Opinion

Anti-immigrant bill runs contrary to my values as a Christian and an American

President Trump, flanked by Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., left, and Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., speaks in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 2, 2017, during the unveiling of legislation that would place new limits on legal immigration. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON (RNS) — This week saw another attempt by the White House and some in Congress to hurt our country’s most vulnerable people.

The Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment Act — or the RAISE Act — introduced by Sens. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., and David Perdue, R-Ga., seeks to separate families and commodify the worth of individuals by moving the U.S. to a so-called “merit-based” immigration system.

This is completely contrary to my values as a Christian and an American who fully believes we must welcome — not turn away — our neighbors, and we must prioritize the unity of each family.

Undoubtedly, we need to reform and modernize our immigration system, which keeps families separated for far too long. But this proposal takes us in the opposite direction, exacerbating the harm inflicted on families and members of our communities by our current immigration system.


RELATED: I can hear Jesus’ indignant response to the AGs who want to deport ‘Dreamers’


We saw the consequences of these policies play out last week, when 39 of our brothers and sisters in San Antonio were trapped inside a sweltering semitrailer. Banging against the trailer walls and taking turns gasping for air, these men, women and children begged for their lives, praying for a miracle.

Ten of these souls died brutal, inhumane deaths.

My faith teaches me that their lives were no less dignified nor cherished than my life or the lives of my fellow Americans. More than two dozen other individuals suffered serious injuries, stuffed shoulder-to-shoulder in that truck among the dying.

These mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, and adult sons and daughters, risked everything in hopes of a better life here in America. All were victims of a broken immigration system — and all were ill-served by government officials who seek to score cheap political points by slamming the door on people seeking a better life.

This administration and some members of Congress have touted what can only be described as hateful rhetoric regarding immigrants and refugees, intentionally stoking fears to appeal to our basest instincts rather than our best values.

For Christians, our faith tradition decisively calls us not into fear, but into love. Matthew 22:39 calls us to love our neighbors as ourselves, and Romans 12:13 tells us in no uncertain terms to extend hospitality to strangers.

We need government officials at all levels to be honest about the real cause of these tragedies — including an inaccessible legal immigration system so strict that it denies individuals the God-given desire to be with their family members. A system that only allows in people who have certain education levels, work history, English-language ability, high-paying job offers, or past achievements is not a humane or lasting solution.

For decades, our government has increased fencing, walls, deportation forces, detention centers, and enforcement strategies, but our lawmakers have refused to modernize our visa system or address the status of our undocumented community members who have no line to stand in. We have made legal immigration nearly impossible, we have criminalized undocumented immigration, and we have turned a blind eye to the deadly consequences. And now Senators Cotton and Purdue want to take us even further down this immoral path.

Many divisions are being inflamed by President Trump’s proposed border wall and Congress’ complicity in providing him the funding to make it a reality.

Increases in the deportation force, detention regime, and border militarization will never serve to fix our immigration system. Neither will making legal immigration nearly impossible for people to access in a timely way. These policies have failed for decades, serving only to cause our immigrant neighbors to live in constant fear.

Congress should reject the RAISE Act, cut funding for deportation, detention, and border militarization, and invest in addressing the root causes of migration: making our legal system more accessible, including for families seeking to be reunited, and helping people be able to sustainably and safely live in their home countries.

For our nation and our world, we pray that Congress will demonstrate moral courage and reject the RAISE Act, instead enacting immigration reform that recognizes the dignity of each person and family, creates a way for immigrants to pursue legal status and citizenship, and addresses the root causes of migration.

It is high time for our nation’s immigration policies to reflect the welcoming virtues of love and hospitality.

(The Rev. John L. McCullough is president and CEO of global humanitarian agency, Church World Service. The views expressed in this opinion piece do not necessarily reflect those of Religion News Service) 

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John L. McCullough

109 Comments

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  • This bill serves no purpose but to appeal to bigots. It is designed to hobble our economy, create inhumane situations with our immigration system, and reduce foreign investment in the US.

    Any pretense that this is meant to benefit American workers is a fiction. Every measure involving immigration to “protect US workers” has backfired spectacularly and only enabled exploitation of immigrant labor.

    The real purpose of this bill is to keep people from Asia, Africa and Latin America out. To Neo-nazi cretins like Steve Bannon, wrecking the economy and causing widespread mayhem is a small price to pay to support white supremacy.

    “Congress should reject the RAISE Act, cut funding for deportation, detention, and border militarization, and invest in addressing the root causes of migration: making our legal system more accessible, including for families seeking to be reunited, and helping people be able to sustainably and safely live in their home countries.”

    As long as Republicans can mobilize voters based on bigotry and hysteria, this won’t happen anytime soon.

  • While I do not agree with this bill, this article take quite a few liberties with drawing its conclusion. It is NOT our immigration system that led to those deaths in the truck. That is in fact the face of human trafficking.

    Does our immigration system need to be comprehensively overhauled? Yes it does, but we also need to know who comes into our country. I never hear from articles such as this about the MS13 problem because it contradicts the narrative.

    We need borders, we need to know who is coming in this country, we do not need to allow everyone in either. There does need to be some language incentive but that should not preclude entrance but perhaps be a part of obtaining final citizenship. This does not mean that people should or needs to give up any native language, but in all fairness how are they going to thrive without knowing the language. If I wanted to move to another country, I am well aware that learning the language is a benefit.

    As far as the family requirement in this bill, I believe it is stated that only immediate family are allowed to stay together. While there are definite drawbacks for families that include grandparents not being included (which should change), the notion that everyone remotely related to someone piggy backing on a family entering is open for abuses/fraud.

