Wednesday, December 30, 2015

10 Ways to Improve Immigration

I support increased immigration to the United States.  In general, people produce more than they consume, otherwise humans would have gone extinct a long time ago :).  Thus, in general, the more people we have in our nation, the better off we will be.  We have relatively low population density and a lot of land, so we could fit more people in easily enough.  The idea that immigration is bad because it takes jobs from Americans is fallacious.

The difficulty is, how do we let in the "good" people (law-abiding productive people) without also letting in the "bad" people (terrorists, drug runners, criminals, gangs, etc)?

I came up with several recommendations, and I'm guessing many of you have some even better ones.  Some of these overlap and even contradict.  But applying any of these would improve our immigration policies.

Reduce America's Attractiveness to "Takers"
  • 1. Cut welfare benefits so that more American citizens are willing to do manual labor, and fewer immigrants can "milk the system".
  • 2. Develop a penal code with harsher, more immediate punishments (rather than prison sentences), which is applied equally to both Americans and immigrants.  Make America unattractive to criminals.  Don't let bad immigrants get off with just deportation.
  • 3. End birthright citizenship.  Many people think it's hardwired into the 14th amendment, but the people who wrote the 14th amendment didn't think so.  More info here.
  • 4. National repentance.  Psalm 147:14. 

Track All Non-Citizens
  • 5. Secure the border.  This must happen for many of the following ideas to work.  Primary tools:
    • a. Border fence (one time cost)
    • b. Greatly increased number of border agents (ongoing cost)
    • c. Aerostats (helpful but limited)
  • 6. Make e-Verify required nationwide
  • 7. Require everyone to carry a non-counterfeitable photo ID.  Many of our illegal immigrants are using fake documents.  For many immigrants, a passport would do.  But some nations' IDs are compromised, and for immigrants from these countries, the US must provide an ID that cannot be counterfeited.  After this is implemented, people found in the US who don't have an ID should get deported.
  • 8. Mild probation-style monitoring.  Non-citizens could be required to briefly check in at any police station at a certain frequency (say, once a month or once a quarter) or wear an ankle monitor (homing device).  Violators of this probation get deported. 
  • 9. Defund "sanctuary cities"

Widen the Door for Productive Immigrants
  • 10. Greatly increase the use of sponsor-based visas.  Currently only employers and family members can sponsor immigrants. 
    • a. Stop letting government determine how many and what kinds of immigrants to take.
    • b. Let US citizens determine how generous to be and what risks to take, on a case by case basis.  This free market immigration would work far better than government sponsored immigration.
    • c. Allow each US citizen over the age of 21 to sponsor one immigrant at a time, anyone they choose. Sponsors accept responsibility for the immigrant's financial needs and behavior.
    • d. Sponsors post bond (either via cash payment or lien on real property) for the behavior of the immigrant.  The sponsor pays a steep fine if the immigrant commits a crime.  For serious crimes, the sponsor also loses the right to ever sponsor anyone again.
    • e. Security checks in place to prevent abuse by either immigrant or sponsor (such as sex traffic).
    • f. The sponsor is released from his responsibility (and reimbursed/released from his bond) when the immigrant either becomes a US citizen or leaves the US.  The sponsor is then free to sponsor a new immigrant.
But here's the real, bottom line, fastest way to solve the immigration problem: evangelize.  Tell people about Jesus!

  • a. The reason why some immigrants commit acts of terrorism or crime is because they don’t love Jesus.
  • b. The reason why some immigrants break the law to be here is because they don’t love Jesus.
  • c. The reason why American politicians have not crafted a responsible immigration plan that leaves room for compassion is because they love power rather than Jesus.
  • d. The reason why American citizens tolerate this state of affairs is because we love cheap tomatoes and low crime rates more than we love Jesus.
  • e. The reason why immigrants’ native countries are so impoverished and corrupt is because the people there don’t love Jesus.

The great commission was not “go help immigrants get transportation, lodging, education and employment” but “go make disciples, teach them to obey everything I’ve commanded you”.  Evangelism and discipleship is the ultimate way of teaching a person to fish.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Please Go.

I considered myself well educated about other countries and cultures.   

But last month I got to take my first trip overseas.  And last month I discovered that no amount of books or photographs or videos can convey what it is really like to be in a third world country.  The masses of people.  The pollution.  The poverty.  The spiritual lostness.  If a picture is worth a thousand words, being there in person is worth ten billion words. 

You just have to go.  You just have to go.  Please.

I'm writing especially to those of you who, like me, have never been overseas before.  If you're an average person in a developed country, you will get about 4000 weeks of life on earth.  I'm just asking you to take two of these weeks to experience for yourself how the rest of the world lives. 

You will come back with a greater relationship with Jesus, and a greater clarity on how the rest of your life should be spent.  

And if you're one of the very small percent of people who really can't go, then consider paying for a young person to go.