigrated (student visa, green card, asylum, etc) have a child. Child should be born a citizen of the nation that their parents are from. One or both parent(s) then go through the process of becoming citizens and list their child, who then becomes a citizen of the United States.

      Issue #2
      One immigrant (legal or illegal), one U.S. Citizen have a child. Child is automatically a citizen because one parent is. If parent is illegal, that parent should be deported but the child can stay in the U.S. with citizen parent.

      Issue # 3
      Two illegal immigrants have a child. Child is NOT a citizen, but a citizen of whatever country the parents are from. Parents and a child(ren) are deported. Child has to go through immigration process like everyone else.

      Issue #4
      Both parents are U.S. citizens. Child is a U.S. citizen.

      It's a fairly simple procedure, non?

      November 14, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
    • Free

      My intention was for you to put yourself in today's immigrant's shoes by suggesting where you would be today had this restriction been in place back then. The point is that those suggesting that greater restrictions be put in place now are forgetting how fortunate they actually are, and really ought to have empathy for illegals. Their own ancestors wouldn't have been allowed to land under the restrictions they want now. Maybe they ought to imagine being Europeans, Asians, or even Latinos who can only dream of coming here now?

      November 14, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
    • hippypoet

      @Free, well that won't work becaue if we do what you suggest then i say you aren't going back far enough! I say the only people to have true rights to this country as those who walked here, and there desendants...A.K.A. "Native Americans" i put the name in quotations becuase they aren't native either... no human is native to this land! But thats your point taken i think perhaps too far... HEHE

      November 14, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
    • Chuckles

      Well I can see you're a big fan of Obama......

      Firstly, the Supreme Court wouldn't see the case because he was clearly a US citizen born in Hawaii, so that wasn't an issue regardless of how many people want to stamp their feet and say otherwise. The point of the wording of "natural citizen" was a way to defend against a foreign artistocrat immigrating to the US and then using money and influence to acheive presidency and insit.tuting a monarchy. The term has yet to actually be defined though and so in effect we're both correct because the Supreme Court hasn't actually come down on one side or another. As of yet, we haven't had a president who was not born on US soil, so the question has never had to be answered, however the birthers had a solid point even if their basis was faulty because obama was born in Hawaii.

      November 14, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Damian,

      Here are the problems in your statement.
      Issue #2 I don't think necessarily exists with an illegal immigrant because, if you are born of one US citizen, it doesn't matter who the other parent was, regardless of status of immigration.

      with Issue #1 it's a little more sticky but as of now a child is a US citizen of born on US soil, but by your standards what if the child is born of two parents who have immigrated legally but are then deported before they can obtain citizenship? would that child then technically not be a citizen of any country? I don't know a lot about other citizenship policies in other countries (other than israel, which I know you can become a citizen in less than a week if you can prove jewish heritage) but in this instance if this kid loses his citizenship because his parents are deported and goes to back the home country, then the child can't travel anywhere outside of that country untill obtaining some form of citizenship right?

      Issue #3 sort of addresses this problem, but I'm fairly certain you do not automatically gain citizenship of your parents country the way you can in America, I am stateing that with ignorance and I might be way off, but as far as I know from the people of foreign decent that I know of can easily obtain dual citizenship of the their parents country, but are not automatically citizens upon birth in other countries. This is where we have issues, because if we take away the citizenship of these "anchor" babies, then they fall immediately into the cracks of people without citizenship and somethng tells me that if illegal immigrants are spending everything they have in order to make it across the border, they won't have the money or time to go to the citizenship office to get their child's citizenship straightened out for a while.