    I do fully believe that welcoming immigrants is important in faith and to society, but people have to stop implying that if the US does not have open borders we are not living up to that faith.

    I would like to see articles addressing all the other countries to have strict immigration policies far, far more stringent than ours (Canada, Mexico).

  • The issue is simple, and only made to appear complex by those who disagree. There is no moral argument against immigration laws. The Bible is clear that a state has the God-given right to make laws, and those laws must be obeyed as from God himself. It is interesting to note that the newly found “evil” of enforcing immigration laws corresponds with the breakdown of the morality of members within the church. While church leaders find new appreciation for homosexuality, transgenderism and adultery (Who am I to judge?), they also find a new hatred for perfectly legitimate immigration laws.

    The rejection of immigration laws has scant biblical authority–none really. Be kind to strangers, to travelers, to those within a country that is not their home country. Nowhere is it stated that such leniency is to be extended to those who broke the host country’s laws to get in.

    “But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into.” Matthew 24:43.

  • Comment writer – “This is completely contrary to my values as a Christian and an American”

    Givethedogabone – This is completely contrary to my values as a non-Christian and a non-American.

    Perhaps a better wording, in both instances, would be
    “This is completely contrary to my values as a human being.”

  • Christianity, as it is frequently practiced by people who use their faith as a weapon against others, is completely contrary to your values as a Christian and as an American.

  • As a non-American, you have no dog in this fight, practically speaking, but as a matter of public commentary continue to fire away. By the way, how has untrammeled, virtually unmanaged immigration benefited Britain?

  • “While church leaders find new appreciation for homosexuality, transgenderism and adultery (Who am I to judge?), they also find a new hatred for perfectly legitimate immigration laws.” This phenomenon is a simple matter of liberal politics, not liberal theology. Liberals can not win elections purely on identity politics while despising ordinary middle class and rural America (who very much want immigration reform and stricter enforcement), and they can not abandon identity politics or their main base will crumble. Their only solution is to increase the minority share of the population through immigration until eventually minorities in the aggregate are no longer “minorities.”

    And that is the entire story of liberal fascination with open borders. The End.

  • I was merely seeking to point out that values are not Christian or American (nor British or atheistic) – they are part of what many believe defines humanity and much older than any modern religion or nationality.

    As to your question, our recently visiting American cousins informed us that Birmingham (the original) was a no-go area for white people (I offered to take them there and wander around the city with them) and that the UK’s muslim population was just waiting a command (from some unknown leader) to rise up and impose sharia on the UK. Because many of us interact daily with people of African/Indian subcontinental/Asian/Middle Eastern origins we regard such ignorance based fears as simultaneously amusing and horrifyingly abhorrent.

    Yes – we do have a few racist scaremongers but the majority of such people, in my experience, have little interaction with those of whom they lovingly tend their animosity. Fear of those who are different is more difficult to sustain when faced daily with the reality that neighbours, colleagues, friends and those who supply services to us are merely like us. Slightly different in appearance, accent, beliefs and traditions maybe but good, caring, rude, indifferent, happy, sad, content and avaricious in much the same proportions as those of us whose forebears immigrated to this land a few hundreds or thousands of years before the newer arrivals.

    So – how has immigration (which I believe you misrepresent) been good for Britain? It has provided us with valued diversity. It has enriched our culture, our food, our celebrations and our expectations. It has given us service providers from taxi drivers to highly skilled doctors and technicians. It has provided investment in jobs for the offspring of both ancient and modern immigrants and, through contact, largely disabled the irrational (and often manipulated) fear of “different”. I live in a country where diversity is not generally perceived as a threat, where education, health and employment are enriched by immigrants, where support for the elderly is substantially dependant upon wonderful, tolerant, and above all, caring people many of whom were not born in this country.

    I could go on – there are things that are imperfect about the UK but, in reality, the joy of living in a relatively stable environment, where personal fear levels are low and expectations high is largely based on the skills, abilities and application of successive waves of incoming people over the centuries.

  • You say that like it’s a bad thing. Anything which reduces the percentage of whites in the U.S. is worth doing for its’ own sake.

  • Your whole post is a load of garbage. The bill, not law, in question has to do with proposed changes to legal immigration.

    Do you trot out this crap on any discussion board for immigration topics?

  • You fail to see the issue with immigration. And you miss the effect of robots and artificial intelligence on employment, now and into the foreseeable future, e.g.:

    “Millions of workers around the world are at risk of losing their jobs to robots — but Americans should be particularly worried. Thirty-eight percent of jobs in the U.S. are at high risk of being replaced by robots and artificial intelligence over the next 15 years, according to a new report by PwC.” March 2017.

    “Robots have already cost millions of factory jobs across the nation.

    Next up could be jobs at your local stores.

    Between 6 million to 7.5 million existing jobs are at risk of being replaced over the course of the next 10 years by some form of automation, according to a new study this week from by financial services firm Cornerstone Capital Group.” CNN, May 2017

    President Trump is doing the right thing in preserving jobs for Americans in the face of competition from robots and immigrants.

  • You are confused if you think the Bible, or Christianity in any of its myriad, competing forms has anything to do with the origins of morality.
    Such moral claims as religions make are usually either an attempt to take over existing morality (do not murder, steal etc.) or spurious non-moral injunctions designed to promote the religion’s power (Don’t blaspheme etc.).

    “The Bible is clear that a state has the God-given right to make laws, and those laws must be obeyed as from God himself.”
    How do you distinguish between man-made laws and the commandments. If a state passed a law saying that we should treat all seven days of the week equally, require that everyone worship the Roman gods and promote theft would you obey them because “those laws must be obeyed as from God himself” – and disobey the Bible’s claimed commandments of God itself?

