Tuesday, May 02, 2006

"Marching In The Light Of God"

Marching in the May 1st Immigration Justice Rally on Wilshire in Los Angeles.

Do not oppress an alien;

you yourselves know how it feels to be aliens,

because you were aliens in Egypt. [Genesis 23:9]


Laura said...

You know, I have wondered as this march occured accross the nation, why these people want to live here. They do not want to learn or speak our language, pay taxes, or pay for services such as healthcare or education, but would rather reap the benifits of being a citizen without the responsiblities that go along with them. The American wage-earner is suffering because companies can get away with paying these illegal immigrants next to nothing(and I know that these people are suffering as well from the low wages the are being offered. Really we should go after the companies that hire illegal immigrants). Our healthcare costs are rising to a point where hard-working, middle class families cannot afford to provide healthcare for their own children,(to try to counter the huge expense of the uninsured) and the education system is buckling under the burden of carrying such a load.
I understand all people need a chance, but the key word is illeagl. It is against the law for these people to be in this country. There are legal ways to become a citizen of the US. I know that it is difficult, but it has always been difficult. The orginal goal of immigrants coming to America was to become an American, in every sense of the word. And that means living by the laws that have been set up to keep this country what it was meant to be- the land of the free.
We need to show "the Light of God" to these people, as your title suggests, and we need to speak out in love, but that does not mean condemning the citizens we already have. We need to have at least equal concern for their needs, which are being ignored in favor of this agenda.

Catherine + said...

I must agree with Laura. To rally and support people who are here illegally, to rally for their civil rights before those of legal Americans born and raised here, is an injustice to the LGBT members of this country. First, give the LGBT citizens their full rights under the law, then consider those who are here illegally. I empathize with their plight but we need to take care of those who are here legally first. This may seem harsh to some but it is the reality. The LGBT community pays taxes to support healthcare--such as it is; it pays for our public schools and universities, it pays for govenment, it supports and contributes to its community. The LGBT contribute to the security of this nation and makes it stronger in positive ways...and most of all, the LGBT community does it legally as citizens. The immigration issue is a diversion away from the real issue, giving the rights due the LGBT community what is legally theirs.

Jeff Martinhauk said...

Why can't it be a "both-and"?

We are all part of the human family. I don't think God sees political borders, or borders based on sexual orientation. Why can't we work for equality on all fronts. Who says that illegal immigrants wouldn't be willing to pay taxes, etc., if granted legal residency? They are just looking for a better life and have been shut out when pursuing legal means, as we have been shut out in the LGBT community when pursuing legal means ourselves.

I promised myself I wasn't going to blog today as I have too much to do...


Doug said...

And remember, many of these people DO pay taxes, do try and learn English, want to become part of society. They are here to take care of their families as well as possible, just as all of us are. And we also have to remember that, although illegal immigration has always been a problem, much of the most recent large wave is a direct result of US government policies, ie "free trade," that have only made things worse in their home countries because of the lack of regulations regarding their treatment by multi-national corporations. I think that illegal immigrants may share something with LGBT people: when you don't allow space for people within a culture to have a life that makes sense to them, they have to find a way to live. Laura, I believe that you are right to say that we need to focus on the companies that hire them, but that is hardly even getting lip service in the debate going on now, at least in the mainstream press. And you can bet that the corporations that are bankrolling re-election campaigns don't want that to be the focus. They are relying on fear: of people taking our jobs, of people who are just different, of people bankrupting the country, to keep most people from talking about the real causes.

revsusan said...

Thanks, Jeff ... now get back to work! :)

I do see it as a "both/and" -- laws should be respected and unjust laws need to be challenged. Criminalizing immigration when migrant workers are an essential part of our economic infrastructure is unfair, unjust and just plain wrong.

As for the "LGBT first" argument I just can't go to a place of prioritizing oppression. Respecting the dignity of every human being means EVERY human being. Women's rights took a back seat in the anti-slavery era and we're not done with either racism or sexism in this country (OR this church) but that doesn't mean we don't take on heterosexism and homophobia when it rears its ugly head.

jg6544 said...

"I do see it as a "both/and" -- laws should be respected and unjust laws need to be challenged."

THANK YOU! A nation which began in revolt against taxation shouldn't be too particular if it enacts unjust laws which leave people no alternative other than to violate them.

I'm concerned about learning English too (and it wouldn't hurt most American teenagers to take at least a glance at English grammar, spelling, and usage), but it seems to me like the worst way to get people to use English is to threaten them with deportation if they get public about trying.