      November 14, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      @ Free,

      I understand what you are saying. But things have changed. I can understand people want to come here. There's a LOOOOONG waiting list, simply because the United States cannot support everyone who is here legally, let alone everyone who wants to come here. I think the whole debt ceiling argument this summer was proof of that. We also have to remember that it's not only Mexican/Latin American people who want to come here. There are people from all over the world who want to come here. So we have to have a system in order to let them in, and that system, like all systems have to change as time goes on. There are a lot more people than there were back in the day, and so we have to be restrictive. Unfortunately, "them's the breaks" and everyone has to be patient and wait their turn.

      hippypoet

      @Free, well that won't work becaue if we do what you suggest then i say you aren't going back far enough! I say the only people to have true rights to this country as those who walked here, and there desendants...A.K.A. "Native Americans" i put the name in quotations becuase they aren't native either... no human is native to this land! But thats your point taken i think perhaps too far... HEHE

      @Hippy,

      Most Native Americans had no system of ownership. Therefore, the land wasn't "stolen" from them like a lot of people claim. Were they taken advantage of? Undoubtedly. Were atrocities committed against them? Absolutely. But was it stolen? Well, in order to have something stolen, you have to own it initially.

      November 14, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
    • hippypoet

      @ Damian, i never said stolen... but i think if we are going to look at immigrants and if there babies have citizenship... then i think we should start at the beganing. I think its easy to see how all these arguments as very valid but go against us if we argue for the Native peoples right to citizenship compared to us!

      November 14, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
    • hippypoet

      so inshort after much thought, i think its HIGH time we rewrite some of these laws, which is allowed by our system of government, just because the law had a purpose doesn't mean it still does and therefore should be looked at with "angry eyes" lol sry, i watched toy story with my 5 yr old last night! .... swap out angry eyes for scrutiny. LOL

      November 14, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      @Chuckles

      "Issue #2 I don't think necessarily exists with an illegal immigrant because, if you are born of one US citizen, it doesn't matter who the other parent was, regardless of status of immigration."

      Agreed. I was just stating all of the possible combinations (that I could think of) to be clear.

      "with Issue #1 it's a little more sticky but as of now a child is a US citizen of born on US soil, but by your standards what if the child is born of two parents who have immigrated legally but are then deported before they can obtain citizenship?"
      would that child then technically not be a citizen of any country? I don't know a lot about other citizenship policies in other countries (other than israel, which I know you can become a citizen in less than a week if you can prove jewish heritage) but in this instance if this kid loses his citizenship because his parents are deported and goes to back the home country, then the child can't travel anywhere outside of that country untill obtaining some form of citizenship right?"

      I'm not certain as to the citizenship laws of other countries, but at the risk of sounding uncaring, it's not really America's problem. It is neither the implied nor direct mandate of the United States to make sure every child in the world has citizenship. That is the problem of the parents. This is merely a solution to the anchor baby problem. Right now, we have a problem with illegal immigrants having "anchor babies" and believing that by virtue of the fact that they can "insert tab A into slot B" that they should be afforded a great privilege that many great men and women have died to grant. At further risk of sounding magnanimous, it's almost an insult to them to take advantage of a system in an attempt to circu.mvent the laws that we have.

      Think of the immigration line as like the lines at Disneyland or any amusement park. "Line jumping for any reason will result in being expelled from the park without a refund."

      November 14, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @All y'all in this discussion

      Basically I think we can all agree that we need to target employers who are hiring illegal aliens and taking advantage of that status to pay well below minimum wage. If an illegal immigrant can not find any work in America, it'll make it a lot harder to motivate them to come over in the first place. I also agree that immigration law may need to be rewritten or tweaked, but we need to get tough with US businesses first before dismissing them and going straight for illegal immigrants who are just looking for the American dream.

      November 14, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
    • Free

      hippypoet
      Since we are talking about American law why extend the principle beyond the forming of this nation? We were free and footloose with immigration in the beginning when most who came here were white, anglo-saxons, but after the first 'grandfathers' were established we started to voice concerns over the proceeding waves of newcomers. It started with the Irish, then good folks like Helen Keller warned of the 'yellow peril', and now we have concerns over Latinos. It seems like some in every generation want to keep America for themselves by closing the doors to the next wave. Kinda selfish, isn't it?

      November 14, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      @Hippy,

      Yup, I wasn't implying that you were one of those people. Sorry if it came off that way. I was more making a general statement about the people who use the tired, "You're all immigrants! Only Native Americans have a right...blahblahblah!" It's a silly argument meant to rip away from the actual discussion.

