Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Inclusion plus assimilation = just immigration?

"The convention ordered 10,000 copies of the [1883 South Dakota draft] constitution to be printed and distributed to voters and, in order to appeal to the main body of European immigrants, also ordered 1,000 copies printed in German and 1,000 printed in Norwegian." Jon K. Lauck, Prairie Republic, citing the September 25, 1885 Yankton Press and Dakotaian. The 1885 printing (second draft) was even more generous: 100,000 copies plus 10,000 each in German and Norwegian.

Folks on the right sometimes howl when public documents are printed in foreign languages. The above is an example of such public effort and expense from Dakota Territory days. Efforts to include are not unknown, even in very traditional places.

But I think that the howling is justifiable if such efforts are not aimed at assimilating people into American civic values and life. Too often, those on the left are willing to offer entitlement without responsibility. The weird message is that "Our material stuff is worth sharing, but the rights and responsibilities that allow for abundance are not."

In related news, The Episcopal Church House of Bishops has decided to hold its fall meeting in Arizona, despite calls to move it as a protest. You'll still see all kinds of silly theatre, this being the Episcopal House of Bishops 'n' all. But I'm glad they didn't kiss the "shun Arizona" fetish, at least on first pass.

There's information to be shared. Jackie Bruchi at Stand Firm linked these two mainstream media reports on the AZ border situation:

Part 1

Part 2

The oath I took when I joined the U.S. Army shares language with the oaths taken by all Federal office holders,

"I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic..."

It is a pledge to defend the Constitution, the defining document and legal standard of our civic life. It is certainly not defended by inattention to hostile infiltrators, nor is it supported by shrugging and creating enclaves of immigrants acculturated in the fatalism, injustices and corruption of a system like Mexico's. Neither exploitable, disposable workers nor entitlement-dependent, illicit voting blocs lift the dignity of our national life.

No, our system isn't perfect. There isn't a perfect order this side of the City of God. But a helping hand to those who seek a better life here, plus their responsibility to support life here by becoming part of who we are, is the substance of just immigration policy.

Biblical Law revealed this balance, requiring compassionate provision for aliens...

Do not mistreat an alien or oppress him, for you were aliens in Egypt. Exodus 22:21

Do not go over your vineyard a second time or pick up the grapes that have fallen. Leave them for the poor and the alien. I am the LORD your God. Leviticus 19:10

...along with their accountability to the standards of the host nation...

This is to be a lasting ordinance for you: On the tenth day of the seventh month you must deny yourselves and not do any work—whether native-born or an alien living among you- because on this day atonement will be made for you, to cleanse you. Leviticus 16:29-30

You are to have the same law for the alien and the native-born. I am the LORD your God. Leviticus 24:22

...in hope for the common good:

And you and the Levites and the aliens among you shall rejoice in all the good things the LORD your God has given to you and your household. Deuteronomy 26:11.

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