“Give me your poor, your tired, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free...” These words, graven on a tablet on the Statue of Liberty, are the recipe for what has been called the American “melting pot.” People of different nations and heritages would come here and become Americans. One sign of our diversity is the recent celebration of Cinco De Mayo (the Mexican equivalent of the 4th of July). This day is celebrated more widely in the US than in Mexico – though perhaps it's become like St. Patrick's day and is just another excuse to party.
Sadly, the idea of an American melting pot has been replaced by a “salad bowl.” People all want to be in the same place but they still want to remain separate. Many people seem to want to be divided along ethnic or racial lines.
One notable landmark in the history of immigration is Ellis Island. The first stop for some 12,000,000 immigrants to the US was this NY port where everyone underwent legal and medical inspection. Most immigrants were free to enter the US after only a few hours with only about 2% being turned away. Perhaps it wasn't a perfect system but, looking back, it seemed a good balance between making American liberty available to anyone and protecting our national security.
The recent events in AZ have brought the issue of immigration and national security to the forefront. The governor there wants to enforce immigration laws and be able to investigate the citizenship status of anyone suspected of a crime. If someone gets pulled over for speeding, he usually has to produce a driver's license. Now, he may also be asked if he's here illegally.
The Obama administration, and liberals in general, see the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants as a crop of potential Democrat voters and so they oppose any efforts to crack down on illegal immigrants. Interestingly, during the first century of the US, immigration regulation was the responsibility of the states. It wasn't until 1890 that the Federal government took over and now the Feds act offended that states don't like the job they've done (or rather aren't doing). Well, I don't like the job they're doing either. I've not heard a single word – NOT ONE WORD – about how Obama intends to stem the flow of illegal border crossings. What I have heard is that we need a plan to deal with the “undocumented persons” we already have here (aka “amnesty”).
I always try to find a Biblical perspective on political issues. While considering illegal immigration, I thought about Ezekiel and the parable of the Watchman. Ezekiel 33:2-6 talks about how a city will set up a watchman who will stand on the wall and sound the trumpet when he sees an enemy approaching. By the way, where is our wall? Even Nehemiah saw the need to have a wall to protect the city. Anyway, when the watchman saw an enemy approaching, he was to sound the alarm. That was his job. Even if the enemy still came and destroyed city, the watchman will have done his job. However, if the watchman saw the enemy coming and did nothing, the people's blood will be on the watchman's hands. Illegal immigration is much the same. Where is our wall to defend our border? Why are we not more vigilant in protecting our people from illegal immigration? Where is our watchman? The people of another country are rushing across our borders in droves and the person who is supposed to stop this is doing nothing!