The Lamp

Where truth can be shared.

This Is Our Land

Posted by thelamp on July 14, 2006

President Bush’s May 15 speech on immigration reform laid out a comprehensive proposal for securing our nation’s borders and integrating immigrants into America’s unique culture. How Congress responds to it will tell us much about whether they want to solve the problem or score partisan points in an election year.

“We are a nation of laws, and we must enforce our laws,” President Bush said. “We are also a nation of immigrants, and we must uphold that tradition, which has strengthened our country in so many ways. These are not contradictory goals – America can be a lawful society and a welcoming society at the same time.”

CMC trusts that a new or revised national immigration policy will, first and foremost, uphold our nation’s laws and borders. It must also treat immigrants with human respect and dignity – which includes holding accountable those who have broken the law to get here. Finally, a sound immigration policy will require immigrants to assimilate into America’s culture of opportunity.

“The President’s ideas on immigration reflect his broad perspective on the issue,” said Pastor Rod Parsley, founder and president of the Center for Moral Clarity. “As a businessman who has hired immigrants and a governor of a state with more than 1,000 miles of border, he understands the benefits immigrants bring to our land and the challenges of upholding the law. It’s even more heartening that he recognizes the importance of securing our borders. The commitment to add 6,000 Border Patrol officers actually doubles the number of troops assigned to this vital task since President Bush took office. This certainly is a step in the right direction.”

The President’s proposal also increases funds to train local law-enforcement in identifying, processing and detaining those who break our immigration laws, and creates accountabilities for businesses who hire and employ illegal immigrants.

Pastor Parsley added, “My concern is that this proposal will trap many immigrants into our failed welfare system, perpetuating a cycle of dependency on the government that would doom generations of immigrant families to poverty and an unprecedented expansion of the welfare state. A guest-worker program should be accompanied by a commitment to make sure that immigrants who choose a path to U.S. citizenship become productive members of society, which means obeying the law, paying taxes and learning English.”

The U.S. Senate is considering a broad immigration bill, which then must be reconciled with a bill passed in the House last year that focuses almost exclusively on border security. CMC urges Congressional leaders to collaborate quickly on a comprehensive bill to solve this complex issue. The immigration system as it exists today is thoroughly broken, and a piecemeal approach to solving it is destined to fail.


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