      November 14, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Damian

      First, I never realized Disneyland was that harsh (never been, you see, though I hear its magical). But here's I guess where our views differ as a matter of opinion. You see a lot of these anchor babies as parents trying to take advantage of the system and it shouldn't be America's problem if the child was born on US soil or not. If the child does not have a US parent, they are not a US citizen. As I see it, it's the parents trying to give their kid the best life possible by granting them the best citizenship in the world and bestowing upon their child the chance of opportunity that they might have in their own country of origin. We're a nation of immigrants and I think that's one of America's best qualities. If it were just up to the parents, I'm hesitant to say there might be an epidiemic of nationless children, having many parents gambled everything on trying to make it to America and lost.
      Again you'll ask, "why is it America's problem?" Honest answer: It isn't, but I guess same can be said about anything that happens outside of America's borders that doesn't have direct effect on America or America's interests. Should we send aid to countries in Sub-Saharan Africa? Should we advocate for human rights within China? I'm not saying that by your above statement implies you are against these measures, but its for those reasons that I'm also concerned over the welfare of "anchor" babies that could wind up nationless and without any official comunity all because the parent wanted their child to be a part of the greatest country in the world and did everything in their power to make that happen.

      November 14, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
    • hippypoet

      FREE, now your hitting on why i went there... we as a country are generally selfish people... so i took the people who lived here before us who were generally not even close to being selfish and compared them to us for the current laws of citizenship would include them if they are still alive and i think they moreso then any-other should have more say in everything that goes down in this country! I am part of the Seminole tribe...not a very large part, its less then a tenth but its there, and i think about it alot when stuff like this comes up. WHEN PEOPLE ASK, WHO IS THE REAL AMERICANS? i answer, those that came before and were killed off so your people could live. Then i ask if they, if they were still here, get a say in anything???!!!

      November 14, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
    • hippypoet

      LOL, yes Damian it is a very silly argument to have when being serious... but i have a need to go there or else i don't think any of us truly understand the implications and results of the laws as they are and how we would try to make them when rewritten. just thoughts that often go nowhere....lol

      November 14, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
    • Ed

      @Chuckles,

      I admit not a big fan on Obama but its becasue I don't like his politics, He is a socialist I'm not. I don't care what his religion or skin color are. Nor do I care where is father was born, or his fathers religion or race. I don't like him for very good reasons I disagree with his politics therefore I don't want him to win again.

      November 14, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
    • Free

      DamianKnight
      If we cannot sustain the population we now have then you have a point in there being limits that ought to be enforced. Yet, the argument can also be made that if this were the case then what hope do our present citizens have in living the American Dream? Either people will need to reevaluate their goals, or resources and wealth will have to be redistributed, right?

      As to the issue of Native-American 'ownership' of the land however you are using mere semantics to argue your case. Tribes regularly fought over territory, so perhaps the proper term is not 'stolen', but 'taken forcibly'? Under the concept of "eminent domain" the government can force you off your land so that it can use it for "the public good," like to build a road, airport or run power lines which isn't very different from how the indians were treated. Now, if this were to happen to you, and you were evicted from your ancestral home, wouldn't you feel wronged?

      November 14, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      @Chuckles

      I think this is where we are going to disagree. We WERE a nation of immigrants. But most people in this country have been here through several generations. For instance, I know some of my family immigrated from Germany. Great. Do I consider myself German? No. Do I have anything to do with Germany? Not really. Been there once and it was nice. But I went with a passport. I'm not German. I'm American. And my family has been for seven to eight generations.

      I don't have a problem with people wanting to give their children the best possible life. Anyone would do that. Where I have a problem is when people abuse the system. That's what they're doing. To me, it's just short of STEALING. And it's a slap in the face to those who legally want to come and be here. Basically, it's rewarding those who break the rules and causing those who want to obey the rules to suffer.

