I would like to thank Marc Clauson for adding another page in our discussion on immigration. My policy position on immigration and Marc’s policy position on immigration are very close, which makes the discussion all the more interesting, because I do think we have some differences on how we arrive at our conclusions. I also been put on “notice” that another Berean blogger is considering crafting a response blog to my perspective on immigration.
To Marc’s first point that immigrants bring ideological and political views that undermine free markets, I would like to remind Marc that market philosophy and the philosophy of freedom that undergirds free markets are both learned. These ideas don’t come preloaded into human beings. Part of the disagreement that Marc and I have has to do with a time framework. I trust that as time passes (years and maybe decades – maybe the second generation immigrants) immigrants will learn the political philosophy that support not only free markets but also the very nature of a free society. I believe Marc thinks that there is an immediate crisis and the immigrants will vote in ways he does not like. Even if that occurred, I would still want my nation to be friendly and welcoming of all people. God’s image is in every person ever born. Respecting that is more important than a transitory political state.
Next, in his second and third points, Marc discusses “Old Testament Hebrew” polity and how that should affect policy in the United States today. All immigrants should obey all of the laws of the United States. As I have stated, no one should be allowed to emigrate if there is any indication of previous criminal activity or criminal intent.
As so far as the other elements of Marc’s response go (welfare, education, and I think he certainly could have discussed healthcare, etc.) I do not think that because there are problems with these programs in the United States at this time that necessarily means we keep out immigrants. In my mind, to bar immigrants from entering the United States because of current failed policies and programs in the United States, is to allow one set of issues to create another problem. Our education system certainly has many problems, but somewhere I learned “Two wrongs don’t make a right”.
Central to Marc’s arguments is the importance of maintaining a society where individual freedom serves as a foundation for free markets. He wants us to maintain and move back in the direction of a “limited government” which performs functions necessary for individual people created in God’s image to flourish and succeed. In order to have this free society every citizen has to be willing to allow his or her fellow citizens to behave in ways each person chooses, as long as we do not harm one another. The free society goes beyond tolerance to the recognition of the infinite value of all people because of our shared creation in God’s image. We have to not only believe in the value and importance of choice for people, we also have to allow them to behave in ways consistent with their humanity, give them free choice. If someone wants to immigrate to the United States they need to be able to do so – simply because they are human. Each person has the same status as you do. I do not want to live in an Islamic state. But the way to avoid the United States going through catastrophic changes is not to keep people who think differently than you think out of the nation by using government force. We need to help them see and teach them what has made our nation great and how they can cooperate with us for more greatness in the future. If we want our nation to be more Christian, we don’t make it more Christian through the violent arm of our federal government building walls both legal and physical. The nation will be more Christian as our population is made up off more Christians. Evangelism. Discipleship. We cannot have a freer nation that supports free markets by using methodology that is diametrically opposed to freedom.