Sunday, June 13, 2010

Evangelical leaders want immigration reform now

Baptist Press had an article titled Evangelical leaders: Immigration reform bill needed this year this past week.

Southern Baptist ethicist Richard Land had an interesting proposal to solve the problem:

Land reiterated his call for reform that first secures the country's borders.

A part of securing the borders "is a biometric, tamper-proof Social Security card," Land said June 9. He is not recommending a national identity card, Land said. "[T]hat's a smell too much like Big Brother. ... If you had a biometric, tamper-proof Social Security card that every legal worker had to have, citizen or not, then if people managed to get across the border illegally, they wouldn't be able to work," because employers would face stiff penalties for hiring illegal immigrants.

After specific standards are met in securing the borders, "we move forward with a period of grace, where people can come forward and register and begin a pathway" to "earned, legal status" for guest workers and citizenship for those who desire it and qualify for it, Land said.

A reporter asked if the panelists would say those who are in the United States illegally had committed a crime.

"[M]ost of the people in my constituency would say, 'Yes, they've broken the law, and there need to be penalties for that," Land said. "The question is: What are the penalties? And we would argue that there needs to be an earned pathway to legal status that would include paying a fine, agreeing to come forward and register and undergo a background check, and to start taking English classes -- I think every church in America ought to start English classes -- and to take a civics class."
It's really surprising to hear a conservative Christian leader calling for a "biometric Social Security card," given all the decades of teaching about the End Times, the Antichrist, the number everyone must have on the hand or forehead (which sounds biometric to me).

Maybe conservative Christian leaders don't believe the Left Behind scenario any more than liberal Christian leaders do.

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