  • “I believe it is stated that only immediate family are allowed to stay together. While there are definite drawbacks for families that include grandparents not being included (which should change), the notion that everyone remotely related to someone piggy backing on a family entering is open for abuses/fraud.”

    The current laws already set guidelines as to which relatives are eligible for visas and the degree of relationship determines visa wait time. This bill is seeking to create further restrictions for no legitimate purpose whatsoever.

    The complaints about “chain migration” seldom take into account its huge benefits. The chief of which is how such families who typically pool resources and invest them into the country. The vetting involved in family based immigration is some of the most stringent USCIS engages in. The reason being that there are set limits for the number of visas depending on relation and sponsor. Wait times for such visas can be very long, depending on where the people are coming from. If anything there needs to be more USCIS clerks and larger numbers of visas.

    ” do fully believe that welcoming immigrants is important in faith and to society, but people have to stop implying that if the US does not have open borders we are not living up to that faith.”

    This bill has zero to do with open borders. But the last thing we need to be doing is making arbitrary restrictions on legal immigration. Especially when the motivation for doing so appears to be appealing to racists, and little else.

    “I would like to see articles addressing all the other countries to have strict immigration policies far, far more stringent than ours (Canada, Mexico).”

    Why? They do these things so poorly. This site has a largely American readership.

  • Your interpretation of Christianity is your excuse for destroying America. I’m not buying what you’re peddling.

  • I say the same thing about the conservative Christian obsession with homosexuality. It gave us George bush the shrub, and look what that brought us. Two wars that have drained our treasury and inflamed the world, massive deficits, and the Great Recession.

  • Never figured you for a racist and nativist before. But given your views on other subjects, I am not surprised.

    This bill has zero to do with borders, immigration reform or enforcement. You openly admit the racist purpose to the bill. That it is meant to keep minorities out for conservative political advantages. Even aping the white supremacist screeds concerning fears of a Caucasian minority in this country.

  • Nope, exactly the reverse — acknowledging the racist purpose in OPPOSITION to proper border control. Conservatives have no problem with legal immigration.

  • This bill has zero to do with border control since it deals entirely with reducing legal immigration forms. But your post really goes to the ignorance and racist intent seen commonly when conservatives discuss the subject immigration. You are working off of canned screeds which are irrelevant to the subject at hand.

    “Conservatives have no problem with legal immigration.”

    Evidently they very much do, hence the bill in question. One whose sole purpose is to limit LEGAL immigration. Your support of the bill was as clearly racist as I have ever seen you type.

    Your prior post was most revealing. I have always known you to follow the reactionary religious sanctioned bigotry against gays, atheists, liberal christians and minority faiths. But this is a new side to you which is much uglier.

    I am disappointed, but not as surprised as I should be.

  • The RAISE Act Won’t Raise Wages for Americans
    https://www.cfr.org/article/raise-act-wont-raise-wages-americans

    “One of the clearest bits of data on immigrants is that they start new companies at a much higher rate than native-born Americans.”

    “Many U.S. employers today are complaining they can’t find workers with the skills they need, retarding business expansion. The United States is already losing highly-skilled and entrepreneurial immigrants to other countries that are eager to open their doors to the immigrants this country is discouraging (and despite its focus on “merit-based” immigration, the RAISE Act would do nothing to help here).”

    https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/8/3/16089260/trump-raise-act-economic-effect-immigration
    “Immigration, whether high- or low-skilled, is unquestionably a boon for the American economy. Even George Borjas, the strongly anti-immigration Harvard economist whom Miller and others love to cite, finds that the 92.4 percent of native-born Americans with a high school degree or greater get higher wages as a result of immigration spurring economic growth. The people whose wages do fall tend to be earlier waves of immigrants — who are in direct competition with new immigrants, which native workers usually are not.”

    “Employers didn’t respond to a dearth of immigrants by increasing native wages; instead, they adopted more labor-saving technology and changed what crops they grew. “The starkest example is California tomato picking, where the excluded braceros were mostly replaced by mass-adoption of mechanized harvesters within just one year,” Clemens explains. “In crops where technologies didn’t exist for quick mechanization — like asparagus and fresh strawberries — exclusion of bracero caused sharp declines in production.””

  • The article is not about open borders, but the person to whom I replied was speaking of liberal hatred of immigation laws. And I pointed out the root of it, and so it is. Were it not for identity politics Dems would have no more problem with enforcement of our immigration laws than the citizens of any other country have with theirs. And identity politics are fundamentally racist.

    As Chris Matthews once blurted out on the air before he could stop himself: “Republicans want cheap labor, and Democrats want votes.” End of story.

  • When the members of the race which brought over blacks as slaves and then kept them under oppression under the terrorism that followed the Civil War, stole the Hispanics’ and Native Americans’ lands, enacted pogroms against Asians, conquered Hawaii, and even today engages in hate crimes against Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, etc., whines about their being victims of “racism” it’s not believable.

  • Oh, I doubt he wanted to stop himself. BTW, every single post you make is chock full of identity politics.

  • It doesn’t matter if you believe it or not. The notion that
    ANY race’s population share should be artificially increased or decreased or otherwise manipulated is racist per se.

  • “while despising ordinary middle class and rural America”

    None of whom you assumed were immigrants. You were playing identity politics but being as indirect and coy about it.

    The only people playing race politics in this story are the people in Congress who proposed this bill. That you seem to know nothing about.

  • “Their only solution is to increase the minority share of the population through immigration until eventually minorities in the aggregate are no longer “minorities.”

    That could have come right out of Richard Spencer’s blog.

    Just the kind of white supremacist garbage we are hearing these days. On par with “White genocide”, “we must keep America white and keep out immigrants”.

