GOP, American and Christian Values: Illegal Immigration

A naturalization ceremony at Thomas Jefferson's Monticello (Photo credit: Waldo Jaquith)

A naturalization ceremony at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello (Photo credit: Waldo Jaquith)

These days, there seems to be a tremendous amount of misunderstanding and misinformation about values and what values are characteristic of certain groups.  The misinformation being spread about this is extremely unfortunate because it misleads many people, but in our modern ever-more morally bankrupt culture, misinformation is the tool and friend of those who want to subvert our traditional values, so we can expect to see it employed with regularity and determination.

Across America and at home, we see this confusion reign, so much so that people don’t know what to believe and have difficulty placing reasonable faith in institutions which could once be relied on to stand for certain things. When we join or identify ourselves with a particular group or institution, we have an inherent obligation to represent the position(s) of that group to others.  If we do not, we undermine the message and credibility of that group.  When we lose faith in certain institutions–which are themselves useful tools and vehicles for advancing and protecting certain values–we are all individually in a weaker position when we try to defend what is important to us.

Nationally, we see a “Republican” presidential candidate achieve his party’s nomination…even though his record is one of opposition to foundational Republican principles; he has a record of being pro-abortion, pro-government health care, pro-homosexual, pro-global warming, and pro-cap and tax.  Referring to such an extremely poor example of Republican values as “Republican” (not to mention making him the standard-bearer of the party nationally) undermines faith and confidence in the Republican brand…and makes the GOP weak and ineffective in carrying out its platform. Further, when such a liberal example is also touted as “conservative” as some have outrageously referred to him, not only is trust in the GOP undermined, trust and confidence in the philosophy of conservatism is weakened.

Ted Cruz 2016

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We also see great confusion about American values. For even an amateur student of history, it is easy to see what traditional American values are; they are, after all, enshrined in our Declaration of Independence, our United States Constitution, the Federalist Papers, and countless other statements and writings of the founders and statesmen who have come since then. Yet today we continually see radical Leftists not only mock and deride American values of freedom, limited government, personal responsibility, recognition of God-given liberty and so forth, many of these liberals have the audacity to claim that their Marxist values are instead the traditional values of our country. This leaves many Americans confused and uncertain about their heritage of liberty…making them ripe targets for acquiescence as our liberties are trampled.

Even the ancient realm of Christendom is not immune to this campaign of misinformation and propaganda. Leftists who love evil are no longer content to merely oppose what is good and advance what is wrong, they have made a point of twisting Scripture to excuse the most morally reprehensible acts imaginable. The slaughter of innocent children is lauded as a Christian virtue under the auspices of “caring for the woman,” sexual perversion is lifted up as being created and endorsed by God and acceptance of it is considered a Christian virtue of “tolerance” and “unity,” a culture of lawlessness is encouraged as a Christian virtue of “inclusion” and “acceptance,” and so on. What God has clearly said is being replaced with the corrupted and fallen “wisdom” of humanity, and then that malignant thinking is passed off as Christian doctrine.  What’s more, there seems to be a growing fallacy even in Christendom that as long as you are sincere in what you believe, that’s all that matters. Sorry, but the Bible is clear: it matters that what you believe is right, and the Bible is full of people who sincerely believed what is wrong, and were condemned for it. Sincerely believing a bridge will hold you up will do you no good if the underpinnings are rotten and broken.

In an effort to help clarify many important values and expose the propaganda being foisted to replace them, I will be doing a series on just a few of the pressing moral issues of our day. Since here in South Dakota there is great confusion about what is right with regard to Republican values, American values, and Christian values, I will endeavor to examine these issues in light of each perspective–the political, the national and historical, and the Christian worldview.

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Of course, there are many people who are heavily invested in avoiding the truth concerning these values. Some people have been misled, and will be reluctant to admit they have been misled (none of us wants to admit that).  Some will not want to face that they have been wrong, because change can be difficult, especially when it involves leaving the comfort of established practice and when it involves going against one’s friends and peers. Some have been invested in spreading these lies and deceptions for the purpose of advancing their dark agenda, and they will most assuredly not take kindly to having their duplicity exposed.