      Here's an example. Do you realize that if the Department of Homeland Security wants to, they can come in and search my house at any time to make sure my wife and I are still legally married and we're not scamming the system to get her access to the United States? That's perfectly fine. But if we do a raid on a factory that employs hundreds of illegal immigrants, we have Al Sharpton, the ACLU and every other "human rights" group jumping up and down and screaming unfair? So basically, my wife and I did things legally, we get scrutinized, but if you violate the law, well, we'll defend to the death your right to do so and continue to do so! Do you not see how absolutely absurd that is?

      "Again you'll ask, "why is it America's problem?" Honest answer: It isn't, but I guess same can be said about anything that happens outside of America's borders that doesn't have direct effect on America or America's interests. Should we send aid to countries in Sub-Saharan Africa?"

      The above is a totally separate argument that really has nothing to do with the discussion. I'm not talking about sending financial aid to countries in need, or looking for human rights. What I'm saying is, let's enforce the laws WE have. Also, if we close up these loopholes people are using, they wouldn't take that gamble and come here and try to scam our laws, because it wouldn't work. Hold people responsible for their decisions. And realize that sometimes the decisions we make have negative effects on others. Those negative consequences should be thought of before making any decision. This is about personal responsibility.

      November 14, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Ed

      Just making an observation. I think we have different definitions of what socialism is, but that's a debate for another forum. To address this specific issue I was merely just stating that being a "natural citizen" is widely regarded as having to be born on US soil and not just a US citizen who is 35 or older and a 14 year resident. Since we have yet to have a person run for president who is not a natural born citizen, the question is moot until that day. I also maintain that the Supreme Court didn't hear the birther case against obama because he's clearly a citizen born in Hawaii and it doesn't matter what the meaning of natural born citizen means in his instance.

      November 14, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Damian

      Interesting.... See, I consider myself fully American and I think I'm 5th generation at this point, however as you have pointed out and what I will also is that we have a country of origin to trace our roots from. Take any other person and they try to trace their lineage to being on the first people in that country, Americans on the other hand all come from somewhere else and are proud of their heritgage even if they have nothing that binds them there (I'm Russian/Romanian, but I couldn't point to my great-grandmothers village on a map even if I really tried).

      As for your second part, again it's a matter of perspective but I have to say that if the gov. raided a facility housing 100's of illegal immigrants, the ACLU might complain....keyword being might, but those illegal immigrants would be deported. You on the other hand getting raided would have nothing to worry about it but still endure the same treatment as the people who ARE getting raided when not hosting illegal immigrants, because there are a great many people who marry foriegners to simply get them a green card and then divorce them. There will always be loopholes and I agree insofar as we should fix those loopholes so people can't take advantage. Personally I think we should target businesses, that are completely legal and easy to get a warrent for if they are suspected of employing illegal immigrants and shutting down businesses and areas that host illegal immigrants as a detterant to people trying to make it here illegally. You are targetting the border and citizenship laws. I guess I would rather hold Americans more accountable for creating these opportunites rather than shift the blame solely on people who just want to make a better life for themselves in anyway possible.

      As to my Africa/China argument, I think it pertains to the discussion at hand. What you're saying is that if we seal our borders completely and create a group indirectly of nationless children doesn't that concern us as much as human rights in china or aid in africa if not more? I mean, your original question of "why is this america's problem?" applies to a bunch of situations around the world that might beg the same question.

      November 14, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      "If we cannot sustain the population we now have then you have a point in there being limits that ought to be enforced. Yet, the argument can also be made that if this were the case then what hope do our present citizens have in living the American Dream? Either people will need to reevaluate their goals, or resources and wealth will have to be redistributed, right?"

      I think you just touched on the Occupy Group's complaint.

      Well, if the government declared my home to be demolished for the betterment of public good, then they'd have to compensate me the fair market value. Would I dislike it? Probably. But this whole argument is semantics. The Native Americans are never going to get all of their land back. This was done hundreds of years ago. That's the way history shaped out. We need to press forward and look at the now. And I think we've learned some things from history, but this is no longer Native American land. It's American soil. Is that sad for the Native Americans? Absolutely. But it's time to take what lessons can be learned from what happened and move on.