  • You really do not want to address the bill in question. You clearly didn’t know what it was about before you spouted off.

    The only people thinking of legal immigration in purely racial terms are the white supremacist types. And you. But you are not being racist. Suuuure.

  • Actually that was everyday language during the election on Slate, Salon, and the usual liberal echo chambers. Crowing about how the increased minority share of the population “boded well” for Hillary and the Democrats. They were so smug and sure of victory they didn’t even bother to be circumspect in their racism. Now they’re turning to transparent appeals to “Christian values” (which they don’t want to hear about any other time). But nobody’s buying it.

  • There were plenty of legal immigrants among them, who resent having toed the line and done everything the right way while the Dems fawn over the illegals who didn’t. Likewise African-Americans who know quite well that untrammeled immigration will kill legitimate affirmative action programs. And the impact on the already near-hopeless healthcare situation will be catastrophic.

    I told you last year, Spud, long before the election, that if Trump should win you guys would have yourselves entirely to blame for disregarding at best, and demonizing at worst, the middle and lower classes’ very real and very reasonable concerns about the government’s refusal to enforce our already-existing immigration laws. And of course, here we are. The immigration mess is skunking your party and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Trump and his crew extend you a hearty thanks, I’m sure.

  • I read the article, Einstein. I was replying to a different point made by another poster.

    “The only people thinking of legal immigration in purely racial terms are the white supremacist types.” You may be limited, Spud, but you’re not stupid. And you would have to be stupid, as well as blind and deaf, to not be aware of your party’s primary strategy, discussed quite frankly by your leaders, over the last decade. Kangaroo here is quite honest about it; why aren’t you?

    To the Dems every minority is fresh meat to be exploited. Although in the case of Islam, you may just have hooked the fish that will swallow you instead. 😀

  • A very cogent and thoughtfully expressed argument. Believe or not, many Americans view things precisely the same way. I try to be objective, not always successfully, but the fact that I know I’m not always successful in that regard puts me ahead of the game in some senses. I prefer to take individuals and their actions one on one as a general rule, though my last comment may not have appeared so.

  • As usual, not really trying to make relevant points here and trying to divert the discussion.

    You want to dance around the obvious racist intent of a bill, one you appear to be unaware of, oh well. Same old apologist for bigotry you have always been.

    Your attempt to paint the bill’s opponents as somehow racist for supporting immigration is largely regurgitating white supremacist screeds. That is new for you.

    “To the Dems every minority is fresh meat to be exploited. Although in the case of Islam, you may just have hooked the fish that will swallow you instead”

    That is a load of revisionist crap. Prior to outright embracing white supremacists during the Obama years, Republicans were making inroads with immigrants and minorities. They torched all that in recent memory.

    GW Bush may have been a dunderhead as a president, but he didn’t play identity politics and made efforts to appeal to conservative minorities and immigrants. His successors became far more cretinous.

    There is a really ugly side to you which is coming out in this discussion.

  • Too bad this article isn’t about illegal aliens. Please try to stay on topic here.

    It’s about restrictions on legal immigrants for racist reasons. Immigration doesn’t affect AA programs either. But it’s not like republicans are friendly to that as well.

    The healthcare problem has an easy solution, single payer. It is conservatives who oppose reasonable measures here.

    As for concerns and enforcement of immigration laws by angry white racist cretins, they were hardly reasonable. Simply another excuse for public displays of bigotry for scoring political brownie points. The overwhelming majority of conservatives don’t even know what the laws are on this subject, let alone voice legitimate concerns. The whole sanctuary city issue is borne entirely because conservative loudmouths are ignorant of the current laws on the subject. Demonizing immigrants has always been useful for getting support from the panicky and bigoted.

    This is all so disappointing from you. Never figured you for racist and nativist. But then again I guess one form of bigotry easily blends into another.

  • A glorified Trumpism of “fake news”. To handwave inconvenient reports.

    You really have to see a doctor about that anterograde amnesia. Hillary is long gone from political relevance. It’s been seven months into the presidency of the Oompa Loompa.

    “Now they’re turning to transparent appeals to “Christian values”

    I guess if they arent trying to use your faith as a pretext to attacking people, they aren’t real Christians in your eyes. What else is new?

  • By all means, go ahead and double down on the immigration loser that worked SO well for you before. You might even be able to pull off a second Republican win in 2020.

    And if we SHOULD go to single-payer, you guys can kiss open borders goodbye. You can not have both.

  • “Hillary is long gone from political relevance.” And you’re part of the reason she is long gone. Even though you don’t speak for all Dems (some of them are quite nice) you are the face that too many voters now place upon the name Democrat. Too bad.

  • Of course Bush didn’t play this game. Neither did Bill Clinton, who acknowledged the need for immigration law enforcement to thunderous applause which would be boo-hiss today. This fascination with open borders is a development of the Obama era and the devolution of the Democratic party into fundamentally racist identity politics that can ONLY be sustained by major demographic shifts.

  • “The immigration loser”? This article is about legal immigration. What used to be a source of expanding conservative voter base. One republicans torched in favor of white supremacists.

    Most established immigrant communities are socially and fiscally conservative. But if not for bigoted appeals and attacks on their interests, they would have been staunch Republicans. Conservatives soiled their own nest there.

    BTW this article has zero to do with “open borders”. In fact the term is largely a function of nativist ignorance on the subject of immigration. There is a world of difference between sane immigration policy/support of immigration and open borders panic mongering.

    Your inability to address the topic appears to be a source of embarrassment. This is an attack on legal immigration for racist reasons. You won’t discuss it directly except by spewing empty and inapt slogans and sneering.

