Friday, September 1, 2017

Standing with the Undocumented

I know what people say.  "They" are here illegally.  Our laws should be followed.  Not everyone can be let into this country.Others go further: Build a wall.

And, to me, it is clear that the system is broken.  A few years ago the U.S. Senate approved a bi-partisan comprehensive immigration reform bill that was never brought up for a vote in the House, where many believed it would have been passed. And signed by the President.

And here we are. A tragic mess.  

From the work I have been doing in the jail in Dover, what concerns me are the many traffic stops taking place in NH. Profiling immigrants.  These are not all the "bad hombres" mentioned in the campaign.  

Our society needs a real and wide conversation about how many advanced countries require and benefit from a vast pool of immigrant labor to do the work that many native born do not want to do. I'm not talking about I.T. professionals or engineers. I'm talking about the souls who work in our fields, pick blueberries in Maine, apples in New Hampshire and milk dairy cows in Vermont. They work in grinding poultry processing plants in Maryland and Arkansas and beef and pork processing mega-plants in the Mid-West.  Dangerous and tedious work. 

We can argue politics and demographics and laws, and I hope followers of Jesus will not lose sight of compassion and justice. Scapegoating outsiders for the many ills our society and culture carries risks.  

In the end, I know we as a nation of immigrants and ingenious peoples, can do better.  

Mark+