Don’t you love those reunion videos, where soldiers return home from war and are reunited with their families – everyone hugging and crying?
This is not one of those videos. It is a man being torn away from his wife and two children and sent to his parent’s homeland, one that is foreign to him. It is a mark of shame against the justice system of the USA.
It is heart-breaking and disgusting – that this would happen in America?
Jorge Garcia was 10 years old when his parents brought him to the US. He is now 39. He’s lived here nearly all of his life. He has a wife and two children. Other than the fact that his parents moved him here without documentation, he has been a model non-citizen. He pays his taxes and has never had so much as a speeding ticket.
Let us remember that Jorge has committed NO crime. He was a ten-year-old boy when his parents brought him to this country. He has been a productive member of his community. I have no idea why he was singled out for deportation, but this is nothing for us to be proud of as a nation.
- Do we now punish a 39-year-old man for a crime his parents committed 30 years ago? Think that one through!
- Didn’t Republicans once SUPPORT families? This is not who we are. We do not tear apart families.
- Please do not appeal to “Render unto Caesar” or Romans 13. First, Jorge Garcia didn’t break the law. His parents did. And “Render unto Caesar” is not an absolute. Jesus also said to render to God what belongs to him! Peter stared the powers-that-be in the eye and said, “I must obey God rather than man.” We do more than just follow orders.
- Remember, folks, the US began with a rebellion against the established government authority! Fundamental to our system is the idea that justice is sometimes of a higher value that conformity to an unjust law. There are values like justice, like keeping a father with his wife and children, like common-sense decency, that trump legal absolutes.
We will never solve the immigration issue with Democrats refusing common sense border security and Republicans refusing to show basic human compassion and decency. Not to oversimplify, but Democrats have to grow a brain and Republicans a heart.
It doesn’t seem that hard to me. I know, it is complex beyond words, but the basis of the solution seems to involve a few simple concepts.
1. Border security is a must. Forget the wall for now, but we have every right to secure our borders. Every nation in the world does it and there is nothing racist or indecent in the effort.
Democrats and liberals, for reasons I don’t completely understand, tend to oppose border security. Is it political opportunism, believing that if illegals become voters they will be liberal? Feels a little tinfoil hat, but I have suspicions. Still, they need to grow a brain on this issue. Securing a nation’s border is fundamental not immoral.
I understand that the rate of illegal immigration has slowed dramatically, but people are still coming in.
2. We can’t deport all illegals. Estimates are that there are around 12 million illegal immigrants in the United States. That is four times the population of my state – just less than the population of Los Angeles and its suburbs. We are going to round that many people up and send them back where they came from?
Imagine the police force that will arrest, incarcerate and deport 12 million people. How many families do you rend? How many businesses would be hurt by losing employees? How much evil would be done by such a thing? Remember the Elian Gonzalez raid in Miami? Now imagine that kind of raid happening daily for years.
You think there wouldn’t be shootings?
That is not who we are. It sneaks right up to the border of racism and xenophobia, and it is just inhumane. Cruel. Securing our borders is one thing, but busting down doors of people’s homes to drag them away is another. Would we have internment camps? I’m trying to avoid invoking imagery from a certain mid-20th Century political horror, but it gets hard when you imagine arresting and deporting 12 million people.
3. Illegals who commit crimes (beyond their immigration status) must go. Drug dealers and violent criminals should get exactly the type of treatment I mentioned above. Arrest them and deport them. But illegal status alone shouldn’t be a hanging offense.
4. There must be a path to legal residency. Amnesty is a dirty word that is thrown out as soon as we start talking about something like this. I have two things to say.
We don’t have to give these people “amnesty.” There may be some form of probation, perhaps even an agreement never to seek citizenship, some form of fine – whatever.
Why not give these people amnesty? They are tax-paying, community building, productive members of society. Give them green cards! Who is hurt by that…if the border is secure.
Clearly, any kind of path to legal residency must be subsequent to border security. That’s been one of the problems – we seek to grant amnesty without securing borders.
5. Citizenship is a different issue. It might be a condition of legal residency that these illegals may live here, work here, and enjoy the protections and freedoms of America, but may never become citizens. Or, perhaps a path toward citizenship can be set forth.
But the solution involves Democrats abandoning their ridiculous opposition to border security and Republicans abandoning the glee they sometimes express at the idea of shipping Mexicans and Middle Easterners home. Brain and heart working together can be powerful.
Democrats and Republicans often use this as a wedge issue and play it for votes more than they seek real solutions. I have little hope that the parties will ever find a solution. Let us hope that as Christians we will come to meld our faith with our politics and find a better plan than either party has offered.
For the love of God, we must do better than what was shown in the video above.
Let’s pray for the Garcias…and that this kind of injustice will not happen again.