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April 23, 2010

Arizona Gov. Signs Strict Immigration Law

Gov. Jan Brewer of Arizona today signed an immigration bill into law that would make the failure to carry immigration documents a crime. The law would also allow power to detain anyone suspected of being an illegal immigrant.

The New York Times
reports that Democratic politicians are wary of taking up legislation before the fall elections. House leaders have said that the they would be willing to take up immigration policy if the Senate produces a bill first.

Senate majority leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada), who also faces re-election, has pledged to pass an energy measure, and the Senate will likely hold confirmation proceedings this summer for a Supreme Court nominee.

After the jump, various evangelical groups respond to the legislation.

Rev. Jim Wallis, president and CEO of Sojourners

“The law signed today by Arizona Gov. Brewer is a social and racial sin, and should be denounced as such by people of faith and conscience across the nation. It is not just about Arizona, but about all of us, and about what kind of country we want to be. It is not only mean-spirited – it will be ineffective and will only serve to further divide communities in Arizona, making everyone more fearful and less safe. This radical new measure, which crosses many moral and legal lines, is a clear demonstration of the fundamental mistake of separating enforcement from comprehensive immigration reform. Enforcement without reform of the system is merely cruel. Enforcement without compassion is immoral. Enforcement that breaks up families is unacceptable. This law will make it illegal to love your neighbor in Arizona, and will force us to disobey Jesus and his gospel. We will not comply.”

Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference

"Today, Arizona stands as the state with the most xenophobic and nativist laws in the country. We need a multi-ethnic firewall against the extremists in our nation who desire to separate us rather than bring us together. Shame on you Arizona Republicans and shame on you Senator John McCain for endorsing the legislation.

We call upon RNC Chairman Michael Steele to condemn this new law or Hispanic Americans will read the silence as a de facto endorsement and a purview of what will come if the GOP takes over Congress in 2010. Second, we call upon Attorney General Eric Holder to review this legislation since it’s clearly a violation of constitutionally protected civil rights. If you are Hispanic in Arizona, you just became a suspect and open to police harassment. We call upon all Latinos and immigrants who are citizens in Arizona to defend their constitutionally protected rights.”

New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good

“Throughout the Bible, God commands us in no uncertain terms to show kindness and hospitality to the foreigner and the stranger. The deplorable anti-immigrant legislation signed by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer flouts these commandments by mandating racial profiling, criminalizing ministry to undocumented immigrants, separating immigrant families, and exacerbating a climate of fear and suspicion that pits neighbor against neighbor. We join with Evangelicals and people of conscience everywhere in denouncing this wholly unbiblical and immoral law.”

Comments

So we know what the Evangelical left has to say about this bill. The Evangelical right should have a position on this issue as well. Additionally, we would be better off if statements from both sides didn't merely deal in platitudes but instead actually wrestled with the relevant biblical texts.


IF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WONT ENFORCE IMMIGRATION LAWS--STATES WILL.

Legal citizens who jumped through hoops are welcome--but illegal immigrants will not get any Amnesty--leading to citizenship.
Arizona Govern Jan Brewer has more--SPINE--than the majority of our politicians, to fight the overpowering onslaught of illegal immigration. She signed the 1070 immigration bill. Arizona a border state is rampant with murders, home invasion, kidnappings, rapes, assaults and one of the highest crime rates, by illegal immigrants. Its ignorance and indifference of Washington to enforce our immigration laws. In fact they have purposely under funded them. San. Harry Reid (D-NV) is not being outed just for health care reform, but being a puppet of open border-special interests groups? LETS MAKE THAT CLEAR.One thing for absolutely sure, desperate illegal alien families will be fleeing Arizona, for more greener pastures such as California. Seeing California is a Refuge state for illegal foreigners and already has the largest illegal population in Unites States other than New York. Now starving for billions of dollars, California will have to amend there own enforcement laws to stop the massive migration or pay a heavy price in extorting more money from taxpayers. Then there is always Utah, Texas, New Mexico or even farther states such as Washington. ONE THINGS FOR SURE, THAT THEY MAY PASS SOME FORMULATION OF IMMIGRATION REFORM. BUT AMERICA WILL FIGHT TOOTH AND NAIL THAT NO "PATH--TO--CITIZENSHIP" FOR THOSE WHO CAME HERE ILLEGALLY. I am personally a tea partier a moderate Conservative and definitely not a Democrat and Republicans.-and illegal immigration is the no.1 priority to me, and must be stopped for good.

What does the evangelical right think?

