Tag: immigration policy

Dallas preacher says Jesus would seal the border

JeffressBy Alan Bean

The Rev. Robert Jeffress thinks Jesus would build a fence at the U.S. border so desperate children from violence-ridden countries would be discouraged from heading north.

“Yes, Jesus loved children,” Jeffress admits, “but he also respected law. He said, render unto Caesar the things that are Caesars.”

In other words, Christians shouldn’t trouble themselves with immigration policy; that’s Caesar’s concern.

Jeffress, pastor of First Baptist Church, Dallas, once suggested that Barack Obama is preparing the world for the coming of Antichrist, so his “Caesar” reference probably doesn’t mean that we should leave immigration policy in the hands of the presiding president.  He means instead that everything Jesus said about welcoming children, and all the warnings he pronounced against those who harden their hearts against the pain of young ones, is irrelevant to American immigration policy.

Sure, Christians must be kind to the children they encounter within the suburban bubble, but the boys and girls of Honduras simply are on their own.

Since nothing can be done for the unaccompanied migrant children on our doorstep, the most compassionate course is to build a border wall so thick and so tall that the poor little blighters will have no choice but to return to the violence and squalor that drove them into the arms of America.

That young girl of seven or eight, carrying her two-year old sister on her back has spawned a crisis of conscience among American Christians.

On the whole, we have responded admirably.  “This is an unfortunate, even awful, situation for everyone,” said David Hardage,  Executive Director of the Baptist General Convention of Texas. “So much of what has happened and is happening is out of our control. What we can control is our response to human need. We will try to be the hands and feet of Jesus to those in need.”

Hardage sees Jesus standing on the side of desperate children, an assumption shared by most Texas Baptists.

Terry Henderson, state disaster relief director for Texas Baptist Men, compressed the issue to a simple question: “If Jesus was standing here with us, what would he tell us to do? That sounds kind of basic, but that’s the deal.”

That’s supposed to be a rhetorical question, but Robert Jeffress doesn’t provide the expected answer.  He thinks Jesus would slam the door.  Call it tough love. (more…)

The Beast and the Border

train 01
The Beast

By Alan Bean

Mike Seifert works with poor immigrant families, documented and otherwise, in the Rio Grande Valley.  The story he tells below hasn’t received a lot of attention in the mainstream media, fact that is significant in itself.  A border patrol agent kidnapped, raped and attempted to kill three Honduran women who were attempting to surrender.  This happened in Seifert’s back yard.

No one is saying that the agent responsible for this outrage is typical of the men and women we employ to guard the border.  But when you hire vast numbers of people in a hurry you don’t get the brightest and the best.  When government officials keep telling you to hire 100 more agents, you do the best you can, but you can’t be choosy.  Hence, what happened to these Honduran women is a direct consequence of a failed immigration policy.

Please read Father Seifert’s entire post.

The Beast

By Mike Seifert

Several times a day, a train rumbles through our neighborhood. Johnny Cash may sing wistfully about the lonesome locomotive’s whistle, but there is nothing romantic about this train’s horn. The blasts come every few seconds as the long line of boxcars pass churches, parks and schools. The constant racket of the rails is a reminder of how much international commerce flows through Brownsville.

This is the same train that immigrants from Central America and southern Mexico take to get to the US border. The migrants call the train “La Bestia” (the Beast), no doubt for the horrific accidents and deaths that often happen to those who choose to ride the rails.  People fall from the train; people are thrown from the train. The amputations and the deaths are well-documented, and the rail line offers a daily chronicle of nightmares. A Beast indeed.

Once, years ago, while visiting Honduras, I rode The Beast myself. I had clambered up on the roof for the absolutely inexcusable reason of wanting to have the experience.  It was a terrifying few moments, as there was not much in the way of handholds. After a very short while, I crawled down the side of the car and back inside. I was shaking so badly that I couldn’t stand up. (more…)