    I am disappointed you have embraced racism and nativism, but not in the least bit surprised.

  • It’s the rehearsed response to criticism of Cheeto. When in doubt, deflect and discuss the election or prior administration as if it is still relevant.

    Pretend nothing has happened in the world for the last few months.

    Act like you have the same affliction as Drew Barrymore in 50 First Dates, Dory from Finding Nemo, or Guy Pearce in Memento. Retention of long term memories but inability to form new thoughts..

  • “Open borders” is nativist bigot speak to denote ignorance as to how the immigration system actually works and avoid any discussion of changes to the system. The reference to Clinton and Obama is just deflection.

    “the devolution of the Democratic party into fundamentally racist identity politics that can ONLY be sustained by major demographic shifts.”

    Because minorities can no longer be conservatives? The Republican Party only represents white trash now? I guess so to you.

    You are making racist assumptions in your effort to call others racist. Since this bill has entirely racist goals, it is clearly the republicans playing identity politics.

    So you support the racist aims of the bill, but don’t want to be direct about it.

  • Avoiding any discussion of changes to the system? Isn’t that what the article is all about? Long overdue reform of an outdated system, introduction of much-needed merit and skills qualifications. The problem is that you guys don’t appear to want ANY changes or any enforcement, either.

    Is hanging onto this stinker really worth what it will continue to cost you in elections?

  • The “last few months” have not changed the people’s desire for immigration reform. If anything it has increased it. You are fooling yourself if you think otherwise.

  • No matter who is in office, there must be a set of limits on immigration otherwise millions of Latin American, Asians, Africans, and Europeans would move to the USA. The questions are how many immigrants should be allowed in and what criteria should set for gaining entrance. Should individuals have the skill set to be self sufficient including language skills, needed scarce job skills, and families or sponsors that can assure the immigrant and her or his children will not be a burden on the government in the foreseeable future? Criteria should be established based on our long term needs with care that worker’s wages will not be suppressed and the government will most likely not be burden by the immigrant or their immediate descendants.

    For those who see it as a Christian or humanitarian duty to help, they can send funds and other resources overseas to feed and develop countries that result in people wanting to stay in their homeland.

    We do not even take care of our own people, as shown by the debates on health care, welfare, education to that provides sufficient skilled employees, and worker’s rights.to increase wages.

    It is one thing to allow a skilled worker or entrepreneur with the language skills into the country. It is another to bring in someone with no skills or very limited chance that they and their family will be a drag on our resources while suppressing wages for Americans with limited abilities.

    It is one thing to have individuals from develop nations come here and our people go to developed nations to live and work. But, consider the morality of importing doctor and other skilled person from poor counties that need that individual far more then we do. We can grow our own doctors and other skilled persons by expanding education opportunities here.

  • “Long overdue reform of an outdated system, introduction of much-needed merit and skills qualifications.”

    Hey you finally decided to address the bill in question. It is neither a reform nor a much needed introduction elements into qualifications for visas. It has the same motivations as poll taxes and literacy tests of old. Create unreasonable requirements that appear to be objective on their face for the purposes of keeping people away and preserving status quo. Nobody with a serious mind towards immigration reform considered such elements. Ones designed to deliberately cut legal immigration. If anything we need increased immigration and a more streamlined system for it.

    ” The problem is that you guys don’t appear to want ANY changes or any enforcement, either.”

    Actually that is very untrue as well. The problem of 60+ years of failed “catch and deport” has never been insufficient enforcement. Its been physical and legal limits as to how it can be carried out without attacking civil liberties of all. Since Republicans are more interested in demonizing immigrants than addressing legal reform, there is little chance of changing the laws to something more workable either. “Rule of Law” is the mantra of those ignorant of the laws in question. Why bother learning the laws and suggesting changes when you can just use it as an excuse to act like a raging bigot in public with social sanction? Ignorance of immigration law is the norm for conservative arguments on the subject.

    But this is also pretty much a diversion designed to derail discussion from the subject at hand.

    In fact the bill is guaranteed to hobble the economy. All for the sole purpose of appeasing white supremacist voters. At no point does cutting legal immigration impact on the wages of
    American workers, but it does reduce job prospects for the entire
    nation. Most of all it limits foreign investment in the nation which is sorely needed.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/trump-says-the-proposed-immigration-bill-will-raise-wages-for-americans-it-wont/2017/08/02/1fcbe3ce-77a2-11e7-9eac-d56bd5568db8_story.html?utm_term=.a95904aaaa47
    “Economists who study immigration overwhelmingly agree that immigration
    is an economic boon to our country. Indeed, nearly 1,500 Republican,
    Democratic and independent economists — including six Nobel laureates —
    recently released a letter
    stressing the “near universal agreement” among economists of all
    stripes on “the broad economic benefit that immigrants to this country
    bring.”

    The only stinker here is doubling down on white supremacy and nativism as a way to shore up an every shrinking conservative voting base. One that used to include a good deal of immigrants.

    Its a shame you have gone whole hog for such repugnant ideas. But then again embracing bigotry has never been a problem for you.

  • You are not talking about immigration reform at all. You are talking about trying to keep America white.

  • Nope, we are talking at the moment about keeping America skilled and employed. YOU are simply talking about trying to make America NON-white. You were even complaining below about white “cultural dominance” or somesuch nonsense. You might as well be honest about it like Kangaroo is, because everybody can easily see it.

  • “It has the same motivations as poll taxes and literacy tests of old. Create unreasonable requirements that appear to be objective on their face for the purposes of keeping people away and preserving status quo.” It is not unreasonable to require people wishing to live in our country to be skilled and have job prospects. What’s the matter — is it not possible for minorities be skilled and capable in your little worldview? Probably not.