Check out this press release: http://faithinpubliclife.org/content/press/2010/04/major_religious_groups_condemn.html

Dr. Jim Tolle, Senior Pastor, The Church On The Way

"As Christians, Jesus Christ asks his followers to be both law-abiding citizens, as well as people who are to love their neighbors as themselves. This includes the immigrant.

To benefit from the labor of the immigrant yet reject them from being participants in society is both a contradiction and thoroughly unchristian.

I believe the time has come to fully challenge any laws which run contrary to what the Founders of this nation had in mind when they stated that all people 'are created equal...by their Creator with inherent and inalienable rights.'

To sign this bill into law in Arizona only adds further confusion and polarization between the peoples God has created in his image and which this nation has sought so diligently to bring together and heal."

arjohnson6, the law doesn't affect LEGAL immigrants, just ILLEGAL ones. In other words, it's stopping people from breaking the law. As Pastor Tolle said, "'As Christians, Jesus Christ asks his followers to be both law-abiding citizens, as well as people who are to love their neighbors as themselves.'" You're focusing on the second part of that statement and ignoring the first part. People who come into the United States illegally are NOT law-abiding citizens. As soon as they cross the border, they are breaking the law. In other words, a quote you used to support your argument is also an effective counter to your argument. You've essentially helped me argue against you.

Oh, and before you try to use the current favorite argument that the police will accuse anybody who looks Hispanic of being here illegally, it specifically states that only those who actually commit crimes will be questioned.

The issue really goes beyond right and left, conservative or liberal. The law strikes a very real blow to human rights and human dignity and as such should concern any Christian who truly believes that all people are made in the image of God.

Specifically, the law allows law enforcement to stop anyone on the mere suspicion that they are an illegal alien and thus opens a wide door for potential abuse. Legal residents and citizens can be detained if they don't have proof of status; this is a de facto assumption of guilt unless and until innocence is proven. That alone stands our legal system on its head and ought to give pause, not to mention the counsel of Scripture on the treatment of the poor, the outcast and the alien.

So John L, are you saying that the rapes, assaults, murders, etc. that are committed by illegals should go on unchecked? Because that's what it sounds like to me. This law should prove highly effective in fighting illegal immigration and will drastically reduce the amount of violent crimes committed in the state of Arizona. I only hope more border states follow suit.

Also, like I told arjohnson6, the law states that, when people are stopped for things like traffic violations, officers will verify they are legal citizens of the United States. Despite the pathetic lie that many liberals are spreading, no one is just going to look around for somebody with brown skin and say, "You're probably here illegally! You're going to jail!" That is an attempt to use emotions to manipulate average people into fighting against this legislation.

Our prisons are filled with 1/3 illegal aliens. Imagine the money saved if they were sent back to Mexico. Actually, I read that our own prison guards are against sending them back, fearing for their jobs. But I think it's time we start thinking of our country and not special interest groups within our country. We need to send them back to Mexico, not provide free breakfasts and lunches for their kids, scholarships to colleges, free medical care, and on and on, while our own citizens are denied the schlarships and medical care. We need to make our own products in this country and to buy them, and put Americans to work. The money saved on sending them back would more than cover the people who are not covered by insurance in this country and save us from the horrible obama healthcare plan.

So John L, are you saying that the rapes, assaults, murders, etc. that are committed by illegals should go on unchecked

You know very well that's not what I'm saying. Our society already has very good laws for dealing with criminal behavior and I'm certainly in favor of using those.

What I am saying is that opening the door to arbitrary arrest and indiscriminate detainment as this law does is a step in the wrong direction for our society and a step away from biblical principles, and probably from American ideals as well, though the latter are not nearly as important as the ideals of the kingdom of God as expressed in God's word.

The problem is that the good laws are not being enforced because of people who believe that these people coming to the US illegally should be treated with kindness and respect although they are knowingly breaking the law.

Also, how can you be so sure that indiscriminate detainment will occur? Someone will have to actually break a law before they are stopped. Even then, they will need to show signs of being here illegally. When you think about it, for a traffic violation, you usually have to show identification. How can you say positively that this will be much different? If someone is here legally and has identification, they won't have anything to worry about.

While we are supposed to treat others with kindness, we are also supposed to obey the law. In fact, as far as I'm concerned, anyone who is confirmed to have been helping to keep illegals from being caught should be arrested and charged with either conspiracy to commit a felony, aiding and abetting, or at least being an accessory to a crime.

