Monday, August 24, 2009

Shaking Down the Stranger

The Senate of Georgia recently passed an "immigration reform" bill which attempts to curtail services available to undocumented (mostly what I call "creatively documented") workers and make it harder for employers to hire them. To me, the most offensive provision in the law was a tax on wire transfers by immigrants (5%), which the State would have generously shared with Western Union. Thankfully, the Georgia House noted that this provision might not be legal and removed it from the bill. So my letter to the editors of two Georgia newspapers was unnecessary. Here it is:

To the Editor of the Walker County Messenger:

In Chattanooga or Fort Payne if you want to steal from immigrants you have to have a couple of police officers pull them over for a broken tail light and shake them down for a hundred bucks under fear of deportation. Congratulations to our Georgia representatives for organizing a state-wide traffic stop to rob all our immigrants at once.

Right before we pressure the work force for several industrial towns out of the country (and move all that undesirable textile industry overseas) let’s pick the pockets of the workers. It’s not a bad idea as far as practical politics goes. They don’t have a vote and their language barrier means that most of them don’t have American friends who’ll complain.

The Georgia representatives have just learned what urban gang members have known for years. If you are going to make money by robbing people, pick on immigrants. They tend to carry cash and are afraid of the police. Maybe they spent time in Chattanooga or Fort Payne.

"Thus says the Lord: Do justice and righteousness, and deliver from the hand of the oppressor him who has been robbed. And do no wrong or violence to the resident alien…" (Jer. 22:3); Jesus says: "As you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me." (Matt 25:40) The spiritual condition of our society is shown by how we treat the least powerful among us.

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