PASSIONATE. If nothing else, at least for the loud voices, the Great American Immigration Debate is Passionate.
For too many voices in our churches the debate skips every biblical reference about immigration, refugees and strangers. But, today's blog has an Equally Pressing Concern.
One thing all Christians must do in the immigration debate, in any debate - anytime we make up our mind about a issue - Christians must only respond and react from truth, the whole truth, and as much of the truth as they can get.
Especially with an issue like immigration that impacts people, God's stated priorities, humanity as creation, and mercy and compassion Christians must only respond and react from truth.
7 TRUTH ANSWERS TO 7 MYTHS ABOUT IMMIGRANTS*
Here are 7 truth answers to 7 myths, some of which I have heard Christians loudly pontificate:
Myth No. 1 — Illegal immigrants don't pay taxes.
They actually pay a variety of taxes. Because many undocumented workers hold jobs, a large number pay income, Social Security and Medicare taxes, as well as sales taxes when they purchase items in stores and property taxes when they rent or own homes. One study found that they pay $162 billion annually in federal, state and local taxes. Another project found that the average immigrant paid $1,800 more in taxes than government benefits received.
Myth No. 2 — The United States rarely deports illegal immigrants.
In fact, the government deports 350,000 people annually. Since 1999, more than 2.2 million people have been deported from the United States, including visitors who overstayed their visas, lied on immigration forms, or committed serious crimes. State and federal officials regularly check the immigrant status of those who are arrested or serving time in prison.
Myth No. 3 — Economics and business drive U.S. immigration policy.
Two-thirds of the 1 million official visas awarded each year are based on family unification. Conversely, only 15% of visas each year are awarded for employment purposes. Other nations devote a far higher percentage of visas to economic or employment-related reasons. Canada, for example, grants more than half of its visas for employment-related reasons.
Myth No. 4 — The United States makes a special effort to attract scientists, engineers and technological experts.
Right now, we set aside only 65,000 of America's nearly 1 million visas each year for high-skilled workers. This is well below the 195,000 high-skilled visas that the U.S. allowed from 1999 to 2004. One study found that 25% of all the technology and engineering businesses launched in the USA from 1995 to 2005 had a foreign-born founder. In Silicon Valley, that number was 52.4%.
Myth No. 5 — The courts treat immigrants fairly.
In immigration court deportation proceedings, those who have a lawyer win their cases 46% of the time, compared with 16% for those without a lawyer. Because these are civil courts, defendants have no Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination and no guarantee of legal representation.
Myth No. 6— Americans oppose allowing illegal immigrants to stay in the United States and become citizens.
Polling data suggest there is public support for a "path to citizenship" for illegal immigrants currently in the country, subject to certain conditions. Results from a Pew Research Center survey show that 63% favor a "path to citizenship" if illegal immigrants pass a background check, pay fines and have a job.
Myth No. 7 — News stories about immigration are balanced.
Studies of mainstream print and broadcast coverage in recent years have found, for instance, that news outlets are twice as likely to focus on the costs rather than benefits of immigration.
* from: http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/forum/2010-09-01-column01_ST1_N.htm?loc=interstitialskip
NOW WHAT WE DO WITH THE TRUTH [other than stop spreading lies] IS ANOTHER MATTER. BUT THREE THINGS SHOULD BE AT THE TOP OF THE AGENDA:
1. Search The Whole Of Scripture
3. Follow Only The Leading Of The Holy Spirit