    “Since Republicans are more interested in demonizing immigrants than addressing legal reform” They’re addressing it now. Just because it doesn’t happen to suit you doesn’t negate that. It’s what the people want.

    “In fact the bill is guaranteed to hobble the economy.” Nonsense. Illegal immigration is already way down and the economy is perking right along at a brisk pace. Job creation is up and unemployment is down, and wages are going up even without $15 minimum wage foolishness. Your Washington Post can file their economic propaganda away in the same drawer with their smug projections of a Hillary presidency.

    We all know skilled immigrants are no good at all to the Dems, and you’d rather have more low-skilled illegals working for below-subsistence wages and voting Democrat, but that isn’t where we’re going.

  • Thank you, and yes, I’m sure you’re right about many Americans thinking similarly.

  • I don’t know how an immigration policy can be unChristian or Christian, it’s just what it is. Every nation has the right to establish how many people can enter their sovereign state. You don’t know want just everyone in your home do you? Why do you have locks on your door? isn’t that unChristian since we are supposed to offer the gift of hospitality to everyone? It’s crazy for any nation to just open their doors to any and everyone. Sure we are to be welcoming, and we are, but to just open the doors is nuts. Every nation in the world sets limits. It’s almost as crazy as the Vatican, a walled city, to condemn us for a border wall. Why doesn’t the Pope tear it down and allow anyone in to sleep in that huge church he lives next to?

  • That post right above as you just parrot right-wing talking points, AKA identity politics.

  • Depends on how you define racism. I favor the Gus Savage method. Except for racists, the white race in America has no interests as such, and its decrease as a percentage of the population is a net social good.

  • Trump is weak and a do-nothing president. The purpose of Immigrants is to bring in new energized would be entrepreneurs and ideas. Too bad: The Government turns them away and Canada welcomes them in. Canada will leave the USA in the dust and so will Germany and most of Europe. Stop your scare tactics.

    You can’t solve problems on the level of which they were created. For over a decade the GOP has called for and PROMISED more jobs. The result: zilch. But Obama delivered and today’s stock market is the result of Obama’s economic growth and his job creation.

    Trump is so weak that his own VP might run against him. What a failure Trump is.

  • Loser. HRC keeps getting bashed repeatedly by Trump and others who still can’t believe that Trump won and don’t know what to do with Agent Orange, now that he has. Congress sees that Trump is a loose cannon and doesn’t fear him. Congress voted for Russian sanctions 98/2. Now that you got him, you right wing-nuts can’t contain him and will have to endure his horrible reputation like an Albatross around your necks for the rest of your miserable lives.

  • the GOP is made up of braindead, aging white, males: too much well-marbled beef, too much beer or whisky, too much time spent drinking with fellow louts, rehearsing your grievances against ‘liberals’. Bunch of pale dinosaurs who will die out.

  • Whites who are aggrieved, angry, and want their white male privilege back. Too bad, you are all dinosaurs and all going to die out.

  • another incident in a Muslim center… they are increasing. White, male, Christo-fascists turning to terrorism?

  • who says???
    we stop having to funnel our money up to the Billionaires and there’s no telling what we can do.

  • You don’t appear to understand what identity politics are. I didn’t think you did, actually.

  • “We need government officials at all levels to be honest about the real cause of these tragedies — including an inaccessible legal immigration system so strict that it denies individuals the God-given desire to be with their family members. A system that only allows in people who have certain education levels, work history, English-language ability, high-paying job offers, or past achievements is not a humane or lasting solution.”

    OK, as a Christian I’m in favor of compassion and the good treatment of “the foreigner in our midst.” I also agree that we need a new legal immigration system that serves the needs of both employees and qualified LEGAL immigrants. But since when can these ILLEGAL individuals claim a “God-given right” to cross our borders illegally, and take the jobs that so many low-income Americans need to pay their rent and feed their families?

    To me, it seems that the Rev. McCullough has a lot of misplaced compassion!

  • What an uninformed remark. The proposed bill being described in the article is a step TOWARD the kind of system that Canada has. Canada insists on its immigrants being skilled, and uses point-based admissions. As for Europe, it’s already DOA.

  • Don’t be ridiculous. You could confiscate ALL of the billionaires’ wealth and run the country for less than a year at current spending levels. That’s BEFORE taking on the single-payer beast. Go back to school.

  • LOL! It wasn’t MY party that lost an election that the entire media was desperately trying to help them win, simply because they couldn’t control their elitist arrogance and racism. Thanks for the disgusted Dems turned Pubs — most of them over this very issue.

  • When a policy is based on racist motives and lacks rational support it can very much be UnChristian. Assuming racism isn’t part of one’s Christian faith. Although for many that’s not always true.

    It is crazy to close our country to people, strictly to appease a desire for demographic dominance.

  • I hear lots of complaints about current immigration law, enforcement of current immigration law, and every new alteration to the law that has been offered. Rather than just lambasting everything else, how about these morally superior beings offering their own new immigration law? Do I hear crickets?

  • Do you mean anti “illegal” immigrant bill? Or does it just no longer matter whether an immigrant follows the law or not getting here? The bill does also seek to prevent immigration by folks seemingly destined for welfare roles, as opposed to being employed . . . but would still allow folks truly in danger, thus being more refugees than the generic “immigrant,” right?

  • you have a skewed view of reality….
    look up “confirmation bias”
    Rethugs have it bad.

