Monday, February 25, 2008

Where We're Heading?

As a family we do some volunteer work at our church on Tuesday evenings. Tammy and Rachel paint nails and I tattoo little arms and hands while parents visit the Clothes Closet in search of some needed items. It's a great program where needy families can come for dinner, haircuts and other services all brought together in one place at no cost to them. We've been involved for a little over two years and have seen demand continue to grow.

I have no way of knowing but I'd guess that many of the people we work with on Tuesday nights are illegal immigrants. They're hard working people trying to make a better life for themselves and looking for whatever advantage they can get in a world where they're too often looked down on and considered by many to be an inconvenience upon the system when they're not providing some needed service. They're humble if nothing else and I've grown to admire them.

We live in a complex world.

A part of me understands the need to secure our borders to stop the rush of illegal immigrants who are seeking a better life for themselves and their families. The touchy-feely side of me thinks we should work with those who are here and do what we can to assimilate them into the system.

There is a video on YouTube which puts our immigration woes into perspective. The speaker talks about U.S. population and how it's grown over the past few decades and is expected to grow during the next few decades. I understand that numbers can be deceiving depending upon how they're presented. I trust that the numbers used by the man in the video are correct. It's possible they're not. Watch the video...especially the part where he uses gumballs to symbolize the amount of people immigrating to the U.S. and the demand which remains. It's a sobering display of need.

My simple mind wants to compare our situation to a life raft with those inside the raft representing whatever country is currently sustaining its populace while the people clamoring to climb aboard would be those we're attempting to take in. How many can we reasonably assimilate before we sink the vessel we're on? Once that happens how can we expect to continue to help anybody including ourselves?

The touchy-feely side of me couldn't turn to those we help on Tuesday nights and say 'I've got mine...good luck getting yours'. I'd be doing the same thing they're doing if I were in their shoes.

Why do I have to learn about the dire situation we're in from a video on YouTube? Why isn't a talk of this sort aired before the American people in some form of a townhall meeting or a State of the Union address by the president? This shouldn't be something which sneaks up on us as a nation.

I'm conflicted. I want to preserve our way of life for myself and others while at the same time trying to help others reach their goals for a better life. I like the part in the video about helping people in those struggling countries to flower where they are but how do we go about doing that? I was a supporter of the war in Iraq and I still am although to a lesser degree...that's a whole other post. Imagine how much good that money could have done had we used it to help so many needy people to flower where they are?

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