Immigration: the unforgivable sin?

When I share the story of how brutal the path to citizenship is for us, people are often shocked.

We are not what people have in mind when they think of ‘immigrants.’  We are white. We speak English. We have graduate level degrees. And yet even for us, as documented workers, it sometimes seems nearly impossible that we will be able to gain permanent residency. The path is so much narrower and steeper than people realize, so we speak up.

I speak up because I would love legal residency to be more easily within our reach. As a mom, it would give me so much peace of mind to know we could continue to build a life in the U.S. with our children. But mostly, I speak up because I can. As a legal immigrant, I have a first-hand perspective on just how harsh the current legislation can be, and I also have the freedom to speak about it without fear of being deported.

And so I speak and write in favor of equitable and reasonable immigration reform. I believe it is the right thing to do ethically, and it is the wise thing to do socially and economically. However, whenever I raise the issue I am met with this response: “We’re not objecting to you — because you got here legally and have obeyed all the laws. We are objecting to all the law-breakers who are here illegally: if they disrespected the law, they should not be rewarded for it!”

I am never quite sure how to respond.(Read the rest over at Sojourners….)

3 thoughts on “Immigration: the unforgivable sin?

  1. I teach a seminar on World War Two and the German American Experience. One things that legal immigrants should be aware of. If the president goes to the Senate and asks for a declaration of war and the request is granted, all citizens of the belligerent country, regardless of immigration status, find their legal status changed to civilian enemy alien. They can be restricted, detained and deported at the government’s whim. I know that sounds unrealistic, but it is true and it has been part of our legal heritage since 1788. Ludecke v. Watkins was a WW2 Supreme Court case which codified this. I attend Christ Church in Moscow Idaho. You can inquire of my bona fides there and if you want more information on the subject, contact the German American Internee Coalition for more information. I have linked their web address.

    • Robert, I had no idea that was true! Would that be true for green card holders too, since they are not yet citizens? Or would imminent deportation/restriction apply only to legal aliens? I hadn’t thought much about this possibility, but living in California with the Japanese camps last century I suppose I should have made the connection….

      • I don’t want to be overly alarmist, but green card holders would not be immune from being reclassified as an enemy alien. The good news is that it hasn’t happened since 1941 but it is still legally possible. If you have a kindle, buy a book entitled, Fear Itself by. Stephen Fox. It is about $6. Read two legal cases. Google Ludecke v. Watkins and Meyer v. Nebraska. I am hoping that The Lord will allow me to do a couple of homeschool lectures on the subject that I can record and post online. If you or your readers have more questions, that is what I am here for.

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