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The basic idea of the article, which you can find here, is that the cause of illegal immigration is that we make it illegal by issuing far fewer visas than our economy demands, and that the best way to end it is to bring that number of visas dramitically up.  I only have one thing to add:  I’ve been saying that for years.


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Once again, I have to point you in the direction of a friend of mine who wrote an excellent article entitled, “Duty Free.”

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Here is another excellent video discussion by Ron Whitlock at Valley Newsline.

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“The law was added so that the trespass might increase. But where sin [read disobedience] increased, grace increased all the more.” Romans 5:20 NIV

With the advent of a nation-based quota system in 1924, many immigrants found themselves found themselves on the wrong side of a new law. Because of the quota system, it became illegal for many Mexicans to cross a border which was less than 80 years old. As the popular slogan states, “We didn’t cross the border, the border crossed us.” Many immigrants who had been pouring in legally were obstructed, and these quotas failed to take into account the growing and dynamic needs of our country and the globalizing world. With the creation of more laws, there will inevitably be more criminals, not necessarily more peace.

The United States of America must soon decide whether it wants to continue waging the costly and ultimately self-defeating war it has been waging against immigration. The border wall, estimated at $4-8 billion dollars, and the President’s proposed $13 billion for Border Security are huge costs to stave off a necessary immigrant pool. Just yesterday, the first Baby Boomer cashed her Social Security check; at a time like this, we should be encouraging young, qualified immigrants. Who else will foot the bill for our millions of retirees?

Immigrants have always been the lifeblood of our economy, and that is no different in today’s world. In fact, immigrants are even more important in today’s economy. Immigrants bring the world economy and global competition within our borders. At a time when America is ceding its position to China and the EU as the world’s prime economic regulator, our nation must realize that it is far better to bring people into our country than to export business outside our country. For years, our production companies have been sending jobs and values overseas. Immigrants are the main reason many key “American” industries are still profitable and still centered in the continental U.S. To continue criminalizing immigrants is to ignore the rough lessons of globalization and to accept a position as an economy in decline.

Our nation is bogged down with the expense and legislation of fighting a battle that we must not and should not wish to win. China is just now re-emerging as a true world power after years of shutting its doors and walling in its borders. With its new legislation, the United States appears to be turning back the clock and starting down that same path of isolationism and xenophobia.

These are the economic and legislative reasons our nation must opt against the continued criminalization of immigrants. What follows are ideas for ways in which to nonviolently voice opposition to this philosophy. As Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote in “New Day in Birmingham” from his book Why We Can’t Wait, “It is terribly difficult to wage such a battle without the moral support of the national press to counteract the hostility of local editors.” (53) This tenet still holds true. Save for a few feature stories and the publicity surrounding the May Day protests 2 years ago, the media has been largely silent or silenced on this subject. It is the duty of the active citizenry, both legal and criminalized, to inform our nation’s media sources about the true heart of the immigration issue. If every informed reader would take genuine concern and write an OP-ED piece to his local newspaper or her college newspaper, this issue would again become the conversation piece it was before it was voted down in our nation’s lawmakers. If concerned citizens in our nation’s borderlands and cities would write articles or suggest immigrant stories to editors, newspapers and magazines would cover these stories because their readership demands it.

As I write, Mayor Ahumada in Brownsville, TX, is seeking to impose a court injunction against the construction of an unsightly, ineffective, and retrogressive border fence. Whereas in the times of Martin Luther King, Jr., the court injunctions were resisting positive changes in the realm of civil rights, this court injunction and others like it are seeking to use legal means to stop our country from continuing to make an unwise decision. Support for his efforts, and the efforts of all politicians and attorneys who are fighting for immigrant rights, is much needed at this time of dire urgency.

