Saturday, May 29, 2010
A Perspective on Immigration
I know, I know, I jumped on the bandwagon and I'm blogging about immigration. In light of everything that's happened with Arizona taking a strong stance on enforcing immigration laws which by the way is in desperate need of reforming nationally, I thought I'd take my opportunity to give a perspective. To preface this blog, I think it's fair to warn you that I am a child of immigratted parents. If you haven't read my previous blogs, I was born and raised in Haiti; English is my second language.
I remember growing up in Haiti without parents but with the knowledge that I had parents who loved me so much that they would leave me and my three older sisters in search of a better future for our immediate family and generations to come. The funny thing is everyone in our community understood that, they got it and it's interesting that many people living in America don't understand why is that a worthy sacrifice. Many foreign families risk their own lives and sacrifice their own happiness and well being to break what seems to be a generational curse. Many survive but countless others don't.
When I tell people about our family, in their ignorance they would ask "why did your parents leave Haiti?" And my answer, sometimes in frustration that they don't understand is "Most foreigners living in places like Haiti live for the day when they might have a chance at a better life". A better life means a quality education, healthcare, enough food for everyone to eat, clean water; in other words an opportunity at living to the highest potential that God has created every last one of us with.
As a foreigner, I can't understand why a nation which was built by the hands of immigrants would be so against modern day immigrants? I can't understand a nation which is predominantly christian cannot understand the plight of immigrants when the Bible is plagued with examples of God Himself commissioning groups of people out of their land and into another, whether the reason was due to famine, religious persecution or war?
Yes I do understand that we have to keep the murderers and the strange and questionable looking people out of "our" country. I do understand we need to keep the drug dealers and all the craziness out of "our" country, I get it, I really do. I do understand we need laws, borders and boundaries in order to protect the hard working people of this country. I get it, I really do! However there has to be a better way to talk about these people. There has to be a better way to treat them. There has to be a better model for grace. There has to be a better model for love. You mean to tell me I can go to jail if I feed an illegal immigrant? I can't even show kindness and mercy to an illegal immigrant? Where's the 80% Christian of this nation?
Ok, I'm off my soapbox, last thought: Jesus was born in a stable and guess what he was at birth: an immigrant! Shocking! What do we do with that? Embrace the tension!!!! This issue is very gray, not as black and white as many think. That's just my perspective.