I just read my New International Version Bible and found in Leviticus, Chapter 19:
“When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the LORD your God.”
The Bible tells us that G-d gave these instructions to Moses thousands of years ago. I am overwhelmed by the message of love and, as a man of my time, my personal belief is that the message is sufficiently broad to cover refugees and those seeking asylum at our Southern border.
I think America can do much better with such sojourners than we’ve done so far. ‘Separation of church and State’ does not require us to suspend our understanding of Judeo-Christian principles.
These Biblical instructions seem so clear to me. It is wrong to send people back to Mexico, to wait for a court date, to the danger and squalor of camps permitted by the Mexican government, in response to the U.S. Government’s outrageous perversion of the very laws we set up to protect refugees. Denying ‘wretched refugee refuse’ the protection of the courts set up to deal with asylum seekers is wrong on many levels.
Innocent children and their brave parents will die. America will be diminished in the eyes of the world. Worst of all perhaps, the parents of future American presidents and lawmakers, even angels, will be prevented from entering. And we are harming our economy – we need more workers, more minds, more consumers, and the challenge of doing the right thing.
I bear personal testimony to the benefits gained by our government’s allowing Cuban refugees into Miami in the 1960s. A shaky, decaying Florida city suddenly woke up and began to prosper as never before. Miami and other communities gained industry, tax base, color and excellent new citizens. I saw the main business streets, Flagler Street and South West Eighth Street, un-shutter empty stores and buildings and start to hum with new commerce, fresh paint and ultimately the towering skyline that defines Miami today. Many locals feared the strange Cuban refugees but I said, “Thank you, a million times, Fidel!”
It is likely no accident that tight constraints on immigration and the Great Depression occurred at the same time. The chart below, from Wikipedia, outlines some of the legislation passed. We should all cringe at the xenophobia, racism, sexism and other bias that can be inferred from these laws.
For sure new immigrants bring problems with them. They will include criminals, infirm persons, and cultural biases. Historically, however, the crime rate for immigrants is lower than for native born Americans.
I voted for Joe Biden in the Florida Primary this year. He said some things in debate that reconfirmed my belief that he will make a good president. He promised not to deport anyone for the first 100 days of his presidency and to have a woman running mate for V.P. WTG JOE.
A conservative in many ways, I want fiscal responsibility. But I also want social justice. All Americans should be taxed fairly. Medical care, education, minimum wages and other hot topics should be intelligently legislated to bring the United States back to the forefront of the world’s great democracies.
List of U. S. immigration laws
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
|Year||Name of legislation or case||Major highlights|
|1790||Naturalization Act of 1790||Established the rules for naturalized citizenship, as per Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution, but placed no restrictions on immigration. Citizenship was limited to white persons, with no other restriction on non-whites. Note: this is a restriction on naturalization (voting and office-holding), not on immigration.|
|1795||Naturalization Act of 1795||Lengthened required residency to become citizen. Again, this is a restriction on naturalization, not on immigration.|
|1798||Naturalization Act(officially An Act to Establish a Uniform Rule of Naturalization; ch. 54, 1 Stat. 566)Alien Friends Act(officially An Act Concerning Aliens; ch. 58, 1 Stat. 570)Alien Enemies Act(officially An Act Respecting Alien Enemies; ch. 66, 1 Stat. 577)||Extended the duration of residence required for immigrants to become citizens to 14 years. Enacted June 18, 1798, with no expiration date, it was repealed in 1802.Authorized the president to deport any resident immigrant considered “dangerous to the peace and safety of the United States.” It was activated June 25, 1798, with a two-year expiration date.Authorized the president to apprehend and deport resident aliens if their home countries were at war with the United States of America. Enacted July 6, 1798, and providing no sunset provision, the act remains intact today as 50 U.S.C. § 21|
|1802||Naturalization Law of 1802||Repealed the 14-year residency requirement of Naturalization Act of 1798.|
|1870||Naturalization Act of 1870||Extended the naturalization process to “aliens of African nativity and to persons of African descent.”Other non-whites were not included in this act and remained excluded from naturalization, per the Naturalization Act of 1790|
|1875||Page Act of 1875(Sect. 141, 18 Stat. 477, 1873-March 1875)||The first federal immigration law and prohibited the entry of immigrants considered as “undesirable”The law classified as “undesirable” any individual from Asia who was coming to America to be a contract laborerStrengthen the ban against “coolie” laborers, by imposing a fine of up to $2,000 and maximum jail sentence of one year upon anyone who tried to bring a person from China, Japan, or any oriental country to the United States “without their free and voluntary consent, for the purpose of holding them to a term of service”|