It is time for all God’s people to echo with one voice that anti-immigrant laws and quotas are immoral and retrogressive. It is time to say “Basta! Quotas were a bad idea in the 20s, and they are just as bad now.” We cannot afford to put this off until the next election. We must not just “sit” on this issue, because it is the backbone of our nation’s future. While 12 million illegal immigrants work and reside in this country without rights or legitimacy, none of us can rest assured of our inalienable rights. While 12 million “illegal” immigrants remain unjailed, unprosecuted, unprotected and disrespected, we must ask ourselves and our politicians if our nation can long endure with this many working citizens on the wrong side of such a law. If illegal aliens can be alienated because of an unjust quota system, then the very rights of citizenship itself are unjust. We must work in every facet and every means to nonviolently inform, persuade, and insist on true immigration reform. Our country desperately needs to rediscover grace.

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**late posting for last Sunday Sept. 16, 2007**


Foreign policy by the US government has built countries such as Germany and Japan after World War II while at the same time destroyed other countries such as Cuba, Mexico, Philippines, and Indonesia since the “Cold War”. Countries that were destroyed had their government severely disrupted or replaced and its citizenry were forced to survive on either imposed sanctions or military invasion. Faced with such horrible circumstances many people were forced to migrate and some have come to the very oppressor’s homeland. Those citizens have been innocently attacked in their home country and again in the oppressor’s homeland.


This essay will argue how the US governments immigration laws are unjust using the teachings from Martin Luther King’s Jr. “Love, Law & Civil Disobedience”. It will examine the relationship between the Mexican immigrants and the United States government as a sample of the overall global immigration movement that continuously occurs to this very day. And finally will develop a praxis on the overall ideas argued.


Martin Luther King’s Jr. “Love, Law & Civil Disobedience” discusses just/unjust laws, suffering, love, and peace which form the principles of nonviolence civil disobedience. The civil rights movement utilized King’s teachings to overturn the injustices facing the community of African-Americans. Indeed King mentions all struggle between exploited and oppressors can be waged with either violence, apathy or nonviolence. He emphasizes that nonviolence is the most appropriate means to the ends of freedom, justice, and liberation since “immoral destructive means cannot bring about moral & constructive ends”. He cites various examples of success but one great example was the struggle of the Abolitionists against the US government slave laws; they consistently used civil disobedience to successfully end the unjust and blatant inhumane laws.


Using King’s interpretation of unjust laws, it is immediately apparent that the US government laws are once again problematic. As before with the slave and racial segregation laws the US government immigration laws were passed in exclusion of the inflicted minority. King describes such laws as unjust since the “minority had no right to vote…so that the legislative bodies that made these laws were not democratically elected”. Whenever a law is enacted without a true democratic process, that is the inclusion of those who will be affected, is a cause for questioning the law’s morality and, ultimately, its justice.


King understood that suffering can bring about social change and can occur by either enacting violence unto others or by taking unearned violence. He also described love to be “understanding, creative, redemptive, goodwill to all…” and “…which seeks nothing in return”. And how two types of peace commonly share an absence of tension but one is defined as negative since it is with unjust laws while the other define as positive is with just laws and love.


The immigrants coming from various parts of the globe are similar to the African-American who lived in Mississippi, Georgia, and Alabama prior to and during the civil rights movement. Both groups suffered severe and unwarranted economic racism and institutionalized segregation. Both have been excluded from participating in any form of dialog or democratic process concerning those very same laws that were inflicted upon them. And both have been victimized by the same oppressor, namely the United States government. The differences are geographic and citizenship. The African-Americans during that time period, some would argue that it still goes on now, have been singled out as second-class citizens in their own country through unjust domestic laws that have caused violent suffering and impoverishment. Whereas undocumented immigrants have been classified as “Aliens”, now possible “Terrorists”, through unjust foreign policy laws that have caused violent suffering and impoverishment in their home country.

The current relationship between the Mexican undocumented immigrants and the US government as describe by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) illustrates the extent of the US government foreign policy on the undocumented immigrants home countries. NAFTA has brought new exploitative wage jobs and has flooded Mexico with extremely cheap US government subsidized corn that have priced local farmers out of the market.1 These laws have brought about a combination of negative peace, great unearned suffering to the citizens of Mexico, and migration with complete disregard of the political/economic barriers that is almost entirely based on love for their families.