But I know without a doubt that there are lots of people out there who genuinely want to know the truth, and will follow it when it is clearly identified. I have been misled in the past, and have appreciated those who exposed the lies I was believing, and I hear from others continually who have shared and continue to share such liberating experiences. The greatest man who ever lived, Jesus Christ, told us that when we know the truth, it will set us free.  That is true not only with regard to our eternal spirit, but with regard to our lives here in this world, and even with regard to political matters that affect our day-to-day freedom and family life.

This article examines the issue of illegal immigration.

Republican Values

The last published South Dakota GOP platform states the following concerning illegal immigration:

“The South Dakota Republican Party supports the right of immigrants to enter our country legally and also supports the right of legal immigrants to work in our state. It is the responsibility of the Federal and state government to strongly enforce the current immigration laws and protect our borders“

According to FAIR’s 2010 estimate, there are about 5,000 illegal aliens in South Dakota, and the estimated cost of this problem (emergency medical care, education and incarceration, etc.) was somewhere between $8 million and $33.3 million annually. Nationally, it is estimated that there are between 9 and 20 million illegal aliens in the United States, costing the American taxpayer approx. $113 billion annually.

Do we have as big a problem as the border states? No. We don’t want our problem to get any bigger, either. Since our federal government has shown complete contempt for enforcing our immigration and border laws, and hostility toward doing its constitutional job in this regard, it falls to the states to protect their citizens. After all, this IS the job of state government, not to be stooges and footstools of federal despots.

The construction industry, among others, is particularly plagued by this problem.  When some employers hire illegal aliens, usually at cut-rate wages with few if any benefits, this not only does a disservice to the illegal alien doing the same work as someone being paid much more, but it also puts employers who are playing by the rules at a disadvantage. A contractor who has a lot of illegal aliens in his hire can afford to bid much lower on a job than a contractor who is playing by the rules and obeying the law. We should not penalize those who obey the law, or reward those who break it.

And this isn’t just a problem in the construction industry.  Many will recall that Huron, South Dakota Police Chief Doug Schmitt was suspended last year when he had the audacity to testify before the South Dakota legislature about the illegal alien problem in his area. Unfortunately, “Republicans” in the legislature again chose to do nothing, and even allowed a Republican legislator to be demonized for trying to uphold the law.

Nationally, the Republican Party also supports the enforcement of our border and immigration laws.  The 2008 GOP platform states:

Immigration policy is a national security issue, for which we have one test: Does it serve the national interest? By that standard, Republicans know America can have a strong immigration system without sacrificing the rule of law.

Enforcing the Rule of Law at the Border and Throughout the Nation

Border security is essential to national security. In an age of terrorism, drug cartels, and criminal gangs, allowing millions of unidentified persons to enter and remain in this country poses grave risks to the sovereignty of the United States and the security of its people. We simply must be able to track who is entering and leaving our country.

Our determination to uphold the rule of law begins with more effective enforcement, giving our agents the tools and resources they need to protect our sovereignty, completing the border fence quickly and securing the borders, and employing complementary strategies to secure our ports of entry. Experience shows that enforcement of existing laws is effective in reducing and reversing illegal immigration.

Our commitment to the rule of law means smarter enforcement at the workplace, against illegal workers and lawbreaking employers alike, along with those who practice identity theft and traffic in fraudulent documents. As long as jobs are available in the United States, economic incentives to enter illegally will persist. But we must empower employers so they can know with confidence that those they hire are permitted to work. That means that the E-Verify system—which is an internet-based system that verifies the employment authorization and identity of employees—must be reauthorized. A phased-in requirement that employers use the E-Verify system must be enacted.

