July 14th, 2010
02:12 PM ET
12 years ago

Immigration debate focuses on religion, ethics

(CNN) - Congress tackled the role of religion and ethics in the politically explosive immigration debate Wednesday as biblical passages and church doctrines were invoked during a heated discussion of various reform proposals.

The argument exposed a sharp philosophical divide on an issue that has taken center stage in the wake of Arizona's passage of a controversial law designed to crack down on illegal immigration.

"We are so far apart philosophically," one Democratic congresswoman said, that it's hard to see how a middle ground can be found.

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Filed under: Immigration • Religion
soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. JGB

    Talk about getting off course, those here illegally need to be treated like the criminal they are, not handed everything for free at tax payer expense. Government needs to understand they are not in the charity business and the rest of us supporting the expanding illegal population are fed up with our taxes going up and services going to down to suppor them. since when did enforcing our laws become the crime?

    July 14, 2010 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  2. key

    I suggest the US have citizens carry ID other than a drivers license. This will create immediately a immigration bill, anyone without this ID can be questioned.

    July 14, 2010 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  3. ehwilson429

    this debate should center on one topic that is ECONOMICS!

    how are you going ti pay MEDICAID, MEDICARE and SOCIAL SECURITY disability to illegals who could be regularized and then be eligible for these benefits.

    lawncutters and busboys with a third grade education will suddenly become disabled. a class action lawsuit will deem them eligible for SSI and disability. they will all be retitred at age 40.

    all you goofballs getting that cheap lawn cut and going to Italain restaurants staffed 100% by illegals may regret your choices.

    by the way the gardeners may be coming by your house and demmonstrating that you failed to pay the social security portion. you do owe 50%. the labor brokers stole the $$$$.

    July 14, 2010 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  4. MONUMENTAL TRUTH!

    That is because you DEMOCRATS have no firm ground to stand on.

    July 14, 2010 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  5. Robert

    yes, it is sad the some politicians, especially Republicans always use the bible and and the evangelical votes to win but when it comes to practice that......they just forget.
    I do not approve illegal immigration but I am against those politicians who use 11 million people out 310 million living in america to earn a vote.
    It is statistically proven that the majority of immigrants come to work not to cause any crimes.
    I work in the system and non of them qualify for free benefits like unemployment of disability etc.
    I read an article that in the last 5 years the number of illegals dropped but republicans in a time of elections use this as a tool to power.
    SHAME ON THEM FOR NOT WORKING WITH THE ADMINISTRATION TO FIX THE PROBLEM

    July 14, 2010 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  6. snow

    Why not focus on locking down the border then focus on the rest of it. Nothing should happen until the border is secure.

    July 14, 2010 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  7. vic

    Immigration is a big issue , Country is divided , we won’t send them back at the same time we won’t give any papers to illegal immigrants to work here . we may play politics on this issue another 5 years

    Sad sad sad

    July 14, 2010 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  8. La Piovra

    In many years as both an instructor of ESOL and a practitioner of law, I have observed no terrorist immigrants, but many who were fleeing terror, either from a political regime or from criminal gangs who were dictatorial regimes in their own right. Nor were those who came in undocumented "mules": the masters of bombers and smugglers alike always give their peons "good" papers and enough money so that cargo won't be lost or missions aborted through arrest or detention. Those who are apprehended crossing the water in open boats or the desert on bare feet are not only harmless, but pathetic. Let them be subject to finite detention (say, six weeks) while their backgrounds are checked, any claims are initiated, and any need for guest workers checked. During this time, they can be taught English, civics, trades, and survival skills. Both those who stay and those who go home will then be able to support their families and contrbute to their communities. This solution is not only wise and humane; it is cheapest in the long run.

    July 14, 2010 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  9. Naqib

    Arizona should sue the Whitehouse for descrimination...

    Rhoad Island has the same law... enforced for years... defended in court...

    Yet they didn't attack them?