      November 14, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
    • Free

      hippypoet
      No offense to you and your ancestors, but even they fought against rival tribes to protect what they had for themselves, right? Survival is a selfish instinct, but that's not to say that it's wrong-minded. How should we judge anyone who just gives away his people's land, livelihood and possessions without a fight, leaving them dest.itute?

      I see the merit behind both sides of this issue, but I find the rhetoric that demonizes illegals as criminals who are doing something unthinkable just a little hypocritical considering the lengths our ancestors went to in order to get here. I see little difference between going over a fence to escape the hardships of a communist country and the hardships of a poor one. Oughtn't we have compassion for both refugees?

      November 14, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      @Chuckles

      Just because I have nothing to worry about doesn't mean it's not an invasion of privacy by the federal government. Simply because my wife and I are truly married and not scamming the system, doesn't make me feel like any less of a criminal when DHS agents show up and go searching through my bedroom for no reason other than my wife wasn't born in this country. Now, to be clear, this has never happened, but the point is, it could. However, when I married her, I accepted that as a condition. Remember what I said about making decisions and accepting consequences? This is one of them.

      I agree with you regarding targeting businesses, but a better question is, why not target all of them? Go after the smugglers, the people, the businesses, etc. But more focus needs to be paid to the businesses, I will undeniably agree with you.

      As to my Africa/China argument, I think it pertains to the discussion at hand. What you're saying is that if we seal our borders completely and create a group indirectly of nationless children doesn't that concern us as much as human rights in china or aid in africa if not more? I mean, your original question of "why is this america's problem?" applies to a bunch of situations around the world that might beg the same question.

      I agree that the question could be applied to many different places, so we have to look at individual cases and see what we can do. I think helping out Africa and China are much more important than helping every illegal immigrant scam the system by having a clan. In my opinion, helping every child to have citizenship "somewhere" and America by default, isn't something the United States should be involved in. Let the parents have to make those decisions and let them know the consequences. And then, when they get caught and start crying about unfairness, we just say, "Don't do the crime if you can't do the time."

      November 14, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
    • Free

      DamianKnight
      "But it's time to take what lessons can be learned from what happened and move on."
      Ah, would that lesson be "Don't let the foreigners just settle the land without a fight, lest WE end up being treated like WE treated the indians." I think many people see the lesson as one where strength took the land in the beginning, and strength is needed to keep the land now. Had the indians not been at a technological disadvantage then they could have prevented our settlement just as we ought to be able to figure out a way to keep illegals out now. In short, we see ourselves as the 'natives' now and the illegals arriving on our shores as harbingers of our demise, right?

      November 14, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Damian

      Correct me if I'm wrong, but for DHS to come and legally search your place, they would need a search warrent, which could only be granted if there is just cause. I don't think a couple of DHS agents could show up and search your place just because they felt like it.

      Targeting everyone makes sense, until you look at the resources we have and realize we have to hone in on specific issues which will hopefully help regulate everything else. I agree that if we had the resources, we should target businesses, illegal immigrants, smugglers and so on but it isn't feasible. This might just be a bugaboo of mine, but I HATE when people don't take responsibility for wrongs and mistakes. From what I'm hearing from the conservative ilk in this country is its better to target the outsiders rather than get our own hosue in order. If we want to get sort of religious on this here forum instead of just political, this is one of my biggest gripes with the adam and eve story. Who's fault is it really that eve ate the apple? Eve, or god who left a person who is ostenibly a dimwit next to an easily accesibly tree with lowhanging gruit to be picked and eaten and place a restriction without security around the tree? Clearly this isn't a perfect analogy for a host of reasons, but it helps at least explain my rationale I guess.

      As to the last part, let me be clear when I say that I don't expect America to help and be lenient with illegal immigrants, my only concern is the children who are unwilling partcipants and are the ones that become Americas problem through direct or indirect policy and law. Nationless children aren't by default America's problem, but we can't just ignore the issue either, especially when a lot of these babies might be in this problem as a direct consequence of American policy or law. right?

      November 14, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      @Chuckles,

      "Correct me if I'm wrong, but for DHS to come and legally search your place, they would need a search warrent, which could only be granted if there is just cause. I don't think a couple of DHS agents could show up and search your place just because they felt like it."

