Currie & Casper
Viewpoint: Immigration Reform
by David Currie
I need to admit up front that I really do not know a great deal about immigration reform from a political perspective. I tend to look at it like I do many other issues, what is the Christian, Christ-like, compassionate way to look at this issue.
Certainly I understand we need to secure our borders and I know we have been making progress at that. We certainly need to restrict criminals and drug dealers from crossing our borders and stop illegal immigration as much as possible. And certainly we need strong ways, whether border fences or better air security, to prevent terrorists from entering America.
I know President Obama has deported more illegal immigrants than President Bush did and certainly we should deport criminals and anyone convicted on any crime, even DWI.
But I can’t as a Christian believe we should break families apart, especially family members that have been in America a long time. If these folks are being law abiding citizens, it seems we should create a path to citizenship for these people that are a part of our schools, churches and businesses.
It also makes sense to me to educate children who are here regardless of who they are so they will capable of being contributing citizens of our society when they do become citizens.
Finally I believe that when someone comes to attend university here from another country and have great contributions to make to our economic health, we need to find ways to help these people stay here and help America grow.
But I want to address something that really bothers me about some as it relates to immigration reform and many other issues and that is the fear and anger that seems to dominate the lives of so many of the Religious Right. I read statements made at so called “values summits” and the only values I see on display or hatred and anger in the name of Jesus. It makes me very sad.
We do have some serious issues we need to face as Americans and we need to face these issues and work at solving them together, all Americans -- Americans who believe in God, different Gods, and Americans of no faith at all not; Americans who are rich and Americans who are poor; Americans who are white and Americans who are persons of color. We can’t solve our problems when we refuse to respect each other, talk to each other and view those who disagree with us as enemies.
As our country tries to solve the issue of Immigration Reform, I hope Christians will lend their voices to the discussion as voices of love and compassion.
David R. Currie is the new Tom Green Democratic Chair. David is a native of Paint Rock in Concho County where family came in 1879, and continues to ranch there as well as in the Christoval area where he and his wife Loretta live. Married for over 30 years, they have a blended family of 5 children and 10 grandchildren.
He is a graduate of Howard Payne University and also has masters and doctors degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminiary in Fort Worth where he did his doctoral work on agricultural policy and the Bible and received his degree in Christian Ethics.
He is a former pastor, staff member of the Southern Baptist Christian Life Commission which focuses on ethical issues and religious liberty and retired Executive Director of Texas Baptist Committed. He was also sheep and goat specialist with the Texas Department of Agriculture in the 80's when Jim Hightower was Ag. Commissioner.
David is the author of two books, On the Way and Songs in the Desert as well as hundreds of articles that can be found at www.txbc.org.
He is currently the president of Cornerstone Builders and Angelo Granite Worx, and managing partner of Stonewall Ranches development company. He has served three terms as president of the San Angelo Home Builders Association, served on the Better Business Bureau board, as a board member of Howard Payne University, The Interfaith Alliance, The Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty and is current Vice-chair of the San Angelo Adult Literacy Council. He and Loretta are members of Southland Baptist Church.
by Ken Casper
We don’t need immigration reform. We need immigration enforcement. There are plenty of laws on the books that deal with foreigners who are here legally and illegally. More laws are not the answer. Besides, if our government isn’t willing to enforce the old laws, what makes us think they’ll enforce new ones?
There is a popular maxim that we need foreigner workers to do the jobs Americans won’t do.
It’s a myth. Will Americans pick vegetables and fruits, build houses and roads? Of course, they will. After all, they did those jobs for generations and gave us the highest standard of living in the world. But turning a blind eye to the legal status of foreign workers so we can pay them substandard wages undermines our own workforce, contributes to our unemployment, while also straining our social services.
But if we pay Americans the higher wages, the argument goes, the cost of the food they pick and the houses they build will go up. Okay. Let them. The market will adjust. That’s one of the beauties of capitalism; it operates naturally—that means without government interference—based on the laws of profit and loss, supply and demand. The great achievements of America were made before our government got into micromanaging and hamstringing every business move. The extra nickel a pound we may have to pay for potatoes will be offset by the tax dollars we don’t have to pay to provide social services to people who have no legal right to be here in the first place.
What’s rarely mentioned is that if we cut off the flow of illegal foreign workers, the expenses associated with having them here go away as well—and they’re significant. As of 2010, we were spending $54.5 billion a year on social services for illegal immigrants, and it’s about to get worse. Did you know, for example, that under Obamacare employers are fined $2,000 for every legal employee that doesn’t have health insurance; but it gives employers $3,000 credit for every illegal alien they hire? How’s that for sabotaging equal opportunity and the rule of law?
Which brings us to open borders. Since liberty has brought us so much success in our pursuit of happiness, there are those who insist we owe the same opportunities to other people, that they have a right to our way of life, that anyone who wants to come here, therefore, should be allowed to.
They’re not thinking clearly. Take away our borders and we don’t have a country. Remove sovereignty, and we lose the right of self-determination—liberty—the very thing that has made the United States exceptional and the envy of the world.
And we are exceptional. Why otherwise would so many people break international laws, pay human traffickers exorbitant fees, or put their children on trains and send them here unaccompanied? What other country has the word “dream” attached to it? Our country is exceptional, not because we are a superior race of people, but because we have embraced concepts that honor the human spirit, that encourage the human drive to be free, to work hard, prosper and grow. Those concepts have made us the wealthiest and most generous country in the history of mankind.
But we are also a nation of laws. If we arbitrarily allow some laws to be violated, how can we be certain any law will be obeyed? If it’s all right for foreigners to occupy our land without following the rules, how can we expect anyone to follow any rules? Then there’s the crucial question: who decides which laws and which rules will be enforced? The people making them? The people charged with policing them? The special interests who profit from selective enforcement? The self-appointed elites?
Arbitrary law enforcement is the gateway to tyranny. Amnesty and open borders breed chaos and bankruptcy. Look around. We’ve inherited the wind.
Ken Casper was born and raised in New York City a long time ago. After graduating from college, he entered the Air Force and was assigned to Goodfellow AFB in San Angelo for training. He served overseas tours of duty in Japan, Vietnam and Germany, as well as stateside assignments. He retired from the Air Force Reserve in 1993 and from Civil Service at Goodfellow in 1997. In 1998 he published his first novel, A Man Called Jesse. Twenty-four books followed, including Upstairs at Miss Hattie’s. During those years he became good friends with Dr. Pres Darby. In 2011, shortly before Pres’s death from ALS, they published a joint novel, Mankillers, a Civil War thriller. Since then, Ken has published three Jason Crow mysteries set in West Texas.
A staunch conservative, Ken was the second president of the San Angelo TEA Party, 2010-2011. He has remained active in local politics ever since.