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Deportation is too steep a penalty

SUSAN COLLEY JOPLIN October 23rd, 2013

While I have never previously commented publicly about any political controversy, I now feel compelled to speak out on an issue that has far-reaching political effects but which I believe is really a moral issue.

This issue that weighs heavily on my mind and heart is that of immigration reform.

As Christians, we are called into relationship. We are called into a relationship of love.

This calling is summarized in the two great Commandments that we hear about in the Law and the Prophets: We are called to love God with all our heart, with all our soul and with all our mind. Likewise, we are called to love our neighbor as ourself.

Who is this neighbor that we hear about and are called to love?

Christian tradition tells us that our neighbor is whomever appears before us in any given situation. Neighbors come in all sizes, shapes and colors. We are called to love each neighbor just as God loves each one of us.

I have seen firsthand the toll it takes on an individual and family to be “living in the shadows,” afraid of being caught in our country because they are here escaping poverty and looking for a better quality of life.

I have seen fear in the faces of children and young adults and the elderly, and it breaks my heart.

That is why I believe we must change our current approach. Some undocumented residents arrived in the United States many years ago as children or young adults.

Our system has not provided them with the ability to atone for their mistake without the threat of deportation — a penalty that is far too steep for those who have built a new life in the United States.

The compromise that has been offered — payment of a penalty for their illegal entry and the payment of any back taxes — seems fair and appropriate, as it keeps families together and productive.

Because I believe that all people are viewed equally in the eyes of God, I urge support for immigration reform.

The Rev. Canon Susan Colley Joplin is the Canon for Pastoral Care and Spirituality at St. Paul’s Cathedral in Oklahoma City.

Opinions expressed on the commentary page, in letters to the editor and elsewhere in this newspaper are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of ownership or management.

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10.27.2013 at 02:53 Reply

Ted Cruz's Amendment would have corrected one of the most egregious aspects of the "gang of eight" bill. That would be a penalty, a penalty which penalizes U.S. employers/companies for hiring US citizens or legal permanent residents, over hiring illegal aliens. Companies face fine of $3000 per worker, $5000 per employee after taxes. for hiring US citizens. gang of eight bill takes 11 million illegal immigrants granting them RPI status. Employers who hire them will not face tax for hiring them. They are exempted from 0bamacare. If a Company hires 5 US citizens, that company will have a $25,000 fine to pay. If the company hires 5 illegal immigrants, that company pays NOTHING. 0bamacare kicks in, and thanks to 0bamacare, LEGAL US citizen's hours are reduced. If a company forcibly reduces hours of 25 
U.S. citizens, that company saves $125,000 a year in tax penalties. If that company cuts the hours of illegal aliens, that company saves $0. This is an INCENTIVE FROM CONGRESS. CONGRESS IS BEHIND THIS AMNESTY BILL. TO REDUCE THE HOURS OF UNITED STATE CITIZENS. Say the Company decides to fire all workers (because of financial strain) that were US Citizens and instead hire illegal immigrants (or made legal by this Amnesty bill by Congress, courtesy of "the gang of eight.") The consequences would save the company $500,000 a year, under 0bamacare tax penalty formula by firing US citizen employees, and instead hiring illegal immigrants made legal by this bill by Congress. THIS IS TREASON. CONGRESS IS GUILTY.