As someone IN Arizona, I want to thank Governor Brewer for her courage and strength in signing this law. This article is much like the modern American Church in which ideology has replaced truth as the template for Christian behavior.

The Bible also makes it clear that when Joshua was directed by God to drive the inhabitants out a little at a time--why? They were corrupt. Then, most of the rest of the Old Testament is spent warning Israel not to intermarry with their neighbors, as they would turn their hearts away. Solomon is specifically listed as having not obeyed, marrying many foreign women who did exactly that; turned his heart away.

So my response to the leftist Christians quoted in this article is a simple one: Loving the alien is not the same as allowing them to turn your country into a banana republic like Venezuela. I like my freedom and conservative neighborhood; I would like to keep it, thank you, despite my fellow "Christians" desire to promote leftist policies at every turn.

I am defending my neighborhood and way of life from those that would subvert it, and for that I will not apologize. Support for Biblical communism is nonsense, and shows that the real heart of the American Church is in fact far from God.

Tom,
America is not Israel, Arizona is not the promised land, even illegal aliens are not ancient pagan tribees, and you are not Joshua. While we're at it, do you think we should reinstitue stoning for adultery?

Tom, the article is a good one, quoting sources and certainly not preaching ideology against truth. Also, your application of the conquest of Canaan and intermarriage in the OT to illegal immigration doesn't add up. 66% of all immigrants are Christian, especially those from Latin America (Philip Jenkins, The Next Christendom); how can you compare overwhelmingly Christian immigrants to OT bans on marrying pagans, yet ignore passages that invite immigrants?

Tom, I love and respect you as a brother in Christ, but because of that I must tell you the truth: you are valuing your comfort, your "neighborhood and way of life" before the call of the Gospel to care for the alien. What does the Gospel say about defending your way of life? Christ calls us to die to self, not defend our interests! You talk of the "American Church" - tell me, is Jesus' kingdom of this world? Is Jesus' kingdom confined to a nation? Since when is the priorities of the God of the universe confined to keeping you happy, and defended, and comfortable? God is about shaking up our view of the world, shattering our preconceived, provincial understandings and showing us that His way is NOT our way.

You think immigration, legal or otherwise, will change the face of America? You bet! But the question is, will that be better or worse for the country? It causes social disruption, but is that necessarily bad? Is intermarriage with foreigners bad per se? NO! I share the blood of Swedish, English, Welsh, French, German, and Scotch people, and I declare than all the "riffraff" immigrants over the past four centuries have done the land of the United States immeasurable good.

You talk of social disruption? You would have fit well with the Nativists of the 1850's, resisting the "dangerous" influence of Irish and German immigrants threatening to upset "American" values. Well let me tell you, the immigrant values are now our values, and immigrants have just as much a right to define "American" as anyone else!

You are unfairly lumping all the illegal immigrants and their sympathizers as liberal communists, without admitting the possibility that there might be a middle way. You are demonizing your Christian brethren because of the color of their skin, not the context of their character. Latin American immigrants by and large do NOT want to make our country like Venezuela. They are more fiscally liberal on the whole than you, or even me, but they are very socially conservative! Is voting against gay marriage "liberal"? Is opposing abortion "communist"? Is professing Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior "subversive"? I hope to God that it is subversive, but only against the insane idea that America as I understand it is the measure of all things, that my culture is superior to all others in every way, and I have nothing to learn from my brothers and sisters in Christ from different cultures. You talk of corruption from intermarriage in the OT, but idolizing my vision of America is just as blasphemous as bowing before Baal.

My words are hot, for my heart is boiling, and my words overflow from my heart. But all I say not because I hate you, Tom, but because I have been their myself, thought your very thoughts, and over years God has turned me from them, slowly, gently. Perhaps my words seem to harsh, to impatient, and will only inflame you further. But I ask you to consider the radical implications of really, really, really loving your neighbor as yourself. I haven't arrived, but I'm striving towards the goal.

And by the way, I don't like illegal immigration either, but think we should raise the legal quotas considerably.

Thank goodness for a politician that has the courage to stand up and do what is right. This law is about inforcing the rules. Why have borders if anyone can cross without reprecussions? Why have laws if those that break them are rewarded through amnesty and not punished through imediate deportation? Why do we wait in line if those that cut in front are welcomed?
What are we teaching are children when we welcome lawbreakers? What would our descendents, who waited in long lines and followed the rules to become citizens, think and do?

Oh no, again I see a quote from Samuel Rodriguez. Lord have mercy! Now this is what he is quoted as saying: "We call upon all Latinos and immigrants who are citizens in Arizona to defend their constitutionally protected rights.”

