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A Guide to Arizona’s Immigration Law (Senate Bill 1070) for Non-Profit Christian Organizations

A Guide to Arizona’s Immigration Law (Senate Bill 1070) for Non-Profit Christian Organizations

Given the mandatory reporting of all suspected illegal immigrants to the state of Arizona, the State has received a flood of e-mails and phone calls asking for clarification on this law and its ramifications for non-profit Christian organizations.  The State has put together this helpful guide to assist you in assessing the suspiciousness of the people you minister to.

A quick list of suspicious attributes:

Black hair.  Remember, not all illegal immigrants are Latino.  Some are Chinese.  But if you see someone with black hair, it’s a safe bet that they are suspicious and should be reported.

Wearing a crucifix.  Many illegal immigrants are Catholic.  So if you see a crucifix, call it in. (Note: the best way to tell a crucifix from a cross is that a crucifix has a body on it. Catholics take the idea of Jesus dying very seriously.  Protestants prefer their cross empty.)

Impoverished. We don’t want poor people in the state of Arizona.  And before you start quoting Scripture, just remember the parable where the Master kicks the shabbily dressed guy out of the wedding.  Then ask yourself, “Who Would Jesus Deport?”  (WWJD?) The Scripture is clear on this topic.

They have a job.  Remember, Americans would be far more likely given the current economic climate to be purposely remaining on welfare as long as legally possible.  An illegal immigrant will be working, even if the job pays poorly and the labor is difficult.

Criminals!  By being here illegally immigrants are, by definition, criminals.  Just like people who go five miles an hour over the speed limit, or jaywalk, or talk on their cell phones while driving.

They don’t have the right of free speech.  The new law prevents people from soliciting work on the street, which is part of our freedom of speech.  So ask yourself, is this person acting l as if they don’t have freedom of speech?  Are they unnacountably quiet? Do they seem afraid to speak up?

Accent.  A good trick is to get someone with an accent to read this sentence: “I’m an illegal immigrant, please don’t deport me.”  Then you can tell the police they admitted to being illegal!  Works like a charm!

In a Gang. To be on the safe side, consider two suspicious people walking together a gang.

Created Inferior.  You remember those famous words from the Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, unless they come from across some other Border, in which case, let’s fence those people out somewhere and not allow them to seek after Life, Liberty or the Pursuit of Happiness.”

When in doubt, this simple question will help you determine the correct course of action: What would I do if I were living in a racist police state? Following this guideline is sure to keep you on the right track!

If you have questions about this document, please feel free to contact Governor Jan Brewer’s office:

The full mailing address is:
The Honorable Jan Brewer
Governor of Arizona
1700 West Washington
Phoenix, Arizona 85007

Telephone (602) 542-4331
Toll Free 1-(800) 253-0883
Fax (602) 542-1381

Comments

Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant!

Nicely done.

So I kind of don't get this actually...perhaps it's because my mom brain is mush and I only have time hear the news via my husband but is this a sarcastic write-up about racial profiling against illegal immigration? I thought that they were just asking law enforcement to keep up on it now? Anyway, I'm curious your views on this and I'll have to check out your other posts because I personally struggle with finding an answer to this that I'm comfortable with in my own heart. There are so many in other countries that need our help but how do we step up to that without succumbing to chaos? If we don't have borders then it sure makes me feel unsafe thinking anyone and everyone can enter including terrorists, murders, etc.

Guest,

I don't think anyone is suggesting that we shouldn't have borders, or that we shouldn't have any restrictions on who can cross these borders. The fact is that there are a lot of people already in the United States who lack the proper official approval to be here. Many of these people have established their lives in this country. They work and have families here. Most of them are not murders and terrorists. They are people, looking for a better life, working hard and keeping well clear of trouble.

One option we have, however, as citizens, is to remove these people from living among us, to turn our police forces against them. By making the lives of these people exceedingly miserable, we can help them to lose their desire to be here. We can make their misery in the United States even greater than the misery they attempted to leave when coming here. And, if that doesn't get them to leave (perhaps because they have families here), we can forcefully remove them.

It's not humane, and it's not the only option.

Keep an eye on the political rhetoric. Compare it to the spirit you find in these verses: Deuteronomy 10:18; Exodus 22:21; Jeremiah 22:3.

Thanks for the verses. Will check them out. What are the other options you refer to? I'm serious and not being sarcastic. I like to hear the other ideas people have because quite frankly, I don't believe most of what I hear in the actual news whether it's "liberal" or "conservative" media. It all seems biased, twisted and only half true. So I don't keep much of an eye or ear on political rhetoric more than I have to.