|1882||Chinese Exclusion Act||Restricted immigration of Chinese laborers for 10 years.Prohibited Chinese naturalization.Provided deportation procedures for illegal Chinese.Marked the birth of illegal immigration (in America).The Act was “a response to racism [in America] and to anxiety about threats from cheap labor [from China].” |
|1882||Immigration Act of 1882||Imposed a 50 cent head tax to fund immigration officials.|
|1885||Alien Contract Labor Law (Sess. II Chap. 164; 23 Stat. 332)||Prohibited the importation and migration of foreigners and aliens under contract or agreement to perform labor in the United States|
|1891||Immigration Act of 1891||First comprehensive immigration laws for the US.Bureau of Immigration set up in the Treasury Dept.Immigration Bureau directed to deport unlawful aliens.Empowered “the superintendent of immigration to enforce immigration laws”.|
|1892||Geary Act||Extended and strengthened the Chinese Exclusion Act.|
|1898||United States v. Wong Kim Ark||The Supreme Court ruled that a child of Chinese descent born in the United States – whose parents at the time of his birth are subjects of the Emperor of China but who are domiciled in the United States as permanent residents; are carrying on business there; and are not employed in any diplomatic or other official capacity under the Emperor of China – is a citizen of the United States by virtue of having been born “in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof,” per the first clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.Several years later, in the wake of the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire, a number of Chinese immigrants who were otherwise subject to the Chinese Exclusion Act were nonetheless able to claim American citizenship by alleging they were born in San Francisco, and that their birth certificates had been destroyed along with those of everyone else who had been born in San Francisco. “Papers for fictitious children were sold in China, allowing Chinese to immigrate despite the laws.” |
|1903||Immigration Act of 1903 (Anarchist Exclusion Act)||Added four inadmissible classes: anarchists, people with epilepsy, beggars, and importers of prostitutes|
|1906||Naturalization Act of 1906||Standardized naturalization proceduresMade some knowledge of English a requirement for citizenshipEstablished the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization|
|1907||Immigration Act of 1907||Restricted immigration for certain classes of disabled and diseased people|
|1917||Immigration Act of 1917 (Barred Zone Act)||Restricted immigration from Asia by creating an “Asiatic Barred Zone” and introduced a reading test for all immigrants over sixteen years of age, with certain exceptions for children, wives, and elderly family members.|
|1918||Immigration Act of 1918||Expanded on the provisions of the Anarchist Exclusion Act.|
|1921||Emergency Quota Act||Limited the number of immigrants a year from any country to 3% of those already in the US from that country as per the 1910 census.”An unintended consequence of the 1920s legislation was an increase in illegal immigration. Many Europeans who did not fall under the quotas migrated to Canada or Mexico, which [as Western Hemisphere nations] were not subject to national-origin quotas; [and] subsequently they slipped into the United States illegally.” |
|1922||The Cable Act of 1922 (ch. 411, 42 Stat. 1021, “Married Women’s Independent Nationality Act”)||Reversed former immigration laws regarding marriage, also known as the Married Women’s Citizenship Act or the Women’s Citizenship Act. Previously, a woman lost her US citizenship if she married a foreign man, since she assumed the citizenship of her husband, a law that did not apply to men who married foreign women. The law repealed sections 3 and 4 of the Expatriation Act of 1907.|
|1924||Immigration Act(Johnson-Reed Act)||Imposed first permanent numerical limit on immigration.Began a national-origin quota system.|
|1924||National Origins Formula||Established with the Immigration Act of 1924.Total annual immigration was capped at 150,000. Immigrants fit into two categories: those from quota-nations and those from non-quota nations.Immigrant visas from quota-nations were restricted to the same ratio of residents from the country of origin out of 150,000 as the ratio of foreign-born nationals in the United States. The percentage out of 150,000 was the relative number of visas a particular nation received.Non-quota nations, notably those contiguous to the United States only had to prove an immigrant’s residence in that country of origin for at least two years prior to emigration to the United States.Laborers from Asiatic nations were excluded but exceptions existed for professionals, clergy, and students to obtain visas.|
|1934||Equal Nationality Act of 1934||Allowed foreign-born children of American mothers and alien fathers who had entered America before age 18 and lived in America for five years to apply for American citizenship for the first time.Made the naturalization process quicker for American women’s alien husbands.|
|1930s||Federal officials deported “Tens of thousands, and possibly more than 400,000, Mexicans and Mexican-Americans… Many, mostly children, were U.S. citizens.”  “Applications for legal admission into the United States increased following World War II — and so did illegal immigration.”  Some used fraudulent marriages as their method of illegal entry in the U.S. “Japanese immigration became disproportionately female, as more women left Japan as “picture brides”, betrothed to emigrant men into the U.S. whom they had never met.” |
Leave a Comment