Is this man serious or is he drinking too much coffe in the Church.

I think he doesn't even know what he himself is.

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To Brendan,

I have to agree with Tom on this one. I think it is funny that you say "66% of immigrants are Christians." No, actually they are Catholic and, apparently, not very good ones if they have no qualms with illegally entering our country. This isn't to say that all Catholics are not Christians, however, when the traditions outweigh the scriptures, there is a problem with that.

On both sides of this issue, we all need to understand the word ILLEGAL. What part of this word do you people not get?? ILLEGAL means breaking the law? If it is okay for people to ILLEGALLY enter my country, why should I go to jail for stealing? Just as God sees ALL sins the same, so should our government see all ILLEGAL things the same and take the appropriate action. Racism has nothing to do with it except for the fact that 90% of ILLEGAL immigrants are Hispanic. If the pot is black, call it black. Don't tell me it's gray because of your pathetic sensitivities. Grow a backbone, people!

There are no illegal people in the Kingdom of God, which believers are called to seek first. I find it sad and unfortunate that so many people who have enough interest in Christ to post on this site seem to have the kingdom of America first in their minds.

Thanks Joe. I've been trying to get that message across since this discussion started.

John L, nobody has a problem with the same people coming over legally. These people are knowingly breaking the law. I ask you to show me where in the Bible it says that we are to help those who are currently breaking the law of the land. Also, please don't use the standard response of how we need to have mercy on them. I'm asking you to precisely back up your claims biblically.

Perhaps King Powhatan should have denied Jamestown immigrants food, shelter, entry to America and assistance! Powhatan actions were more Christian like than some actions of some descendants of the Jamestown Colony immigrants calling themselves Americans today who seem bent on hate of Latinos and others often of Indian background, rather than being guided by the Church and Christian principles.

Joe, Catholics are "Christians" by definition, but Christian doesn't mean "saved." Also, language like "pathetic sensibilities" and "you people" does not befit Christian conduct. And I don't see where you disagree with me. I never said illegal immigration wasn't wrong, but rather reject Christian Nationalism, which equates national interest with God's will.

Just as God sees ALL sins the same, so should our government see all ILLEGAL things the same
I hear that all the time, but the Bible is very clear that all sins are not the same, as the OT Law gives different responses to various sins. And it's obvious that not all illegal things should get the same treatment: illegal parking is not as serious as murder.

So the question is not whether illegal acts are wrong, the question is, what is the appropriate response? If a law does not fit the crime it punishes, it is an unjust law, and (as Augustine argued) an unjust law is no law at all. I think the current law is like burning down Chicago to deal with the gangster problem: it's so disproportionate to the crime, it is an unjust law.

And with John L, I'd ask every poster to consider first not the laws of America, but the laws of God. Respecting immigration law is important, but not the most important thing. If we are so zealous to enforce US law that we destroy our brothers and sisters in Christ, are we not putting our love of nation above our love of the body of Christ? As Paul says in I Cor.6, "Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated?" Let us look to the interests of others, not merely our own interests (Phil. 2; I John 3:17). Instead of pounding fists on the word "illegal," let us consider what course of action is best for our immigrant brethren, and let the law of God guide us more than the laws of men.

Brendan, Romans 13:1 says "Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established."

@cybereagle777: "officers will verify they are legal citizens of the United States" - how will they do that? Citizens are not required to carry documentation, so by definition most people will not be immediately able to verify citizenship. What then? Well, it's already happened - a truck driver was arrested this week on suspicion of being illegal, and was in jail until his wife could get there with his (Fresno, CA) birth certificate. How many more will face that very scenario before someone suggests that it's mandatory for citizens to carry proof? Will you be upset when THAT law affects you directly?

EarleyDaysYet, I looked up the article and unfortunately cannot find a version known news site (if you'll provide the link, I'll be happy to read it). It seems like there was more to it than what was written in the article I read. Regardless, when a liberal is actually able to come up with a better idea to keep illegal immigrants from coming over and committing violent crimes (and actually enforces the law instead of claiming racism when these criminals are caught), then I'm sure everyone will be more than happy to adopt this law.

I find it interesting that so many are able to criticize the new immigration law, but can't seem to suggest a better option to be nice to people who are breaking the law by being here illegally and, in many cases, committing violent crimes against us. By the way, I'm more than happy to back up that last claim if asked.

