Does this law reflect our true Christian values?

Published 12:21am Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Last week, the Alabama House of Representatives passed a bill that revises our state’s immigration law. As House Democrats filibustered this bill, I could not help but to think about what it means to be an American and a Christian. Webster’s Dictionary defines a “native” as someone or something “living or growing naturally in a particular region.” And yet, America is a nation that was founded by people who are not natives to this land. Immigration is not just a part of American history — it is the start of American history. Our country would not exist as it does today were it not for the men and women who came here after suffering through months of travel in harsh conditions. Some came for religious freedom. Others came for the chance to start a new life and have a better future. Many came as enslaved people or indentured servants, never to know a life outside of servitude. But regardless of how or why they came here, these people from foreign lands made this country what it is.

Why, then, has our state taken such a harsh position on immigration? Have we forgotten our history? Have we forgotten our Christian values? In Matthew 25:40, Jesus says, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Are modern immigrants not “the least of these?” Are they not our “brothers and sisters?” Like many Americans, many of these immigrants came to this country after traveling in harsh conditions. They did not come here for the promise of a brighter future, but for the hope of one. They came and took the jobs that many of us would not be willing to work. And contrary to popular belief, even illegal immigrants pay taxes, though they do not receive government benefits such as Social Security or Medicare.

Supporters of Alabama’s immigration law seem to be most preoccupied by the legal status of immigrants. But what have illegal immigrants done that has warranted our state’s reaction? Some have said they are concerned that illegal immigrants might come here and commit crimes. But are there not legal citizens in this country committing crimes every day? Crime should not be tolerated but it also should not be used as an excuse to justify bad public policy.

Many supporters of the immigration law have claimed that illegal immigrants are taking jobs from Alabama workers. But if this is true, then why are so many farmers and business groups asking for changes or out-right repeal of the law? Why are so many crops going unpicked? Why did the state’s Department of Agriculture and Industry consider sending prisoners to fill these jobs if there are so many legal citizens waiting?

Alabama’s immigration law has cost us far more than it has benefited us. This law has hurt our ability to recruit new business, it has threatened to derail our construction and agriculture industries and it has cost us millions in tax revenue. In passing this law, we have forgotten our history and our Christian values. If we truly are a nation and a state of Christians, then we need to search our soul and ask ourselves: does this law reflect the greatness of our nation and state?

  • mo-of-thesame

    Perhaps the good pastor needs to come down from the pulpit and into the workforce. Rev Melton has never had a private sector job. He has gone to school on government funds, worked in a church and for a congressman prior to running for office. Maybe if he had the real experience of signing both sides of a paycheck and having to balance a budget with his own money rather than that of the tax payers he would understand.
    Facts are illegal immigrants are criminals. THEY ARE BREAKING THE LAW; the reason for the “illegal” part of their description. If we turn the other cheek as Mr. Melton is suggesting then why not do the same for drug dealers… are they not just entrepreneurs?
    The illegal immigrants cost the state millions and even more when they are taking the jobs of those who US citizens or here legally. These illegals don’t pay taxes so they are only a liability. Other counties recognize this… if you are caught in Mexico illegally you are sent directly to jail not the resorts they go to here. Perhaps we should simply adopt the immigration rules of their country of origin!?!
    It is time the maker’s revolt against the takers in our country. It is not fair the over half pay nothing in taxes but are draining the system dry. Why should successful people pay more when lazy pays nothing? I for one am mad as hell and not going to take it anymore. This country was founded on taxation without representation and we must take back our great country before it collapse.
    It is time for Dallas County to join the majority of our state and elect a business person who can make common sense decisions that help our struggling county rather that a name calling hypocrite who has sold his soul to the wrong side of right.

  • popdukes12

    “Immigration is not just a part of American history — it is the start of American history”…Really? There were millions of indians doing ok before immigrant oppression started in the 1600′s. They were placed on reservations and live today in abject poverty.
    Looking at the latest statistics, illegal immigrants cost the state of Alabama $386 million last year alone. Where is that little “fact” in you article?
    You may want to wave the Bible around, or place our moral compass up for inspection, but here is the truth. Dems need the votes. As, in most cases, the Dems attempt to work on emotions and the Republicans have to deal with the facts. In so far as you omitted any facts from your article, your wish of additional Democratic voters is very evident. pops

  • D-man

    Listen my brother.

    Let’s use this example I thought of:

    You and your family have a certain salary coming in. You have 4 bedrooms. You only can afford so much food. You have bills, house payment, power bill and you are actually rationed a certain amount of water (maybe you live in california). You have mexicans enter your home illegally at night without you knowing. They live in your attic and come down at night and eat your food, and use your water. Your family doesn’t understand what is going on. Your water is rationed out and you get fined for using too much, so you start borrowing water from a neighbor. Your food runs out and you have to buy more. After a while, you run out of money. More mexicans enter illegally and live in your attic. They also use your clothes. Pretty soon, you are having major financial problems. You are borrowing food and water from your neighbors (other countries). They are getting tired and pretty soon they will want to collect that debt.

    This isn’t about racial profiling. It is common sense.

    Now, for you… you may not understand it, but you are being brainwashed by the system, and it’s undermining your common sense. YOu have this campaign because people are fooling you into believing its about civil rights, but don’t be fooled.. It’s about VOTES… and some democrats would bankrupct our nation leaving MANY people destitute in order to get VOTES…

    Down the road when “americans” who paid into social secuirity their entire lives quit getting their checks and are hungry and can’t pay their bills, you remember the important part you played in making that happen.

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