This election process has been the most unsettling one far and above any other. It seems to have created such division within the church and our country. My stomach slightly sinks when I hear the presidential debates, when I hear them attack each other fiercely on national television.
And for the most part I have kept silent about my political opinions. Partly because I don't like to start conflict and so much can get lost in translation in social media. And I'm afraid that even with the most well intended wishes, I could come across the wrong way.
I won't get into all my political views here. But I strongly wanted to share about my experience as an immigrant family to the United States, as I feel there is so many clouded things being said on this topic. And I'll start with this statement:
I am all about stricter immigration laws against illegal immigrants in the United States.
My mom was a single mom who had three girls to raise in a country where she did not know the language well. I couldn't even imagine how hard it must've been at times. But my mom did it all legally- she was sponsored to work by a company here in the U.S which by the grace of God not only supported us financially, but also sponsored our green cards for her, my sisters, and I.
A few months ago while speaking to my mom on the phone, she told me the story of a lady she knew. She was an illegal immigrant and pregnant with her second child. She raved about how all her prenatal visits, ultrasounds and delivery were all paid for by the government, just as her first child had been. She also mentioned bringing a daughter her current husband had with another woman back in Mexico, just because they would get even more money from the government.
Here I was listening on the other line angry. I was just getting ready to have a baby, and we had a rather large insurance deductible to pay which was putting a lot of stress on us. And after that we would have to meet our deductible for our daughter as well, I wasn't sure how we would be able to afford it. And that was all being paid with hard earned tax paying dollars. I couldn't help but think how unfair it seemed to me.
This summer my dad was granted his green card, a process that took about a year and a half to review. He was reviewed medically, financially, in every way possible. I can't even begin to tell you what an intricate process it was. Now when he is here, I am 100% responsible for any of his medical bills and cannot receive any assistance from the government. But an illegal immigrant would have all their medical bills paid for, would an emergency happen to them and they were hospitalized.
'America' as my mom has always referred to the US is great because there are jobs here. It is great because there is food when you go to the supermarket. It is great because when there is an emergency, there could be a policeman and firefighter within minutes to help (unlike my home country). Many things are great about this country, but these are the three that have been the most important to me for reasons I won't expand on here (just for the sake of this being too long).
America is not great because it provides free health care and food to illegal immigrants. Most of these people do not contribute to the existing system financially, yet they can and often receive a lot in return. I wholeheartedly believe in helping the poor and those in need, and it's something I strive for everyday. In how we spend our time and resources. But I think a system that freely provides healthcare, food and other services, can often be abused, it is not helpful long term as it keeps them tied in this level of dependency on the government.
As Beth Moore wrote on her blog recently:
'Whatever happens in November, the responsibility for the gospel is coming back to us. It’s not the government’s job. Seed spreads best ground level. We are only as powerless as our passivity. We still have voices to raise at deafening volume for the vulnerable. We still have knees to drop in contrition and desperate need for intervention. We still have feet to run to the aid of those in crisis like single mothers who need support. Like under-served school kids who need tutors. Like neighbors who are being ostracized. Like homeless who need help with shelter. Like teenagers who turn up with unwanted pregnancies. Like the hated, mistreated, forgotten, overlooked, unheard'
Another random thought- My dad and godmother have sat in the immigration room in the Miami airport once each. Both of them shared that hundreds (if not thousands) of people are let through Miami claiming asylum from other countries. These people that show up have had no background check to the extent that my father had. As many questions as they may be asked, the screening process can't be that good if it's all done in such a short period of time. And that I think it's a process that could and should be improved.
I'm not here to sway on on party or the other. Ultimately, I think most of our minds are made up and I respect other opinions and views. And as cliche as this is- God is sovereign over every nation and election. I'm still uneasy about this election and confess there have been nights where it has robbed me of some serious sleep, but I'm clinging on to Gods promises in the Bible. To not fear, to trust Him, and to believe in him no matter what tomorrow holds.
Praying for this country which has given so much to my family and I.