This bill is a neo-Jim Crow fantasy that's all about running Hispanics out of the state and "liberating" their businesses, jobs and properties...and the hate group (according to the SPLC) "FAIR" drafters of the bill quite likely had that in the back of their minds.

This bill is what "states' rights" has almost always been about...privilege for some, and not for others.

I saw one of Arizona's senators, McCain, during the last election cycle, claiming that the GOP is "all about states' rights," if memory serves. So, what would you expect from a state that would elect anyone so shameless and morally corrupt enough to say that? Poor Lincoln's bones are probably revolving like a high speed turbine at what's become of the Republicans.

A man McCain's age, unless he's suffering from "Bible Belt amnesia," knows exactly what state's rights was all about when I was a kid and he was a young adult, yet he still said it...and CT, back in the day, also defended "states" rights" in its opposition to the Civil Rights movement and DR. Martin Luther King, Jr..

Brendan,

I like how you only took some of my words and used them for your response. This would equate to someone who does not use the whole counsel of God and only picks and chooses the verses he or she wants to prove their point.

My intent of "God/sins" and "Gov't/illegal" was to point out that the Gov't should see all "illegal" things as "illegal" and "take the appropriate action." It would be quite ridiculous to kill someone for parking illegally, that is why I ended that sentence with "take the appropriate action."

While you are correct that God has told us to "love your neighbor as yourself," He was speaking to believers, not the lawless. Certainly, we are to "love (our) enemies," but He also says that we should submit to the authorities placed over us because HE placed them there. That would be the whole counsel of God. You can't just say, "Oh, let's just love everybody" and let sin or lawlessness abide. And I'm really going to step on some toes here when I say that we see this problem BIG TIME with homosexuality. Yes, we should love the person as a human being, but we are not to accept or condone their sin of homosexuality. In the same vein, we can accept and love the ILLEGAL alien as a person, but we cannot accept or condone the ILLEGALITY of their actions. And that is the whole point of the debate.

And as for the person who brought up Jamestown and the Indians, give me a break. That was a whole different story that has nothing to do with anything today. Let's bring up the past to destroy the future. Yeah, that makes sense. You can argue what "should" have happened in the past until you're blue in the face. It isn't going to change the facts of today. Stick with the present. And if you really want to get technical, we "native born" Americans are the ones being overrun by the Jamestown "illegal" immigrants, so get off your high horse and submit to the law of the land.

@GP: "This bill is a neo-Jim Crow fantasy..." It is patterned after the federal law that says the same thing, the federal law that the BOH administration supports. So, are you saying the federal law after which it is patterned is a neo-Jim Crow fantasy? The AZ law, in essence, brings AZ law into line with federal law. [And whal whar at it, GP, show us your papers! 'Cus I think your'n an eeleegal immagrunt from Norway. That's what I think.] ;^]

Romans 13:3 ..rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same. It doesn't matter if they are christian or non-christian...they are ILLEGALS (ie: no taxes, no ss payments, etc..). Why should their criminal activity be "defended" by ANY church or christian??? The law does not promote "random arrests" or "lengthy unfounded detainment"...read it!

All those who are against this law should examine Mexico's immigration policy before criticizing Arizona's. Mexico is actually tougher on illegal immigrants coming across their southern border than we are.

People can make up terms like "Christian Nationalism" if they want, but this is just a smokescreen for avoiding the truth. And love for neighbor does not equal surrender to them.

Reality does not allow me the comfort to ignore the truth: western ideas of personal and economic freedom has changed the world, lifting more people out of poverty than all the activities of Church. It is true that those principles are based on Christian principles, and they only work for societies that follow them. In many places of the world, the real issue is corruption and violence.

But for those countries that choose to develop even a moderate amount on those Biblical principles, they find astounding success; Singapore, Honk Kong, Chile, and even China and to an extent the Philippines. There is no corresponding record of long-term success for other systems. That is not Christian nationalism--it is the confession of the truth of basic Biblical principle.

The problem is that the argument has been broken down into a false dichotomy. It is not a choice between love or truth. It is, according to Paul, speaking the truth in love. Neither stands alone.

I do not want to see any people suffer. But I have no power other than through the principles of the Bible to affect their behavior. What people need is a change of heart, and enabling them can do more harm than good. We certainly should not allow those who are from a corrupt and failed culture to impose themselves upon ours.

I have more than just a responsibility to the foreigner; I have a responsibility to ALL my neighbors to do and uphold those principles that are good for us all. I do not have the right to choose one over the other. James says not to choose the rich man over the poor for the best places, so what does the Church do? It chooses the poor over the rich, missing the entire point and corrupting the principle of equality.