Whether conscious or not the citizens of Mexico who have come undocumented into the US are engaged in civil disobedience. Indeed every citizen who immigrates illegally to the US from a foreign country that has been inflicted unjustly by US foreign policy is practicing what can be called the New World Order’s Civil Disobedience. They are all engaged in the struggle of our time between enslavement by unjust law and true freedom. This new wave of “NWO Civil Disobedience” must now also be undertaken by the citizens of the US who are aware of the overall injustice that these global immigrants face. Doing so will immediately stop the cooperation with evil foreign policy that is now further deepening the cesspool of hate, war, and eventual hell on earth.

1: Dolores Huerta;

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I have enjoyed reading the other posts, but as time limits my post will be short … I have a few thoughts to add, or reiterate as the case may be.
At first look it seems like we are comparing two injustices, one based on race and the other based on nationality. But I want to be sure it is acknowledged that the immigration debate is deeply rooted in racial prejudice. Washington loves to frame the issue as a clear citizen vs. non-citizen issue, but when “illegal immigration” is mentioned, the racial other, the Mexican, is pictured. The border wall makes this all the more apparent. Just as southern state laws sought to keep African Americans as an economic underclass with no political power, immigration laws today seek to keep Mexicans as an economic underclass with no political power. Immigration laws may look like they are meant to keep Mexicans out, but they don’t really—-rather they keep Mexicans illegal, cheap, and quiet. It’s no secret that much of the economy is highly dependent on cheap labor, and I’ve done enough restaurant worker organizing to be confident in saying many employers will knowingly accept a fake SS card as readily as they will accept a 19 year old’s fake i.d. when selling alcohol. Immigration laws are unjust and deceptive. They do not serve the purpose that many Americans are convinced they are meant to do.

So although the problem of non-citizenship is sticky, I think a large part of the problem that must be overcome is the racial and economic side. As long as Mexicans and Mexican Americans are seen as a racial other, people will continue to support racist legislation such as the border wall. As long as Mexican workers provide labor for less than minimum wage, immigration laws will continue to restrict legal immigration to those who can afford it.

Illegal immigrant workers are increasingly vocal but their limitations are obvious (losing their job, deportation). The status quo would have them “adjust themselves to oppression” as Dr. King might say, by doing their job and receiving their pay quietly and without complaint. But their potential is overwhelming, their numbers more than enough to make major change. Just as Dr. King brought dignity and confidence to a group of people who were intimidated and “adjusted” to their position, the same can be done with illegal immigrants in the U.S.

I can’t wrap up my comments neatly and conclusively with a positive plan for action. The words aren’t coming. Maybe next week.

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I attended the No Border Wall Rally in Mission tonight and found it very informative.

There are very strong local concerns about the wall, and for reasons other than my own. I’ll summarize some of them here, keeping in mind that my biggest opposition is other than these listed.

Local Reason #1: The Environment. A woman who runs one of the local wildlife sanctuaries spoke and the summary was that a wall of the kind promised, will destroy the ecosystem and will likely mean the extinction of some species.

Local Reason #2:
The Economy. We are among the poorest communities in the U.S. Mission isn’t in my county, Cameron County, but its economic situation is very similar. Cameron County was recently declared the poorest county in America. Putting up a wall on the U.S. side of the Rio Grande will eliminate tourist dollars coming into the region (tourism is the fourth largest component of the economy, and one of our best ways to get dollars from outside the Valley into the local economy).

Local Reason #3: The River. If we build a wall on our side of the river, we give it away. People live near water for many reasons, and we live on the Rio Grande for all of those reasons. If we lose the river, we lose irrigation for agriculture, we lose our drinking water supply, we lose many forms of recreation. The Rio Grande is (I’m thinking here) probably the third or fourth most important waterway in the U.S. behind the Mississippi, the Missouri, and maybe the Colorado. To build a wall on our side of it is to give it away to Mexico.

