Evangelicals prized by both sides in immigration debate

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SharperIron's picture
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Evangelicals prized by both sides in immigration debate

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“In the immigration reform debate, evangelicals have become a political prize claimed by restrictionists and reformers alike. Both sides have a case to make.”

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Typo alert - should say

Typo alert - should say "debate" not "debat" in the title of this post.

Striving for the unity of the faith, for the glory of God ~ Eph. 4:3, 13; Rom. 15:5-7 I blog at Fundamentally Reformed. Follow me on Twitter.

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I stopped reading after the

I stopped reading after the first few lines, after it said that white americans are the ones most against immigration reform. I am not even white, yet this article is obviously written by a pro-amnesty Liberal. I think most Americans are against this so called immigration reform. We want our government to start enforcing the laws already in the books. That would be true reform. 

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glad to see someone writing on this topic

I think Christians get influenced by their politics rather than their religion when it comes to immigration. It's not so much about the "illegal" part as it is about the "immigrant" thing. It's not racism...its ethnocentrism or perhaps xenophobia.

I've heard people say, "and then we give them free medical care"....as if that's a bad thing. I don't recall anything in the Bible about only loving neighbors when they come to our country legally. I'

We're spending millions of dollars to send missionaries to Latin America; if we just wait a few years, they'll all come here for free! (I say that in jest)

May Christ Be Magnified - Philippians 1:20 Todd Bowditch

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Todd that's a pretty broad

Todd that's a pretty broad brush. Do you think there might be some people   

who believe our economy cannot sustain this degree of immigration and that it will end up hurting everyone? I do agree that many times people's political views are not shaped scripturally but it seems like you are equating the US government with the church.

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josh p wrote: Todd that's a

josh p wrote:

Todd that's a pretty broad brush. Do you think there might be some people   

who believe our economy cannot sustain this degree of immigration and that it will end up hurting everyone? I do agree that many times people's political views are not shaped scripturally but it seems like you are equating the US government with the church.

josh, I have no idea how you got that impression from what I wrote since I explicitly highlighted the difference between politics and religion. Was it because of the medical care statement? The parable of the Good Samaritan emphasizes the importance of Christians doing good for those that are not necessarily deserving of it.

I think that it is the responsibility of believers to meet the needs of people. It's shameful that the government does a better job than we do. The Christian response is often to demand that the government stop helping people because the people are undeserving (poor/immigrant/whatever). The church is not rushing to these people's aid...but we don't want the government to help them either...we just want them to go away so that we can get back to cozy Christianity.

What does "hurt everyone" mean? Can you define that and quantify in such a way that it is meaningful to discussion? For instance, does the greater good refer to food prices/mental well being/ quality of life? Regardless, the "greater good" is fine for abstract discussion, it doesn't do much for someone who needs medical care or food. I don't think I'm sacrificing the greater good to suggest that its ok to provide emergency medical care for another human being.
 

May Christ Be Magnified - Philippians 1:20 Todd Bowditch

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What I meant by "hurting

What I meant by "hurting everyone" is that a country that is broke is less able to provide health care for its members. You only said free medical care before. You didn't say emergency care. I suspect fewer people would disagree with the latter. 

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josh p wrote: What I meant by

josh p wrote:

What I meant by "hurting everyone" is that a country that is broke is less able to provide health care for its members. You only said free medical care before. You didn't say emergency care. I suspect fewer people would disagree with the latter. 

How does immigration make this country broke?

May Christ Be Magnified - Philippians 1:20 Todd Bowditch

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If we are providing free

If we are providing free health care for a huge influx of people it gets expensive.  

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Todd Bowditch wrote: I think

Todd Bowditch wrote:

I think Christians get influenced by their politics rather than their religion when it comes to immigration. It's not so much about the "illegal" part as it is about the "immigrant" thing. It's not racism...its ethnocentrism or perhaps xenophobia.

Todd, are you suggesting that Christians in general have advocated for a completely closed border with no legal immigration? If so, I have not heard it (not saying it's not out there, but no one credible is saying that as far as I know), and I think you may have it completely backward. There is nothing wrong with legal immigration, but the very fact that millions(?) of people are willing to violate our laws either entering our country or overstaying their visa is quite troubling. If a person's first act as a resident in any country is to violate its laws, then why is it wrong for the law-abiding citizens of that country to object?