If you want to help them, give them real help. And understand that making America into the next Mexico helps no one.

What Mexico does about immigration over it's borders doesn't matter in criticizing the Arizona law. It doesn't matter if the Arizona law is like this or that. My mother always said...just because all the other little boys are jumping off a cliff, that doesn't mean you should.

@GP: If the AZ law is like our federal law, and BOH supports the fed. law, why shouldn't he support the AZ law. I know why. It's pretty self evident.


Be VERY GENEROUS with those who do for you, what you don't like to do yourself. Because it might make you sweat and loose weight.

Like cooking on Sundays, shovel the Snow in COLD Winter days, till the Soil and do the Garden in Spring, do the Yard in HOT Summer days, rake the leaves in Autumn, pull the weeds, clean the stable, collect the vegetables, collect the thrash, clean bathrooms, mop the floors, sweep the streets, work the sweatshops to make your clothes and running shoes, etc. etc. and etc.

You don't have to like them, just LOVE them. Be Just and Fair with them. Paid them a Fair Salary, maybe even the one You would pay yourself for doing the same dirty WORK. That you don't like, or consider yourself to be above it. Because if Not James. 5:1-5 will be fulfilled in You.

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Look! The wages you failed to pay the workmen who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty.

You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter.

There are reasons why the rino Repubs and the Democrats do not want to secure the borders to our south. Cheap labor and politics come to mind. What would happen in Mexico if all of the 10-30 million illegal Mexicans returned at once - at the very least tremendous civil unrest to our south. But this is never openly addressed by either party. Why not? Also, a country like the USA cannot kill 50 million of its children over nearly 40 years of legalized abotion and expect to have an adequate labor force. Funny, this is never talked about either. The 10-30 million illegals are nothing more than replacement workers for the children legally murdered since Roe v. Wade became law. There are unintended consequences for every law passed, as the Dems are wont to remind the Repubs - I think they should listen to their own advice. There is no easy answer to this problem. We have met the enemy - and he is us.

We have met the enemy - and he is us.

Posted by: Dan at May 4, 2010


More time and resources should be INVESTED looking for, making, and keeping Friends, than what is spent or Wasted in looking for or making Enemies.


Now, question everything.


?????

REPLY TO TOM:

On April 7, 2006, the Managing Editor of CT wrote an editorial called "Blessed Is The Law - Up to a Point." Here in an excerpt:

"While security, overtaxed healthcare, and other issues also desperately need to be addressed, CT thinks legislative reform should give some slack to those who have entered our land illegally. Some will remain unconvinced. But it seems to us that those who remain unconvinced have to do more than merely proclaim the supremacy of law-and-order. They have to explain, in the face of the biblical teaching to extend hospitality to the stranger and succor to the suffering, why the law of man should reign supreme in this instance."

Here is the link: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2006/aprilweb-only/114-53.0.html?start=2

Tom, how would you answer this question? In the specific case of immigration, why should the law of man reign supreme over hospitality?

Just a word of caution. Let us not equate breaking the law as necessarily an act of disobdedience before God. Many in Germany and throughout Europe (some are still living) broke the law by hiding the Jews. They did what is morally right because Hitler's laws against the Jews and others were morally wrong. So during WWII in Germany, breaking the law to help the Jews and others was the morally right thing to do. Just because an act is legal doesn't mean that it is morally right (e.g., abortion). And just because an act is illegal doesn't mean that it is morally wrong.

Just one question for several of our posters who are against this law: do you believe that Americans who commit murder, rape, and various levels of larceny/theft should be punished?

In reading through the comments, it is apparent to me that too many of you are ignorant of what the Arizona Immigration law says. The main part of the law reads thus:

“For any lawful contact made by a law enforcement official or a law enforcement agency of this state or a law enforcement official or a law enforcement agency of a county, city, town or other political subdivision of this state where reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States, a reasonable attempt shall be made, when practicable, to determine the immigration status of the person, except if the determination may hinder or obstruct an investigation. Any person who is arrested shall have the person's immigration status determined before the person is released. The person's immigration status shall be verified with the Federal Government pursuant to 8 United States Code Section 1373(c). A law enforcement official or agency of this state or a county, city, town or other political subdivision of this state may not solely consider race, color or national origin in implementing the requirements of this subsection except to the extend permitted by the United States or Arizona Constitution. A person is presumed to not be an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States if the person provides to the law enforcement officer or agency any of the following:
1.A valid Arizona driver license.
2.A valid Arizona non-operating identification license.
3.A valid tribal enrollment card or other form of tribal identification.
4.If the entity requires proof of legal presence in the United State before issuance, any valid United States federal, state or local government issued identification."

