Recently President Obama stepped up to the microphone and waded waist deep into the stream of controversy called Immigration. Few subjects evoke as much passion, on both sides of the issue, as does this subject. Many have debated the subject of immigration. What to do? What to do? Finally the President has told us what to do. And some people, most notably Republicans, are screaming bloody murder. Hey my fellow Republicans. For once lay aside politics and your vitriolic hatred of the President and try to look at the plan objectively.
Right up front I will say that I have read the President’s immigration speech through several times. If you are criticizing his plan I hope you have at least read the source document instead of listening to the talking heads who wield their axes of bias. As I read his plan I thought to myself, “This really makes sense.” But the response by my fellow Republicans and some Facebook friends borders on irrational hysteria. If you fall into that camp let me challenge you to take a really big chill pill AND tell me YOUR plan for dealing with this complex issue.
Here are the three major bullet points of the President’s speech:
1. The first part of his three point speech is ignored by conservatives. If the talking heads you are listening to have not mentioned it, here it is:
“First, we’ll build on our progress at the border with additional resources for our law enforcement personnel so that they can stem the flow of illegal crossings, and speed the return of those who do cross over.” Yes, you read that right.
2. The second part of his plan is this:
…”I will make it easier and faster for high-skilled immigrants, graduates, and entrepreneurs to stay and contribute to our economy, as so many business leaders have proposed.” I want immigrants to be able to contribute to our economy.
3. The third part of his plan is the most controversial and reads like this:
“Third, we’ll take steps to deal responsibly with the millions of undocumented immigrants who already live in our country.” This is where the ardent critics have aimed their assaults.
In attempting to clarify his position on this last point Obama said, “So we’re going to offer the following deal: If you’ve been in America for more than five years; if you have children who are American citizens or legal residents; if you register, pass a criminal background check, and you’re willing to pay your fair share of taxes – you’ll be able to apply to stay in this country temporarily, without fear of deportation. You can come out of the shadows and get right with the law.”
Tell me, exactly what do you find objectionable? I love what he has done. And if you think Obama is the devil you ought to read that paragraph again and recognize the love, grace, reconciliation, and good common sense being exemplified.
The responses to this plan border on the absurd and often reflect the thoughts of spoiled Americans who themselves have ancestors who made their journey to this land of opportunity. (You have heard some of these responses: “this will ruin our economy, we need to get rid of the criminals, this will take jobs away from ‘US’.”)
I have met many wonderful Hispanic people across the years. At the risk of over generalizing I see them as loving, hard working, and wanting what all of us want: a better life for their family.
So friends, Republicans, Obama haters, will you just lighten up?
And if you are a Christian will you just stop and read the Sermon on the Mount with Obama’s plan in mind? You just might be surprised at how much of those principles you see reflected in what you are condemning.
Admittedly, I do not know if the President has over reached in terms of his Constitutional power. But I also know that there is a power even higher than the Constitution that firmly rests of the foundation of love.
I really want to know. What do you find so bad about this plan? Please educate me by posting your opinion.
Randy, I too think what he is proposing is good and right. I just don’t understand why this couldn’t have been worked through the proper channels over the last 6 years. He did, in fact, have a majority that may have bought into his proposal. I wish we could be a kinder and more compassionate nation.
Good job, Randy. Well said. I agree with your point of view. I would add only more more thought that I have shared with several other people who wanted to know what I thought. When I was a child I would stand on the diving board for MANY LONG minutes before I got the courage to jump into the water. If I thought of one “word picture” of what we are facing with the immigration issue….it would be that picture. What I believe The President has done is give the entire issue a “little push” to get them started moving into the “Pool”. Object if that is your desire…but something is going to get done on this issue! We are “on our way”. Thanks, Bob
I applaud your courage in speaking in favor of a man most Christians Republicans have been trained to hate. They know they can’t admit they hate him for allowing immigrants to stay, so they’re pretending they “disagree” with him over the boundary issues of his power.
There is no point in my arguing point verse point. It’s like arguing with a Jehovah’s Witness on your porch. You can’t win. But I will share this one insight and I know that I am right because I have a TON of testimony.
Here is my observation… “Every time these Angry Republican Christians fight in anger against our president, they actually drive more and more people to “the other side.” The angry fist pounding and foot stomping actually speaks louder than any truth that might be buried beneath the tantrums.”
Most of us liberal Christians actually live very conservative lives, but we refuse to get on board with you republicans because you’re SO DARN MEAN! Calling our president names like “Hitler,” “Terrorist,” and “Dictator,” and then having the nerve to say you’re a fan of The Loving Jesus in the same breath/post/blog/etc…
The anger can go ahead and hurt the republican movement; That’s fine with me. My sadness is about the fact that it’s driving people against the Church and Messiah these same people pledge their ultimate allegiance to. They’re causing people to throw Baby Jesus out with the angry Christian Republican bathwater. That is what is sad to me.