    “elitist”– Trump and the kleptocrats are elitist.
    Arrogance- Trump and GOP goobers are both arrogant and racist. They only listen to their mania for power

  • Trump has lived a long time and done a lot of wrong things, but I have never heard it suggested that he was a “racist” until the last election. Of course it wasn’t a surprise that Dems trotted out that now mostly meaningless slur since it’s their all-purpose whine. Arrogant, yep, but fortunately his arrogance wasn’t directed against the bulk of middle America where electoral power lies like HRC”s was — so that’s on her. And as for elitist, there’s a WORLD of difference between wealthy and elite. Trump is the former but decidedly NOT the latter. You’ve got some things to learn about the world.

  • the author, appears to be supporting felony crime. believe it or not, illegal immigration is a crime. and any group supporting it, is an organized crime syndicate.

    i am not opposed to legal immigration, with cautious screening like in the days of ellis island. where they could be detained for as long as two years, to weed out incompatible trouble makers, medical threats to this nation, the requirement to learn english, the refusal to allow entry from hostile or unfriendly nations and the setting of quotas to allow proper vetting.

    i believe we should return to the more stringent laws on the books, that served this nation well for over 175 years.

    illegal aliens, have already proven to have no respect for america or it’s laws. never before in american history, were they stupid enough to allow legal immigration from hostile territories. especially those, chanting death to americans and america.

    and we stopped all immigration from the axis nations, in wwii, wwi and the spanish american war. and islam, has proven to be incomparable with and hostile to any other religion or society.

  • Trump started the Birtherist nonsense years ago and the GOP should have stopped it then, so Trump kept ramping up his racist rants and hatred, The Right lapped it up. The Southern Baptists hopped in with both feet. NY Times has an article with people telling why they left the SPC years ago. They were fed up with the hatred.
    You have a lot to learn. I’ve been fighting this abysmal hate filled worldview all my life.

  • You’re on dodgy ground here pal.

    “illegal aliens, have already proven to have no respect for america or it’s laws”

    1 – You imply that this is true of all illegal aliens – two minutes checking and, hopefully, you wouldn’t have left the implication in (because it’s nonsense).
    2 – For balance, which I’m sure you approve of; plenty of home-growns “have already proven to have no respect for america or it’s laws”. Those who harass people behaving legally when outside clinics: those who discriminate against people who are different-to-me, on illegal, racial, sexual, gender etc. fears: those who bomb government offices or religious buildings: those who illegally occupy public land with their cattle and their supporters etc. etc.

    “islam, has proven to be incomparable with and hostile to any other religion or society.”

    Nonsense – Certain interpretations (and those who follow those interpretations) of islam are hostile to other religions and societies – sometimes wickedly, violently and inhumanely so, just as are some interpretations (and those who follow those interpretations) of christianity, buddhism, judaism etc..

    No one – very recent immigrant or from a family which arrived only a few hundred years ago – legal or illegal (and most of the earlier ones were definitely illegal – they came as conquerors not guests) is permitted, without sanction, to choose which bits of the law to observe or which religious groupings to persecute.

    I wonder how much social interaction you have had with those you fear.

  • Trump didn’t start Birtherism — that originated with Hillary’s overzealous campaign staffers back when she was seeking the Democratic nomination against Obama. And even so, it has nothing to do with racism but with constitutional requirements for a US president.

    If our country is so hateful why don’t you try Canada? Do you have any skills that would earn you enough points to induce them to take you?

  • you missed the point entirely, excusing the GOP who went along with the Obama hate. They spawned a monster, hatred of anyone not them and now it’s devouring the party.
    “it has nothing to do with racism”–delusional.
    This is my country. My father and my brothers fought for this country. Really, you’re scraping the bottom of a fetid barrel with that ancient canard.

  • Single payer would cut out private companies and their profits and administrative costs. Where did you get your MBA, lad? Are you an economic eunuch AND an ethical eunuch.

  • the Right-wingers have a new movie called:”Confederate” and they’re hoping people will look at it with “an open mind.” Pure propaganda for the “noble” “Lost Cause.” Trump’s rallying cry to his tribe of bigots so he’ll live to fight in 2020.

  • then why do the Christo-fascists in Utah have multiple wives and force the government to pay for their spawn. Idaho too, white man’s paradise. Lots of Quivverful folks around, too. Finally the women wake up after 7 kids and walk out.
    Whites and Christians have ALWAYS Been pro-natalist. In Russia they pay women to have lots of babies. But even there women are tired of being brood mares.

  • And this is many people’s country, not just yours.

    You don’t own a pair of purple sweatpants, do you? ?

    And you’re spot on about the bottom of a fetid barrel — which is the best description I can think of for the plethora of “celebrities” and professional complainers who bloviated about moving to Canada if Trump won but of course continue to grace our soil with their cluelessness.

  • Um, perhaps the Quiverfulls feel strongly about the scripture’s words about children being a blessing from God. I seriously doubt that many of them are thinking about national demographics when planning their families.

    And ALL of Europe’s nations, not just Russia, are trying to increase birthrates because there are not enough young and productive workers to support their aging populations and keep the famed “social safety net” sustainable. Why don’t you know all this? It’s not like it’s now-breaking headlines.

  • Because Lord knows, the government is SO outstanding at cost-cutting! ROFL!

    As P.J. O’Roarke so aptly put it, if you think health care is expensive now, just wait till it’s “free.”

  • Who says we need to increase immigration, go to Los Angeles, the rent is through the roof. Also, the bill favors skilled immigrants which might mean more folks for Asia and more college graduates from Latin America. Why does a large portion of immigrants have to be poorly educated and have relatives in the US to qualify. In fact the lower immigration levels of the 1924 quota system allow wages to rise since they were less immigrants flooding the labor market. Your response is based upon emotion.

  • Telling someone to leave the USA if they don’t like some part of national policy, is a stupid meme going back to Vietnam. It was used by stupid people who wanted dissenters to conform and let the war proceed. Sorry, fella, it’s patriotic to stand up and tell the truth when your country is wrong, which it clearly was.