The rule of law means guaranteeing to law enforcement the tools and coordination to deport criminal aliens without delay – and correcting court decisions that have made deportation so difficult. It means enforcing the law against those who overstay their visas, rather than letting millions flout the generosity that gave them temporary entry. It means imposing maximum penalties on those who smuggle illegal aliens into the U.S., both for their lawbreaking and for their cruel exploitation. It means requiring cooperation among federal, state and local law enforcement and real consequences, including the denial of federal funds, for self-described sanctuary cities, which stand in open defiance of the federal and state statutes that expressly prohibit such sanctuary policies, and which endanger the lives of U.S. citizens. It does not mean driver’s licenses for illegal aliens, nor does it mean that states should be allowed to flout the federal law barring them from giving in-state tuition rates to illegal aliens, nor does it mean that illegal aliens should receive social security benefits, or other public benefits, except as provided by federal law.

We oppose amnesty. The rule of law suffers if government policies encourage or reward illegal activity. The American people’s rejection of en masse legalizations is especially appropriate given the federal government’s past failures to enforce the law.

Many illegal immigrants do not share our value systems or our moral systems. This incongruity undermines not only the unity and stability of the American way of life, it also undermines community safety and cohesiveness. As Alexander Hamilton said, “The safety of a republic depends essentially on the energy of a common national sentiment; on a uniformity of principles and habits; on the exemption of the citizens from foreign bias, and prejudice; and on that love of country which will almost invariably be found to be closely connected with birth, education, and family.”

When immigrants come to our country legally, they are properly screened for those who would cause obvious problems (wanted felons, terrorists, etc.) and those who plan to settle here go through an assimilation program that teaches them about our ways and asks for their allegiance in return for citizenship.

American Values

The U.S. Constitution states in Article 1 Section 8 that rules for naturalization fall within the purview of the federal government.

The federal government began in 1790 to officially regulate immigration with the Naturalization Act of 1790, followed by a requirement in 1795 that an immigrant live in America for five years before becoming a citizen; that requirement remains in effect today. Due to Democrat attempts to deny black Americans the full rights of citizenship in the wake of the Civil War, congress clarified birthright citizenship in the Fourteenth Amendment. Due to the massive influx of immigrants in the early 20th Century, congress passed the Immigration Act of 1924 to establish quotas for orderly immigration. By 1986, illegal immigration was getting out of hand, so congress passed the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) of 1986 which set certain criminal penalties for illegal immigration and for aiding illegal immigration, but made the mistake of giving amnesty to many illegal aliens already in the country.

These laws exist to protect our national borders and to protect U.S. citizens from not only armed invasion, but from a massive influx of outsiders who may not share our values and our commitment to building a safe and orderly community. Since the beginning of our country, we have recognized the need to control our own borders in the interest of national sovereignty and defense, as well as to control the influx of people from other nations.  Throughout history, going back to the time of the Roman Empire and beyond, massive influxes of people who do not share common values and principles with native peoples has resulted in dangerous chaos and instability for nations. Indeed, the term “balkanization,” referring to the Balkans area in Europe, came about to describe what happens when people of divergent values and priorities come together within the same geopolitical area–and the results are never good.

As John Adams once pointed out, America is a nation of laws, not men. What that means is that we are a nation where ALL men are under the authority of the law, and all men must be obedient to it–no exceptions, none for the wealthy, none for the powerful, and none for the poor and downtrodden, either . It also means that men in power cannot simply issue edicts for this or that; our system of government requires the legislative branch to pass laws by majority, to be signed into law by the executive branch and then enforced by the executive branch.

Law is important to maintaining a healthy and safe society.  The law is also important to maintaining justice and fairness. Our nation has laws that require people from other nations to enter our country through approved entry points, and to follow certain procedures to gain entry, certain procedures to maintain lawful residence here, and certain procedures to become citizens of our country. Many people from foreign country are doing just that–obeying our laws and waiting their turn to come here and even become citizens. When we turn a blind eye to people who are “cutting in line,” violating our laws and coming here illegally, we do an injustice to those who have played by the rules by applying for the appropriate visas and citizenship requirements.  Indeed, for us to ignore our own laws while some obey and others flaunt those laws is to stick out our tongue to those who obey the law and call them “Suckers!”

