Jun 05, 2013 |
Inside Out 66: Undocumented Immigration
Almost 11 million immigrants live in the United States illegally, with many working in the construction, agriculture and hospitality industries. They---or perhaps you---often log long hours for low pay in exchange for a chance to raise children in a country known for its educational and economic opportunity.
The obvious fact is that illegal immigration is just that---illegal. Yet if a person can get into the US, he or she can usually find work. That’s because even in times of high unemployment there’s an economic niche for low-skilled workers.
The US immigration system is broken, and when I say that I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know. Our laws make it illegal to immigrate to the US outside of approved channels, yet our government acknowledges and regulates illegal workers: among other things, the Internal Revenue System issues instructions on how undocumented workers must file their taxes and our Social Security system accepts payment from Social Security numbers that don’t match the names on the cards.
In this podcast I get to speak with Matthew Soerens about a Christian response to undocumented immigration. Matt is the US Training Specialist for World Relief, the humanitarian arm of the National Association of Evangelicals. Matt helps operate the website undocumented.tv, and with Jenny Hwang he is the coauthor of the IVP book Welcoming the Stranger: Justice, Compassion & Truth in the Immigration Debate.
I know you don’t expect us to fix the immigration process during this podcast---and we won’t. What we will do is discuss ways people who follow Jesus can work for justice while regarding all of our neighbors as God’s creations, rejecting xenophobia while embracing justice as well as grace.