Local reason #4: The Land / The History. Our meeting was held at La Lomita Church, a historic church that many people here consider to be sacred ground because of their personal history with the church. This church will be in this no man’s land between the wall and the river if the wall gets built. The most touching moment of the evening for me was after the speeches were given, while a Mariachi band was leading us in a procession down to the river, a few of us straggled behind because we wanted to see the church (I live in Brownsville, an hour away, and hadn’t yet seen it). As I walked quietly into the tiny church, I saw an old, dark-skinned man, equally humble as the church, kneeling in prayer. This church, his parish, is only one of thousands of historic sites that will be lost if the wall is built. The current plan will cut off at least 35 homes, just in Mission (a very small site compared with El Paso, or even Brownsville), not to mention so many restaurants and public sites. Three families in Mission have held property extending from the river for over 250 years. The river is what makes that land useful, valuable, and meaningful. If we build the wall, we lose all that historic, economic, and cultural value.

Local Reason #5: The Meaning. Any honest person can tell you that this wall is about keeping out Mexicans. Here in the RGV, we don’t want to do that. We are one community, much like Minneapolis and St. Paul. Each border city has a twin, so much so that they often share a name (Laredo and Nuevo Laredo, Nogales and Nogales). We are one family, and a wall will either separate us because it works, or it will separate us because it was supposed to have worked. Whether it succeeds or not, the message, “You are not welcome here,” is being understood already. I think we feel something like a bridegroom bringing home his bride to meet his family and having to constantly apologize and make up for the offenses she endures at the hands of his relatives. Our Uncle Sam is yelling all sorts of obscenities at the people we love and we are doing our best to say, “I know he’s impossible to ignore, but please believe us, we really do love you.”

If you are in favor of the Border Wall, please… and I ask you with quiet sincerity… please consider us who live here and don’t want it. We are not extremists, we are not clueless, we are not biased. There really is a better way for you to get what you want. This will hurt us much more than it will ever help you.

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I have long been a fan of Tavis Smiley, so when I saw this interview, I had to add it to this blog. The most relevant part starts with 2:24 remaining.

What we need now in Black and Brown America is some coalition building. It is the same now as it has been for quite some time–we’re fighting over crumbs from the table. We’re fighting over a slice of the pie rather than getting our fair share of the pie, or for that matter, baking a larger pie. Things have to change in a multi-cultural, multi-racial, multi-ethnic America. And so I had a real issue with the woman who would not give her name because I don’t want to approach this as an issue of division, rather one of finding come common ground and building some coalitions, that’s number one. Number two, with all due respect to my black brothers and sisters, I do not know too many black folk who are truly, truly interested in doing some of the menial work, to use his word, that these immigrants do. I don’t see a bunch of brothers lining up to park cars and bus tables and wash dishes and nanny babies manicure lawns. Let’s be honest about it, everybody likes to make that argument and the irony of it is that here’s the one place where black folk, liberals, progressives (so-called), and conservatives end up in bed together, strange bed-fellows. Everybody, when they want to bastardize or demonize the immigrant says they’re taking our jobs. Who wants these jobs? Nobody wants these jobs. I can tell you right now, if these twelve million–or whatever that number is–if everyone of those immigrants just got up and walked back across the border, it would wreck our economy. It would completely wreck it and a whole lot of folk would be pulling their hair out, jumping out of windows and going crazy, ‘who’s going to nanny the baby, who’s cutting my grass?’ At the restaurant your tables can’t get bussed, your cars can’t–I live in L.A.–your car can’t get parked. I mean, it would just completely wreck our economy and we don’t want to be honest about that.

This seems the appropriate point to quote Dr. King. He said, “Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.” The undocumented immigrant community has had success with this and if I can find a video clip, I’ll post it, but the immigrant community must understand that although the U.S. economy recruited you here because you are personally exploitable and expendable, if you act collectively, you are indispensable.

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I saw this video last week and have been waiting to post a link ever since. Although it is not the flashiest show, this has substance. You are not likely to find this kind of substantive discussion anywhere far from the border. I recommend you watch the full program. It is very informative.

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