Runnin’ late again this week, folks, but here’s Mr. Linky until I get the post done.
Update: Okay then. It’s 8:05 pm and I’m finally done. Our internet was out for a while, so I have a good excuse.
It’s hard these days to avoid the discussion about illegal immigration, so I’ve decided to address it in this week’s Word for Wednesday. I’m using a collection of opinions that – amazingly enough – does not include my own. I have, however, emphasized portions with bold text.
President Bush:  Trying to navigate the election-year minefield on the issue, Bush called for the short-term deployment of up to 6,000 National Guard troops in a supporting role along the U.S.-Mexico border. [source]
President Obama:  President Obama will deploy 1,200 National Guard troops and request an extra $500 million to secure the Mexican border … [T]he troop deployment was fueled by … political maneuvering in Washington [source]
Gov. Schwarzenegger: “I was also going to give a graduation speech in Arizona this weekend,” Schwarzenegger said. “But with my accent I was afraid they would try to deport me.” [source]
God: You shall not oppress a stranger, since you yourselves know the feelings of a stranger, for you also were strangers in the land of Egypt. (Exodus 23:9)
Thus says the LORD, “Do justice and righteousness, and deliver the one who has been robbed from the power of his oppressor. Also do not mistreat or do violence to the stranger, the orphan, or the widow; and do not shed innocent blood in this place.” (Jeremiah 22:3)
U.S. Constitution: The Constitution never mentions immigration. [source]
Emergency Quota Act of 1921: the Emergency Quota Act … was an immigration quota that limited the annual number of immigrants who could be admitted from any country to 3% of the number of persons from that country living in the United States in 1910 … The act was passed without a record vote in the U.S. House of Representatives and by a vote of 78-1 in the U.S. Senate during a time of swelling isolationism following World War I. [source]
John Higham: Historian John Higham wrote in his classic work on American nativism, Strangers in the Land (1963), that although intended as temporary legislation the act [see above] “proved in the long run the most important turning-point in American immigration policy” because it imposed numerical limits on European immigration for the first time and established a nationality quota system (Higham, p. 311). [source]
Writer of Hebrews: Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it. Remember the prisoners, as though in prison with them, and those who are ill-treated, since you yourselves also are in the body. (Hebrews 13:2)
Steve Chapman: Since 1986, the year of the infamous amnesty for illegal immigrants, the U.S. murder rate has plunged by 37 percent. (In Chicago, the number of homicides went from 747 in 1986 to 460 last year.) Forcible rape is down 23 percent. Drunk driving fatalities are off by more than half. You are safer today than you were before all those undocumented interlopers arrived. [source]
Ron Unz: Unz points out that in the five most heavily Hispanic cities in the country, violent crime is “10 percent below the national urban average and the homicide rate 40 percent lower.” In Los Angeles, which is half Hispanic and easily accessible to those sneaking over the southern border, the murder rate has plummeted to levels unseen since the tranquil years of the early 1960s.
This is not really hard to understand. Today, as ever, most foreigners who make the sacrifice of leaving home and starting over in a strange land do so not to mug grandmothers or molest children, but to find work that will give them a better life. Coming here illegally does not alter that basic motivation. [source]
J. D. Tuccille: If my interactions with folks who live here [Arizona] and support the immigration law are anything to go by, odd music, odd food and odd Spanish conversations have more to do with anti-immigrant fears than do worries about crime and jobs. Around the state, the nativists whisper that new arrivals will transform the culture and turn it into something alien.
If you can step back from the fray, it’s amusing to watch the cultural barricades shift over time as people rally to defend an ever-morphing true Americanism. In 1905, the New York Times railed against “immigrants and evil communications from the shores of Italy and Austria-Hungary.” (My ancestors came from Naples and a German-speaking part of Serbia, so I take the hint). A century later, Domino’s “pizza” and Olive Garden are everyplace (for which my great-grandparents can’t be blamed) and part of the culture that Sheriff Joe “son of immigrants and evil communicators” Arpaio has so bravely stepped forward to champion against the foreign hordes.
For my part, I’d welcome a little more cultural transformation. I like the Mexican attitude toward family, friends and life (not so different from Mediterranean culture) and feel more comfortable with it than I do in a room full of sullen midwesterners silently nibbling on plates of tuna casserole.
Unfortunately, the part of the American tradition that I like the most — that of the restrained state — is being jettisoned by the nativists themselves. [source]
God: You shall not pervert the justice due an alien or an orphan, nor take a widow’s garment in pledge. But you shall remember that you were a slave in Egypt, and that the LORD your God redeemed you from there; therefore I am commanding you to do this thing. When you reap your harvest in your field and have forgotten a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back to get it; it shall be for the alien, for the orphan, and for the widow, in order that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. When you beat your olive tree, you shall not go over the boughs again; it shall be for the alien, for the orphan, and for the widow. When you gather the grapes of your vineyard, you shall not go over it again; it shall be for the alien, for the orphan, and for the widow. You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt; therefore I am commanding you to do this thing. (Deuteronomy 24:17-22)
Declaration of Independence: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
Steven Horwitz: Too often forgotten in these debates are the rights of immigrants. Libertarians believe in human rights, not just citizens’ rights or Americans’ rights. People everywhere have, or should have, the right to travel where they wish and to contract for work with whomever they wish. On what grounds do those who profess a belief in freedom prohibit them from doing so? [source]
God: There shall be one standard for you; it shall be for the stranger as well as the native, for I am the LORD your God. (Leviticus 24:22)
As for the assembly, there shall be one statute for you and for the alien who sojourns with you, a perpetual statute throughout your generations; as you are, so shall the alien be before the LORD. There is to be one law and one ordinance for you and for the alien who sojourns with you. (Numbers 15:15-16)
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
‘ With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” [source]
Becky Akers: Mr. Obama, Tear Down This Wall! [source]
Rev. A. B. Simpson: [emphasis added] In 1873 some Presbyterians in Kentucky invited a young Canadian to be their pastor. Tensions in the border state were still high following the War of Southern Independence, and the congregants hoped that a neutral outsider could pacify folks not only within their own church but even across denominations.
Rev. A.B. Simpson succeeded so well that he was next called to the 13th Street Presbyterian Church in New York City . Once again his Biblical preaching resonated not only with the wealthy Americans of 13th Street Presbyterian but also with the Italian immigrants thronging the neighborhood. About 100 of them were soon clamoring to join the church. An immigrant himself, Rev. Simpson was delighted. His church, however, was not. The man who had reconciled Yankees and rebels was unable to convince his fellow Christians to welcome poor foreigners. Rev. Simpson left the Presbyterians and eventually founded the Christian and Missionary Alliance. [source]
God: “Thus has the LORD of hosts said, ‘Dispense true justice and practice kindness and compassion each to his brother; and do not oppress the widow or the orphan, the stranger or the poor; and do not devise evil in your hearts against one another.’ “But they refused to pay attention and turned a stubborn shoulder and stopped their ears from hearing. They made their hearts like flint so that they could not hear the law and the words which the LORD of hosts had sent by His Spirit through the former prophets; therefore great wrath came from the LORD of hosts. (Zechariah 7:9-12)
For the LORD your God is the God of gods and the Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God who does not show partiality nor take a bribe. He executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and shows His love for the alien by giving him food and clothing. So show your love for the alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt. (Deuteronomy 10:17-19)
When a stranger resides with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt; I am the LORD your God. (Leviticus 19:33-34)
Jesus: For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me. Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? ‘And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? ‘When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’ (Matthew 25:35-40)