Todd Bowditch wrote:

I've heard people say, "and then we give them free medical care"....as if that's a bad thing. I don't recall anything in the Bible about only loving neighbors when they come to our country legally.

I understand that you are seeing this as an example of the parable of the Good Samaritan come to life, but I think you are misapplying that particular parable. It is one thing to expect believers to offer help and care to the needy they personally encounter, and it is quite another thing to use the parable to defend a government's forced taxation of its citizens to give benefits to immigrants who have entered or stayed in our country illegally.

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interesting

I actually recommend that you peruse the wikipedia article on "Economic impact of illegal immigrants." I'm more concerned with the sources that are used than the actual article itself.
 

Here is the excerpt on health care costs:

Reuters reported that illegal immigrants, as well as legal immigrants in the country less than five years, generally are not eligible for Medicaid. However, they can get Medicaid coverage for health emergencies if they are in a category of people otherwise eligible, such as children, pregnant women, families with dependent children, elderly or disabled individuals, and meet other requirements. The cost of this emergency care was less than 1% of Medicaid costs in North Carolina from 2001–2004 and the majority was for childbirth and related complications.[46] USA Today reported that "Illegal immigrants can get emergency care through Medicaid, the federal-state program for the poor and people with disabilities. But they can't get non-emergency care unless they pay. They are ineligible for most other public benefits."[47] In 2006, the Oklahoma Health Care Authority estimated that it would spend about $9.7 million on emergency Medicaid services for unauthorized immigrants and that 80 percent of those costs would be for services associated with childbirth.[48]

Because of the U.S. Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act of 1986 (42 U.S.C. § 1395dd), most hospitals may not refuse anyone treatment for an emergency medical condition because of citizenship, legal status, or ability to pay. An example of the cost conflict between federal government, state and local government, and private institutions, the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) brings injured and ill illegal immigrants to hospital emergency rooms but does not pay for their medical care.[49] Almost $190 million, or about 25 percent, of the uncompensated costs Southwest border county hospitals incurred resulted from emergency medical treatment provided to illegal immigrants.[49]

At least two research studies have been done which attempt to discover the cost of health care for illegal immigrants by asking the illegal themselves.

A phone survey in which Alexander Ortega and colleagues at the University of California asked illegal immigrants how often they receive medical care reported that illegal immigrants are no more likely to visit the emergency room than native born Americans.[50]
A RAND study concluded that the total federal cost of providing medical expenses for the 78% illegal immigrants without health insurance coverage was $1.1 billion, with immigrants paying $321 million of health care costs out-of-pocket. The study found that illegal immigrants tend to visit physicians less frequently than U.S. citizens because they are younger and because people with chronic health problems are less likely to migrate.[51][52]

May Christ Be Magnified - Philippians 1:20 Todd Bowditch

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furthermore

Approximately half of illegal immigrants pay taxes. The tax dollars that they pay far exceed their usage of social services (according to most studies)... apparently, illegal immigrants have a tough time registering for social benefits....

http://www.cbo.gov/publication/41645

 

May Christ Be Magnified - Philippians 1:20 Todd Bowditch

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josh p wrote: If we are

josh p wrote:

If we are providing free health care for a huge influx of people it gets expensive.  

Which we aren't .... sooo.....

"The report – which appears in the November edition of the journal Health Affairs – estimates that in the United States about $1.1 billion in federal, state and local government funds are spent annually on health care for undocumented immigrants aged 18 to 64. That amounts to an average of $11 in taxes for each U.S. household."

The real issue is educational costs for children of illegal immigrants....

"“Our findings show a relatively small amount of tax money is spent on health services provided to undocumented immigrants,” said James P. Smith, the RAND chair in Labor Market and Demographic Studies and an author of the report. “Costs will be much higher for educating the children of undocumented immigrants, so that's where debate should center, not on these relatively small health care costs.”

http://www.rand.org/news/press/2006/11/14.html

May Christ Be Magnified - Philippians 1:20 Todd Bowditch