      That is incorrect. This was what I was getting at. Because my wife was brought in on a green card based on marriage (we got married, that was the reason for the green card), the DHS can show up at any time they want, day or night, 24/7, 365 (and they can even show up next year on Feb 29th if they want!) and go through our home to ensure we are not scamming the system. They don't need any sort of warrant, because essentially they have consent due to the paperwork we signed. If we hadn't signed it, they would have denied her application and she would have had to go back to Canada.

      To your next point, if I understand your point, you believe we should focus on the employers the most. Fair enough. I can respect that idea. But I think if we're going to go that way, we should also focus on landlords, real estate vendors, and auto dealers. We should also work internally by changing that the DMV shouldn't issue driver's licenses. All of these things will ensure we deal with the problem.

      I suppose for me, nationless children are not really an American problem. Like you said, not every country allows for birth citizenship. How do they handle it? Can't we mimic their policies? We can't force a country to grant citizenship to anyone, but does that mean the children should automatically get ours just to make sure they don't go nationless? That, to me, almost seems like make them American by default and I don't agree with that.

      November 14, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Damian

      Not sure if you're going to come back to this thread, but with my insatiable need to get a last word in, I wanted to answer you.

      I am a little surprised that of DHS wanted to come search your house they wouldn't need any sort of warrent or at least some just cause. In any event, I almost certain that the only way to incur the wrath of DHS is by doing something that points to you and your wife trying to work the system to get her citizenship. My guess is neither of you are and although you have the vulnerability of being searched by DHS, you won't because you haven't done anything to attract attention and even if you were you'd pass with flying colors.

      Secondly, I again, agree, I guess it's all about prioritization. If you focus on businesses that hire illegal aliens, landords, autodealers, real estate people and so on won't do business with them simply because they don't have a job and can't show proof they'll be able to afford it. Of course there are illegal immigrants who have come here with money and could essentially bypass that but it would be the first step at least.

      Lastly, I'm not sure what other country's policies are on birth citizenship, I honestly thought, and I may be way off, that every country has some law in place that grants citizenship to every child born within the country, though I'm not sure about children born of a national outside of the country. I think it would be a good idea to mimic other policies, but who's? And I also think you missed my point slightly, as of now no one automatically gets American citizenship if they're born nationless, my concern was for consequences of children born on American soil after a law change and so are born in America but are not granted citizenship, I hardly think that qualifies as "default" status.

      November 15, 2011 at 10:50 am |
    • DamianKnight

      @Chuckles,

      Yes, you are correct. As I've said, the DHS has never been to my house. They really don't have the manpower or resources to go after every suburban family who has an immigrant in the household. We have to let them know when we move, and that's about as much contact as we have with them, other than when her green card is set to expire (which has only happened once after the initial meeting.) As you said, we are still vulnerable and really they wouldn't find anything interesting, but the point is, that it CAN happen. And if it did, it wouldn't even make the news. But I remember when ICE (Immigration and Citizenship Enforcement) showed up at an elementary school when it was letting out and started arresting people. Obviously, this was a longterm investigation, but it caused a HUGE local complaint from the residents. Funnily enough, there was an 89% attrition rate the next day. Hmmm...what does that tell us?

      My point was merely that I feel like I'm being "criminalized" and no one says a thing, but if illegals are caught here, they (and by "they" I mean the immigrants themselves, plus human rights groups, etc) cause a huge stink about how unfair it is.

      I think we are in agreement that we do need to prioritize. To me, it's like the cops focusing on busting the small-time drug dealers and not going after the people bringing in the drugs in huge quanti.ties.

      And to your last point, I can see what you're saying. My only point was, it is not America's responsibility to make sure everyone has citizenship somewhere. We should only be concerned about our own citizenship. And if that leaves a child "nationless", well, that's the parents prerogative to make sure that their children have a country of origin.

      November 15, 2011 at 11:24 am |
  20. Passive Agressive

    Comment 239

    November 14, 2011 at 12:43 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.