    Now if you posit the old lie that the military said they weren’t allowed to prosecute the war fully, we can descend further into stupid discussions. If so, I suggest you read General McMaster’s masterful post Vietnam truth telling book, Dereliction of Duty. Have you read it?? He’s now in the Trump administration. No one called him a coward.

  • You are blowing smoke. Studies show it would not be more expensive than what we have now. You really should look at the European countries and Canada. Only the USA is so backwards as to oversee a system of poor care and paying 2 and 3 times more than these countries.

  • Blaming immigrants for the reverse white flight which is driving up rent/costs in city centers and displacing working/middle class out? Of course the bill won’t address how our real estate system is primarily used as a money laundering scheme by Chinese and Russian oligarchs. The primary mover in unnaturally raising urban housing costs.

    The bill is designed to create unnecessary barriers to legal immigration across the board. It serves no legitimate purpose for the country but appeals to racists. Who was complaining there are too many families coming together, or too many immigrants being productive residents? People scared of foreigners (especially non-white ones).

    It will turn away foreign investment in the country. It will reduce the ability on small scales to pool resources towards building businesses here. Immigrants create new small businesses at a faster rate than the native born. Foreign companies cannot rely on purely American labor to function in the US.

    “In fact the lower immigration levels of the 1924 quota system allow wages to rise since they were less immigrants flooding the labor market. Your response is based upon emotion.”

    Bull effing crap. Decreasing immigration will have zero effect on wages other than lowering them across the board, due to decreasing markets and diminishing workforce. Immigration nowadays means several things, replacement of a workforce which is aging out, increased investment, and entrepreneurship. You cite to one of the most bigoted immigration systems the US ever adopted. Designed explicitly to keep America white and protestant. One btw responsible for turning away thousands of people fleeing the Nazis to be murdered (see SS St. Louis)
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/08/02/its-a-grave-mistake-for-trump-to-cut-legal-immigration-in-half/?utm_term=.f56c1d417f28
    “In April, over 1,400 economists from across the political spectrum sent a letter to Trump urging him not to cut immigration. The letter said there was “near universal agreement” on the “the broad economic benefit that immigrants to this country bring.” Thomas Simons, senior economist at Jefferies investment firm, said a 50 percent reduction would be “absolutely harmful to an economy with a population undergoing the demographic transformation.”

    The bottom line is that the United States needs more workers. Growth happens when one of two things occurs: The economy gets more workers or the existing workers become more productive. At the moment, both of those factors are red flags. Productivity growth is sluggish, and, as Trump has pointed out many times, the percentage of American adults who actually work — the labor-force participation rate — is hovering at the lowest levels since the 1970s.”

    We are long long past the importation of cheap industrial labor from abroad. You can stop recycling anti-immigrant tropes from that era.

  • “Studies” also showed that Obamacare wouldn’t adversely affect anyone’s insurance coverage. Perish the thought that the Teleprompter Messiah might promise we could keep our plans without any evidence behind him!

    As for Canada, I’d love to turn my brother-in-law loose on you, whose sister died of brain cancer while waiting for months for so-called “superior” treatment up there. How long did it take McCain to get treatment for his? Oh yeah, he was on the operating table practically the next day.

    I’ll take Canada’s and Europe’s systems seriously when Canada stops sending their overflow sick down here (and starts taking some of the low-skill immigrants trying to come here) and Europe no longer sticks its hand out to us to pay for their defense.

  • “Why does a large portion of immigrants have to be poorly educated” Because that is the kind that generates Democratic voters.

  • i, do not believe your holier than the law attitude. or any one else, claiming their above the law of the many states. those! who support criminals are criminals.

    and no! i do not approve of any alleged as american citizen supporting any criminal activity. we, are already over the limit of them in this country. why, would we want to import more legally or illegally?

    as much as i, believe in free speech. i, do not believe in the freedom to willfully and wantonly violate the civil or criminal law of the land. no matter how many crooks, support their own crooked ways.

    and what is there to know about islam, whose religious texts are meant to either convert or murder you? with the two basic principals, of hijra and jihad. hijra to infiltrate and subversion followed by jihad to murder those who refuse to convert by force. with the same methods, used since muhammed. using the same methods, previously used by christianity both catholicism, protestantism, other organized sectarian and secular religions.

    and yes i understand what ELOHEEM is commanding to happen to those who Love THEM and those who do not love them better than you never did understand.

    if you, are the enemy of ELOHEEM or THEIR He/She Son Adam. do not expect the same physical pestilence, plague, or famine judgement, as those who Love Them here in THEIR Giving This ReAccounting of This 7-Day Physical Theocracy. here in THEIR Story of The Physical Creation again, where those who Love THEM are by far greatly outnumbered by those who don’t.

  • Hey – this is my language you’re abusing – please stop it.

    Come back when have thought through what you want to say and, hopefully, we can have a calm, sensible, grammatically adequate chat – but, I warn you, you will need to provide some valid evidence or rational argument before I’m going to engage you on your version of god(s).

  • your, taught language without ELOHEEM and THEIR Son is your sins of the fathers taught to their children.

    and if The Torah actually Happening exactly as it is written is insufficient proof for you. then i, accuse that no amount of proof is sufficient for your religious anti-Torah behavior here in IT.

    your just another, secular taught conned job.

  • JCB – until you put words together in a way that accurately conveys whatever it is you think you’re saying I’m unable to respond to you.
    Alternatively – if that which you have written is, truly, an accurate replication of your thoughts our mental harmonics are so unsympathetic that discord is the only likely outcome.

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