Christian Values

The Bible says we are to treat the alien with respect. Leviticus 19:33-34 says we should treat a guest in our country with the same kindness we would render to another citizen.  And while illegal entry into our country certainly would not entitle us to mistreat or torture an illegal alien, someone who has violated our border and immigration laws is not a guest. A guest comes into your house with your full knowledge and consent; you are not obligated to throw out the welcome mat for someone who sneaks into your house uninvited. The boundaries of a person’s or people’s property is to be respected.

The Bible also tells us of the need for an orderly, law-abiding society.  Even in Old Testament Bible times, the alien was expected to uphold the laws of the land in which he was a guest. As previously outlined, since the beginning of our republic, our nation has established laws governing immigration.  The Bible makes it clear that, unless a law violate’s God’s standards, we are to obey the laws of our nation. Since hospitals routinely treat illegal aliens for live threatening illnesses (and non-life threatening illnesses, for that matter), we cannot legitimately argue that obeying our nation’s immigration laws endangers human life; indeed, in providing incentives and rewards for people to get smuggled across our border or cross the desert themselves to enter our country illegally, we are encouraging risk to human life by refusing to enforce and abide by our own laws.

Experience teaches us that when we fail to enforce the rules, we invite more rule-breaking.  Whether it is a parent who tells a child 10,000 times to stop doing something but never enforces the rule (or simply ignores that the rule exists in the first place), or a government that refuses to enforce its own laws, when we ignore lawbreaking, we invite more lawbreaking. Laws with no penalty for being broken quickly become objects of derision, disdain and contempt. What’s more, when we invite lawbreaking in one area, we promote disrespect for the law in general; after all, if they won’t enforce the law in this one particular area, what other areas might I get away with lawbreaking?  Even the church must maintain respect for the rules; without it, we invite more lawbreaking.

The Bible tells us that the duty of government is to protect its citizens, that we may live our lives in peace and justice.  The government cannot do that if it is ignoring our borders and those crossing it, allowing terrorists, criminal gangs, drug runners, gun merchants, and those who simply have no regard for our laws to enter our country at will.  There are areas within our own country where American citizens cannot go because they have descended into lawless zones of illegal invasion.

Clearly, the maintenance and enforcement of our nation’s borders and immigration laws is a Republican value, an American value, and a Christian value.


This article is printed with the permission of the author(s). Opinions expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the article’s author(s), or of the person(s) or organization(s) quoted therein, and do not necessarily represent those of American Clarion or Dakota Voice LLC.

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Bob Ellis has been the owner of media company Dakota Voice, LLC since 2005. He is a 10-year U.S. Air Force veteran, a political reporter and commentator for the past decade, and has been involved in numerous election and public policy campaigns for over 20 years. He was a founding member and board member of the Tea Party groups Citizens for Liberty and the South Dakota Tea Party Alliance. He lives in Rapid City, South Dakota with his wife and two children.
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  • eli

    Illegal is NOT a race or color, it IS a crime! (see Constitution Art. IV, Sec. 4 & Title 8 U.S.C. § Sec. 1321-30)

    If there’s a need for a Law, enough valid voters signatures are gathered and the measure gets on the ballot.

    When a Law on the books is ignored it sets a disturbing precedent which undermines the basis of Government itself. Why not have NO taxes, NO labor laws or NOT enforce some other Law? Picking and choosing which Valid Laws to enforce is anarchy via apathy.

    When I see the “Executive Order”, I’m reminded of these lines from Our Constitution:
    “He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
    He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.”,

    “He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; ..”,

    “He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.”

    “He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:” and

    “For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.”
    Sorry for the long post.

    God Bless America!

  • eli

    OOOps! I meant “Declaration Of Independence”