Therefore, any person stopped while operating a vehicle is not subject to any rule above and beyond what any normal person would be subject to. As for a person who is walking or riding a bicycle, they would have to be doing something quite out of the ordinary to be stopped and questioned because people on foot or on a bicycle are rarely stopped for anything unless there has been a burglary somewhere close by.

As for showing "papers", here is what the federal law requires:

“Every alien, eighteen years of age and over, shall at all times carry with him and have in his personal possession any certificate of alien registration or alien registration receipt card issued to him pursuant to subsection (d) of this section.” (United States Code: Title 8, Chapter 12, Sub Chapter II, Part VII, SS 1304)

Now, that's the law. Is it immoral, unethical? If you think so, there is a way to change it. You would have to convince me and 60% of the country that the federal law should not be enforced as is. The Kingdom of God is not the United States or vice versa. The Kingdom of God is infinite with infinite resources. The U.S. is rich but not infinite, as time will tell when our children and our grandchildren have to deal with the mounting and unsustainable debt we have placed on them. We are not trying to keep everyone out but we have had immigration quotas for more than a century now. I think it is reasonable to check the flow and limit the number per year of immigration. Can you really prove to me that God would want us to just open our borders to anyone? I think God is interested in our nation as a whole and wants what is best for our nation. Enforcing laws where we have been lax is a hard thing to do but I think it is a reasonable thing to do and therefore, it is a moral thing to do. No one is saying we should punish the offender beyond what a reasonable punishment has been and that is to deport them. No one is saying we should do that harshly but I think it is reasonable for any person to observe the laws that are reasonble. As Christians, we should inform any illegal immigrant that they must make it right. We can say that because we know the result will not be harsh treatment or death for them as it was in Nazi Germany. Mexicans sent back to Mexico, as far as I know, are not being sent to prison there or being subjected to slavery. Yes, life is hard there, perhaps, but that is their country. They need to stay there and make it better, rather than running up here and breaking our laws to do it.

"Yes, life is hard there, perhaps, but that is their country. They need to stay there and make it better, rather than running up here and breaking our laws to do it." If you were in their position, would you? If you knew you faced nothing but grinding poverty with no hope, and your children would face the same, would you stay with some place like America so close? Don't misunderstand me, TV, I'm not advocating people breaking the law, either. I think people should obey the law. But I've asked myself that same question.

We salute the City of Tucson and Phoenix for standing up to sue the State of Arizona for this illegal bill the Arizona Governor calls a law! If she can read, the Governor may want to read the Bill of Rights, The U.S. Constitution and see numerous U.S. Supreme Court decisions about police powers, U.S. Treaties and International Law regarding U.S. citizens and guests and others from all walks of life who will not comply with such illegal acts by criminals in the Arizona Statehouse.

Those that have read the bill closely will note it is patterned after the federal law. So what's the problem? I think I know. The feds don't want uppity states like AZ doing what they are suppose to do, but don't do. I wonder why the feds won't do what they are supposed to? Any good conspiracy theories out there to explain this? C'mon! Where's the dirt?

