It’s not a Romanian issue – though it involves many Romanians – hence the article is in English. So here it goes…

If we are going to understand why, it is important to know how!

How did we get here? Where did it start?

First, there is an identity issue! America is mostly a country of immigrants, with a short history as a nation.

Secondly, there is the complicated issue of where America stands in the world and the image it wants to project. During the Cold War, the United States wanted to be the land everybody admires and wants to live in. Much of the anti-communist propaganda was based on the fact that the West is desirable and the East is not. Encouraging immigration was part of it.

Many people fled their countries and crossed the borders illegally. It was considered as an act of desperation, defiance and courage. America accepted them warmly and even used them for propaganda.

I came to US with the status of religious refugee, legally, though pressure from the then Secretary of State George Schultz was needed. I understood that I was part of the first line of attack against communism and gladly assumed that role. There was no trick there.

Also, immigrants have to be recognized as an electoral base for the Democratic Party who sees these people as automatons on their side. That was not lost on the Republicans who therefore are on the other side of the issue.

In the past 30 years I’ve seen the debate brewing and then getting cold, while America’s businesses used illegal, cheap and disposable labor for their profit.

Of course, some of them are criminals. They should be jailed or deported depending on the gravity.

And of course, at some point, people that lived productive lives in this country for 10, 20 or even 30 years, you would think deserve to be legally integrated.

But let’s focus on how this situation can really be solved.

In the first place, it should be prevented. Building an impenetrable wall at all US borders should be a priority.

If people know they can’t pass, they won’t try!

Secondly, I believe all the people that can prove living decent law abiding lives in this country for 10 years (those under 10 years should wait on a probation status until then) should be legalized.

Until the wall is built, the border is secured and the issue put to rest, whatever decisions are made, families should be kept together, weather detained, processed or deported. Legality does not and should not exclude charity! For me it is an immigration debate until it becomes humanitarian.

And if we’re going to use the Bible, let’s go to James 2:13, KJV: „For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.”

About Cristian Ionescu

Pastor Elim Romanian Pentecostal Church Chicago, USA

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