    July 14, 2010 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  10. jeff jackson, alabama

    A bunch of spineless representatives on both
    sides of the isle are avoiding ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION
    issues. I capitalized ILLEGAL because some people in this
    country think illegals have a right to our way of life
    without becoming citizens.

    July 14, 2010 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  11. Paul Ernest Show

    Many a times, I have blogged that this issue of illegals is a humanitarian one. Way back, I was hard and believed they should be punished, but having lately witnessed the kind of hardship environment these immigrants live through daily, I am forced to believe that only a devil would see these human suffering and not feel the need to beckon on the rest of humanity, to help. While am of the view that the borders should be tightly closed, those already here should be allowed to make honest living, even without full admission to residency or citizenship. A work permit would be good. Some of these illegals are afraid to go out and seek medical help, or cannot afford treatment, but are quietly mingling among us and basically contaminating the general population.

    July 14, 2010 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  12. Sniffit

    ""We are so far apart philosophically," one Democratic congresswoman said, that it's hard to see how a middle ground can be found. "

    Translation: "Republicans have spent over half a century insulting and alienating the vast majority of brown people in this country so they are 100% beside themselves over the fact that the only practical, econmically feasible, resource-responsible solution to the presence of 12M+/- illegal immigrants in this country is to provide them with a reasonable, clearly defined and rational path to citizenship, not attemp to find them all, prosecute them all in deportation hearings and "send them packing." Add in that November 2008 scared the living dayloghts out of them because white people will only be a member of the plurality in a couple decades and they just witnessed what happens if 90% of minority voters votes for a minority candidate and...well...they think this is supposed to be a 'white peoples' country," so you can imagine how freaked out they are at all this."

    BTW, what's worse:

    1. Illegal immigrant comes here and works for under the table pay for less than minimum wage cleaning toilets and send a handful of money home to Mexico each week; OR

    2. Giant corporation owned by our fellow citizens closes plants, ships all jobs overseas to foreign countries where workers will work for even less than that Mexican illegal immigrant and then keeps all profits in an off-shore account to avoid tax liability.

    Hmmm? Choose.

    July 14, 2010 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  13. Dano

    Smith cited, among other things, Romans 13: "Let every person be subject to governing authorities."

    I'm sure Mr. Smith would agree that also applies to businesses that employ illegals and that these companies should be punished to the full extent of the law, or does he believe it only applies to individuals? If there were no companies in the US willing to hire them, people would not risk their lives to sneak across our borders to get here. Hmmmm here's an interesting thought: now that the Supreme Court has ruled that corporations have the same rights, and I assume the same responsibilities, as citizens, can the entire Board of Directors be jailed and fined when their companies break immigration laws by hiring illegal immigrants?

    July 14, 2010 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  14. Future expat

    Let's see who the GOP's current boogie men are:

    -People needing govt assistance: in the GOP mind, these are all blacks
    -Illegal Immigrants: in the GOP mind, these are all Mexicans
    -Middle Easterners / Muslims: in the GOP mind, these are all terrorists

    What do these three groups have in common? That's right, the all-white GOP is once again vilifying brown people. Shameless race baiting is par for the course with these people.

    July 14, 2010 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  15. Deb n Texas

    Mddleground is attainable. Immigration has nothing to do with religion. It is a moral and political issue that needs to be handled. We are all immigrants and the nerve of some Republicans to deny citizenship to Hispanics is disgusting.

    July 14, 2010 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  16. Pkm

    The repubs only want to deport all mexicans out of the country the gop wiil never pass reform

    July 14, 2010 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  17. thor

    You can start by asking president Obama to secure the nation's borders.And by that i don't mean sending another 1200 national guard members that are nothing more than paper pushers !!!!

    July 14, 2010 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  18. Rick McDaniel

    In other words.....it ain't likely to happen.

