Dan is asking questions to Barrett. This is a loose summary of their views and statements.
We must rely first and foremost on the love of God. His justice is key, but his love through Christ overcomes, so when we deal with people, we must deal with them on the basis of love.
Fear of change drives a lot of people. The world is changing and people are fearful because if the immigrants gain legal status and engage in the legal process, what will happen? Others just accuse people of racism. Certainly, racism is involved, but that trivializes the issues if we simply label all opposition to immigration reform as racist. Supporters of Ben Carson and Ted Cruz also oppose immigration reform.
Misconceptions – Trip to border. Why don’t people come legally? But coming into this country legally is difficult. get up at 2 am to get in line at the border, drive in to work, go home then do it all again. Our border policy is messy at best.
Immigration system is broken. They don’t allow enough people to come in legally. 176,000 requests for high skilled labor in 2011, but only about 85k were granted. The system would not provide them legally. Business didn’t let them in. People couldn’t get what they needed in terms of high skilled workers. When jobs got harder to find, the government actually encouraged an open border.
Are undocumented workers a drain on the economy? Not really. Hard working people. Majority work hard and produce. Add to the economy. Strong work ethic. Social values very close to conservative Christians. We need to reach out to them and realize they are not to be feared. They will outperform many segments of society.
On the border in San Diego. Families broken up. Tragedy after tragedy. Kids go to school and they can’t be sure if they will have a mom and dad when they get home. Living in fear. Told not to talk to people. We are breeding disrespect for government in this culture of fear. Fathers are being sent home and families are left here.
ERLC is NOT supporting amnesty, but we do want a way to allow people to live here legally. What that means is tough and complicated. (What does amnesty mean?) Once we hung young teens. We changed the laws. foudn a different way to deal with that. Just because we don’t hang teens doesn’t mean we are granting them amnesty. So, let’s figure out a new way to deal with the problem. Government and business were both part of the problem. So, we need to find a way to provide a path to legal residency to current hardworking illegal residents. But not simply blanket amnesty.
Are we really going to deport 11 to 12 million people? Do conservatives really want to empower the government to do that kind of thing? Do we want the Elian Gonzalez story repeated tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of times? We are NOT going to deport by force.
40% of illegals just came legally then didn’t leave. The whole system is broken. Must be fixed or the problem will be restarted.
How does the church minister?
The church’s job is to minister, not to check papers. Don’t ask and don’t tell. What about the discipleship process? How do we minister to someone who is a member of the church but is undocumented? The church is not a sanctuary site where civil disobedience is the norm. We are called to obey the law as much as possible.
The church is under no obligation to report illegals. Barrett suggests telling people that they should obey the law in obedience to Christ. But the church is not obligated to report them. Speak truth and let them resolve it.
We can provide legal services to help people in the process. Highpoint in Austin helps people with their immigration status, with a part-time legal advisor. Many undocumented get very bad legal advice. There are many who cheat the illegals and prey on them as they seek help through the system.
Right now, there is no path for a person who is here illegally to become legal. These people are without options. They either stay here n the shadows or return home without many options there. The kids are often left behind.
Bart Barber question: What about the rest of the world. The german homeschool family, etc? Will immigration reform focus on Mexico?
They realize the whole system is broken.
One man observed that the Tea Party is a huge obstacle. He was involved in the political process and saw that the Tea Party stopped any solutions on one side and that some Dems stopped the progress on the other side because they want the issue at election time. (sad that politics are so craven in America).
Barrett-reasonable people have to take an active voice.
Dr. Land was present (agreeing). People on the hard right and hard left don’t want a solution because they use the issue to their advantage in elections. Reasonable people need to speak up. Land says, many Republicans have decided that they want to be a big deal in a minority party and therefore are not seeking solutions.
“The GOP is going to have to reform. They aren’t making enough old angry white guys!” Lindsay Graham!
Some of the same obstacles to racial reconciliation are also obstacles to immigration reform. the sense that “they” are taking “our” jobs, our stuff.