Yes, Dan, those last statements seemed like uncompassionate, heartless comments but I needed to close out a long entry with a succinct point. I agree that there is an extreme motivation for people crossing the border illegally and it is grounded in poverty. However, I don't think these people are without hope. They may feel that way but I think they are misinformed. There are things happening, however slowly, to change the patterns of poverty in Mexico. First, Mexico is not the poorest country. In fact, they rank 14th among the richest countries. They have plenty of natural resources. The problem, I hear, is that most of that wealth is owned by just a few families and the common people do not get just wages. Besides there being much corruption in high places including the rank and file of the police departments and the justice system, the rich people stay rich by bypassing their own people. I don't know if they have a minimum wage law but if they do, it doesn't appear to be enforced.
Ome of the problems with South American countries is that they do not have the work ethic that was handed down to us by the Puritans. My brother, who has been in Mexico numerous times and speaks the language fluently, has explained to me that these people don't understand servanthood. That is, when they gain power, even if they are elected to office,they tend not to see it as a way to serve their constituents. They tend to lord it over them and take advantage of their high estate.
Well, not everyone is like that and there are some among them that are breaking out of the mold and starting to involve the people in businesses and in getting people to start their own businesses. This is the only way they are going to get out of poverty and that is to take the initiative to do it themselves. We have been sending them aid for years. Just look at all the charitable organizations that are involved in Mexico. My sons went down there on short mission trips to build houses. This has been going on for decades and I don't know if there has been any longlasting results of that. The people who get to move into the houses may be grateful but I don't know if it goes beyond that. They still tend to be welfare cases, I think. I think we have been enabling them. And allowing them to come to the U.S. in droves, even illegally, is another enablement. We need to toughen up our stance. Someone else on this blog mentioned tough love. Exactly. I think that is what is needed. My sons rebelled against us back in 2000 and we joined a Tough Love group. Because of that and our involvement with that organization and doing the things they advised, our sons are all responsible citizens and they are all probably going to get married at about the same time to good, upstanding women.
Tough love works. It may take longer for some than for others but it will see results if we start acting now. I am a firm believer in the carrot and the stick. We have to apply the stick here but we have to make sure they are getting the carrot in Mexico. Now someone will criticize me for using terms that make people seem like dumb animals. Well, call it rewards and punishments but the principle is the same and I think it works in every case. Of course, the people themselves need to be very aware of what is going on and they need to assent to it but if they know what the plan is, I think they will, by and large understand that they have much to gain. They must, however, get involved themselves in their treatment.

Nobody knows how many illegal aliens are already here, the estimates vary widely, but possibly 20 million. But between 3000-7000 are crossing the border every single day. They are affecting every aspect of our society. They are taking up hospital beds, they fill our prisons (at least 1/3 are illegal aliens), they fill our schools, they are destroying the environment (check out what is happening to the deserts they are crossing).

People who are already here legally, and people who have been here for generations are finding out that they are not just taking the jobs "nobody else wants" but they have jobs that many Americans need and want. What is our limit? Are we to accept all of Central and South America because "things are better here"? When is Canada doing to help out the situation? Everyone is always holding up Canada as a shining beacon. Well, Canada is not stupid enough to give free health care to illegal aliens, or scholarships, or anything else, the people are sent back home. What do other countries do with illegal aliens? Well, some imprison them for many years, just for being there, some kill them, and many send them right back. Can you name another country accepting 7000 people a day? Do you want your children to have a job someday?

In addition, when my ancestors immigrated here in the 1800's, they had to, and WANTED to learn English, the language that has always been spoken in this country. My uncle Tony immigrated here from Germany and didn't even have a trace of an accent.

The new people pouring in want to bring in their language, their culture, and on top of it, fly the Mexican flag over the American flag. I have a picture of my relatives holding up a huge American flag the day they became citizens. They came here with 10 dollars in their pockets, and they had no handouts from the government, no free health-care, no scholarships, nothing. The illegals here are getting preferential treatment on getting jobs and entrance into college. They are taking away entry level jobs of American citizens who are already here, and unemployed. The true unemployment figures in the US are closer to 20%. It is being hidden from us by Congress extending the length of time people collect money after losing employment, etc.

While we all discuss this, the House of Representatives just voted to make Puerto Rico the 51st state. Is it even covered in your newspapers or news? Do you think the news is possibly censored?? The liberals see all these people as votes to keep them in power into perpetuity. We are well on our way to becoming a 3rd world nation if something isn't done to stop this mass immigration. How many terrorists have also come through Mexico and Canada?

These people are seen as VOTERS to keep the liberals in power, who will continue to vote for every handout for them in order to receive their votes. Let the Mexicans go back to Mexico and clean up their own government. Let them come here LEGALLY.

Mexico is seen as dangerous to visit right now, as Pakistan is for Americans. And this is who is flooding our borders, kidnappers, gang members, drug dealers and addicts, and murderers. It's very easy to verify this on the Internet, this is not made up. Life may not be easy there, but we cannot accept everyone into the US without us becoming impoverished ourself, or is that the real goal of this administration, who wanted CHANGE?

This is what Theodore Roosevelt said about immigrants and being an AMERICAN in 1907:

"In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag... We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language.. And we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.' Theodore Roosevelt 1907

Living here is a privilege, not a RIGHT, and they should apply for immigration like everyone one, and them become Americans. This country has gone so overboard that they are even given special rights, even when here illegally. Once again, we cannot absorb 7000-9000 people every single day coming here illegally. Our own country is being destroyed. We need a LEADER in power, not someone useless with no plans, and the only word in his vocabulary is "change" , so brings in his marxist friends. Our country is being ruined right before our eyes with this administration.