    July 14, 2010 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  19. Shari from Madison WI

    Oh boy, another hot topic. It's true that illegal is illegal, but I still have trouble with Arizona's law because it lends itself to misuse by some who have racist beliefs. I, who am a caucasion and who feels blessed to have been born in the USA, know that even though the letter of the law prohibits racial profiling, it still occurs. A white person caught with a little bit of marijuana gets off with a suspended sentence and community service, but any minority caught with the same amount of Marijuana gets 10 years in Jail. Tell me that isn't racist, I dare you!

    July 14, 2010 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  20. WILLARD BULLOCK

    Brewer are keep great her word than obama

    July 14, 2010 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  21. Senator

    of course it does, that's the Republicans trademark; race is the only issue that they have had in the past 40 years

    July 14, 2010 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  22. JES

    Respect the
    Office? Yes.
    Respect the Man in the Office? No, I am sorry to say.
    I have noted that many elected officials, both Democrats and Republicans, called upon America to unite behind Obama.
    Well, I want to make it clear to all who will listen that I AM NOT uniting behind Obama !

    I will respect the Office which he holds, and I will acknowledge his abilities as an orator and wordsmith and pray for him, BUT that is it.
    I have begun today to see what I can do to make sure that he is a one-term President !

    Why am I doing this ?
    It is because:
    – I do not share Obama's vision or value system for America ;
    – I do not share his Abortion beliefs;
    – I do not share his radical Marxist's concept of re-distributing wealth;
    – I do not share his stated views on raising taxes on those who make $150,000+ (the ceiling has been changed three times since August);
    – I do not share his view that America is Arrogant;
    – I do not share his view that America is not a Christian Nation;
    – I do not share his view that the military should be reduced by 25%;
    – I do not share his view of amnesty and giving more to illegals than our American Citizens who need help;
    – I do not share his views on homosexuality and his definition of marriage;
    – I do not share his views that Radical Islam is our friend and Israel is our enemy who should give up any land;

    – I do not share his spiritual beliefs (at least the ones he has made public);

    – I do not share his
    beliefs on how to re-work the healthcare system in America ;

    – I do not share his Strategic views of the Middle East ; and
    – I certainly do not share his plan to sit down with terrorist regimes such as Iran .
    Bottom line: my America is vastly different from Obama's, and I have a higher obligation to my Country and my GOD to do what is Right !
    For eight (8) years, the Liberals in our Society, led by numerous entertainers who would have no platform and no real credibility but for their celebrity status, have attacked President Bush, his family, and his spiritual beliefs !

    They have not moved toward the center in their beliefs and their philosophies, and they never came together nor compromised their personal beliefs for the betterment of our Country!
    They have portrayed my America as a land where everything is tolerated except being intolerant !
    They have been a vocal and irreverent minority for years !
    They have mocked and attacked the very core values so important to the founding and growth of our Country !
    They have made every effort to remove the name of GOD or Jesus Christ from our Society !
    They have challenged capital punishment, the right to
    bear firearms, and the most basic principles of our criminal code !
    They have attacked one of the most fundamental of all Freedoms, the right of free speech !

    Unite behind Obama? Never ! ! !
    I am sure many of you who read this think that I am going overboard, but I refuse to retreat one more inch in favor of those whom I believe are the embodiment of Evil!
    PRESIDENT BUSH made many mistakes during his
    Presidency, and I am not sure how history will judge him. However, I believe that he weighed his decisions in light of the long established Judeo-Christian principles of our Founding Fathers!!!

    Majority rules in America , and I will honor the concept; however, I will fight with all of my power to be a voice in opposition to Obama and his "goals for America ."
    I am going to be a thorn in the side of those who, if left unchecked, will destroy our Country ! ! Any more compromise is more defeat !
    I pray that the results of this election will wake up many who have sat on the sidelines and allowed the Socialist-Marxist anti-GOD crowd to slowly change so much of what has been good in
    America !
    "Error of Opinion may be tolerated where Reason is left free to combat it." – Thomas Jefferson
    GOD bless you and GOD bless our Country ! ! !
    (Please, please, please, pass this on if you agree.)
    Thanks for your time, be safe.
    "In GOD We Trust"

    July 14, 2010 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |