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I compose and post these articles with only one desire in my heart: to praise God and to offer modest help on your spiritual journey.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Migration vs Immigration

"… and the greatest of these is love".

Migration vs Immigration

One of the basic tenets of the Abrahamic religions: Judaism,
Christianity and Islam is the importance placed on protecting and
honoring migrants/immigrants. Abraham himself was required by God to
journey with his family and live humbly as an immigrant in a foreign
land. The tribes of Judah fled Egypt to cross through foreign land to
become a people and eventually a nation. Mary and Joseph fled to Egypt
in order to avoid violence and death. We are currently in the month of
Ramadan which for Muslims is a reminder of the immigrant's plight –
seeking food and shelter from strangers.

Why then do Christians raise their voices to shout at busloads of
children apprehended at our borders? Why are Christians not raising
their hands to serve and protect them rather than holding hateful
placards?

The comparison of much smaller and poorer nations confronted with the
migration of refugees escaping poverty, war, and violence with our own
nation's response of fear mongering is staggering to behold. We
pretend we are the only country that has to deal with immigrants or
refugees. In the Middle East, in Asia, in Africa, Europe and Latin
America the response to refugees can differ remarkably to our own.

Immigration is related to legal documentation of individuals.
Migration is related to scores of people in flight seeking asylum.
Immigrants with skills and finances in limited number are able to work
the system and get documentation. Even medical doctors have
difficulty. Most do not have these highly specialized skills. These
current restrictions were not the norm for most of our families who
first came to these shores. The question of obtaining documentation
was not as difficult in the days of Ellis Island. Essentially you were
granted papers by showing up. That situation is unbelievably costly
and nearly impossible today. Immigrants from Eastern Europe, Asia,
Africa and many other nations who cross oceans is extremely expensive,
let alone nearly impossible. Yet most average Americans just assume
that illegals haven't taken the time or effort to "get in line".

Follow the money trail and you may find an industry getting very rich
from not simply documenting people and having open borders. If we had
open borders instead of fences being built there would far less crime,
death, and violence. But money and greed rule and creates a system of
untold suffering that puts gasoline on the fire of prejudice and hate.

Perhaps the horror movie genre contributes to our fear of scarcity and
therefore a need to horde or protect what little the average person
has. But it certainly is a part of our human nature. This is an
essential role of religion, to rise above fear to work for justice and
reflect mercy above law. With faith to have the grace sufficient to
hear the Sermon on the Mount and to put into action what God has
summoned us to do. To overcome our inclinations and to believe that if
we show mercy, God will provide.

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