The First Electronic Church of America
A Sermon on Illegal Immigration
by the Rev. Howard D. Armstrong
The Republican National Committee spent $1.5 million recently on a 30-second TV spot calculated to stir up fear and hatred among middle-class American voters. The spots give us quick shots of presumably illegal and presumably Mexican men and women and children riding boats in a churning sea, and fleeing up a road. A statement on the screen says, "YOU SPEND $5.5 BILLION TO SUPPORT ILLEGALS." A narrator urges us to "tell President Clinton to stop giving benefits to illegals."
The New York Times noted that the ads are "aimed at states roiled by immigration issues...where Mr. Dole is in trouble."
Meanwhile Congress is considering legislation that would bar children of illegal immigrants from public schools. Candidate Dole says he is in favor of this move. But even some Republicans oppose it. "I don't like it," says Sen. Orrin G. Hatch of Utah. "I worry about the children."
So do I. As long as American businessmen pay men and women who come north to make beds and wash dishes and pick fruit -- the kind of jobs that few Americans will take -- their children are bound to come with them. What's better? To let their kids wander the streets? Or learn English and math and U.S. history?
History, of course, could be subversive. These beautiful little kids with their big brown eyes and open minds that are ready to learn might discover that this continent was first inhabited by people with brown skin like themselves, coming across the Bering Straits and moving south until they found what their mythologies told them they were looking for: an eagle eating a serpent.
The city they built on the spot, Mexico City, was the largest, most beautiful city in the world when Cortez came to conquer and kill It's still the largest city in the world. But it's not as beautiful as it used to be. Its people choke on smog, and pay their taxes for injustice and mismanagement. It is no wonder that some enterprising brown skinned folk want to flee that kleptocracy.
But it will be a wonder if their children, studying history in U.S. classrooms, do not realize, sooner or later, that, 150 years ago, Anglos took over most of the U.S. Southwest -- and California -- by force and violence. And that there is no statute of limitations for the murder of their great-great-great grandparents.
-- June 1996