Thanks for the blog/post. I am in 100% agreement with THIS decision by our president and with your words in this post. Thanks Mr. “not so angry” Republican.
In response to my brother, Brent…the problem isn’t the angry Republican OR the angry Democrat (see any recent Bush presidency years). The problem is when we believe in a political party more than what we believe is right through scripture. I get so disturbed w/myself when if find myself following a talking head instead of THE Head of my life. Many of those talking heads, while conservative like me, don’t even have the same foundation of Biblical belief as I do, yet I let them dictate my thought? Yikes!
While I’m not a fan of how this was accomplished, nor am I a fan of our President’s overall policies. I’m a fan of doing the right thing. IF we truly accomplish the three points that were so well explained to us here, then it seems like a win-win. Boarders secured & good people brought into the melting pot.
Now if we didn’t have to leave it up to the “kids” in our political system we may be able to accomplish those goals! :).
Good words…thanks for taking the chance by saying them out loud.
Yes Cliff. I agree and often catch myself guilty of defending so heavy that I end up offending. It’s difficult to draw the line. I just wish there were no “sides.” (Democrat/republican, Wesleyan/Calvinist, etc…). I think we lose so much good when we flush the whole toilet for sake of the bad. I hear you though. This stuff works both ways for sure.
Randy, one of the main problems I have with Mr. Obama’s plan is that he seldom does as he says, and he often speaks eloquently or lays out supposedly good things and then turns around and does the opposite. Take point 1 of his plan; he says he is going to build on resources at the border so our people there can stem the tide and enforce better. I’m sorry, but I don’t believe he will do it. As a matter of fact, I have read many testimonies by the Border Patrol officers themselves that speak of the lack of personnel, equipment, etc., and being given orders to flat back off, and on some occasions, not even be able to carry weapons. Why did the administration do all of that and now suddenly decide to “build on the resources at the border”? Nor has Obama done anything to complete the border fence or truly utilize the laws currently on the books. So why is he just now doing what he proposed, this, when people have been begging him to do something for a long time; and he has done many things to counter or limit the effectiveness of our current Border Patrol people?
Secondly, when he says they are going to fix it so those that qualify can stay temporarily, he doesn’t define what “temporarily” means. That basically means open-ended; convenient (and costly), huh?
And it’s awfully interesting that his seemingly righteous plan came along and he decided to do what he could have done 6 yrs. ago, just after the left and him got shellacked in the election. He is obviously setting things up for the elections of 2016, both Presidential and Congressional from a political point of view. And that is not a vitriolic, Repulican/angry right-wing thing to say…it’s just a practical observation of political rhetoric, no matter what party you want to site or side with.
Thirdly, I agree with you and many of those who commented that we as Christians (sans political association) heave a tough time trying to figure this out. Naturally, we should love all people and do the bidding of Christ. My concern is that for a very long time (including administrations before Obama) we have been giving a great deal to illegal immigrants (by letting them come here with basically no problem, letting them work, giving them phenomenal welfare and educational benefits for free, etc.) And this included, especially now, more than Hispanics…there are terrorists, gang and cartel members, etc., sometimes from other countries that are coming in across the southern border with Mexico. How are we supposed to do effective criminal background checks on people from Mexico, South America, or other countries. Surely we all know the data will be scant if existent at all. It is hard to sit by knowing these kinds of things and not be concerned about the results. The plan may have positive points, but I’m sorry to say I think it is more political in purpose than not, or Obama could have done this a very long time ago regardless of what he says about Republican opposition – he seems to have very little if any concern about the law or Constitution. And there is no addressing how much all of this will cost nor the effect on all the illegal immigrants coming from South America and how they will be dealt with. And I must say the Democrats/liberals have nothing on Republicans/conservatives when it comes to being mean spirited, angry, etc. I believe many people are concerned about immigrants as Christians and from just humanitarian points of view. They are, after all, people like us who have the same needs, dreams and hopes…and especially need Christ.
I too, have made many Hispanic friends (I lived in the Los Angeles area for close to six years), and I have made other friends from many different countries. Of course, we are a nation of immigrants, unfortunately though, with current national financial concerns and geo-political realities, it is difficult to come up with any plan that will be a win-win situation. I personally think the best thing we Christians can do is pray for those in need, love them as God would have us to, and ask that the Lord will give guidance and direction in dealing with such a complex problem that includes how to respond in a Christ-like way, and yet deal with the human realities of financial burdens, disease, criminal elements, terrorists, etc. It is truly a sad, heart breaking situation, and the answers are difficult to come by.
Thanks for all the thoughtful replies. I really appreciate your input. These replies, along with many on my Facebook, affirms this is a sensitive issue.