Oh and by the way, I agree that doesn't sound humane. But (again, I'm not educated on the specifics of the bill) wouldn't this bill mainly be targeting those that are already under scrutiny with the law because the police have pulled them over for drug use or some other thing like that vs. targeting just anyone even if it's an established, law-abiding family? It would not be humane to kick people out who have been her a long time, have family, jobs, etc., especially when we let them in to begin with but how can we make sure we don't allow the drug dealers and murders be folded in if we allow all illegals to become citizens? Is there a way we can assure that from now on we can feel safe with secure borders before we allow all illegals to become citizens (which I thought I heard was promised during the Reagan years but didn't happen...not sure if that is true or not so I need to find out about that...just now learning more about this stuff)? Just questions I'm thinking without really knowing answers yet. Thanks for your time.

Hi guest! I am so glad you are asking these questions. It is crucial to educate ourselves on issues such as this and really seek to understand how Christ would have us respond.
SB 1070, the Arizona law everyone is talking about, gives police the right to stop people because if the officer has a suspicion that they are illegal. It is not targeted at those who are stopped for criminal activity, but instead at anyone who "looks like an immigrant". I have included the link to the bill so you can read it for yourself, if you are interested. It also makes it a crime to be in a car with someone undocumented or to "harbor" someone who is undocumented. This is what has Christian Organizations in Arizona alarmed: essentially this bill blurs the lines of what is legal and illegal when it comes to Christian services (pastoring, community programs, etc.) provided to undocumented folks. Could pastor's be arrested for having undocumented people in their church? Could community workers get arrested for driving someone to the doctor that doesn't have papers? If a police officer wants to,, they can arrest people for doing these things. Also, the police has the right to stop someone who looks like an immigrant (what does that mean anyway?) and if they don't have proper ID on them, say a Mexican American forgot her drivers license, she can be arrested. And even if she later proves her citizenship in this country, she is still responsible for fines and court fees. This is not only incredibly unjust to those who happen to be lacking the proper paper work to live in this country, but also to anyone who is brown.

http://www.azleg.gov/legtext/49leg/2r/bills/sb1070h.pdf

The problem is our entire immigration system is profoundly broken. People who desperately want to come to this country legally are put on a waiting list that is so back logged, the wait is indefinite. Those who came here as young children and really have no ties or recollection of their home country are graduating from our high schools and going to college, but after they get a degree can not find any work worthy of their education. If they try to legalize their status, they are forced to return to their country for at least 10 years, even if they marry a US citizen. I personally know a women waiting to be legalized, indefinitely, in Mexico, while her 3 US born children live here without a mother. If that isn't unjust, I don't what is.

We need comprehensive immigration reform that provides clear paths to citizenship for those who have established lives here and are contributing to society (his excludes anyone with drug or violent crimes on their record). We need to secure our borders for the protection of the thousands of people dieing as they try to cross. We need to work with the countries these people are coming from to help them build up their economies, remove the corruption, and become a place people are not so desperate to flee.

As Christians, we need to look at this issue as Jesus would: with love and compassion. The bible is very clear on how we are to treat the "stranger" in our land.

For more resources on Immigration, check out the following links.

http://faithandimmigration.org/

http://blog.sojo.net/

If you have any more questions, feel free to share them here or maybe we can figure out a way to exchange emails. Even as a white evangelical from a conservative family, I am very passionate about this issue and feel a specific calling to be apart of the reform that needs to happen in our country.

Thanks for the links. Hopefully I can check them out sometime (I'm afraid I'm so swamped with stay-at-home-mom duties that my time is limited). I checked out those verses all of which I remember reading before and am also reminded off how the Good Samaritan treated the stranger he found along the road. The struggle that brought to my mind though is that even if we're caring for the "alien" by providing food and clothing (which we should), shouldn't we then be encouraging them to be restored to rightness by following the law instead of breaking it? Of course this may different with those that did not make the choice to come here on their own like children. Anyway, just something I've thought of but haven't had a chance to pray through or look into. The gray area you mention is scary as it does leave potential ramifications for those of us that are Christians and try to help. I see this in other areas too besides this issue where Christians may potentially be punished in some way for doing or saying what they believe to be biblically true.

Ultimately, I think that our government is putting bandaids on this issue and not getting to the root of the problem (as they do with so many things unfortunately such as the recent healthcare bill). Mass reform is needed as you say but I'm at a loss for how to get our government to recognize that and to not only make it happen but to do it effectively. I'm so discouraged by the poor execution I see from many government laws and programs (social security and our school system to name a few). As everyday citizens, what can we do to change that? I feel powerless despite the fact that I make phone calls and try to get my friends and family on board to lobby also.

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About
Matt Mikalatos wrote the comedy/theology novel "Imaginary Jesus." He is married, has three daughters and is intensely passionate about finding the real Jesus.


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