Published on October 9, 2009
An essay on the future of America By The Rev. Dr. Mark R. Sills Executive Director, FaithAction International House www.faihouse.org A Much Safer Place
we lived in a safer country, where we didn’t have to fear terrorists? or people who speak languages we don’t understand? What if?
What if it used our taxes to build a wall that will keep out people who should not be here? the government rounded up those people who have come here illegally to take American jobs and threaten our way of life? What if?
you go to the store to buy fresh produce and fruit? More than 80% of those working in orchards and fields are immigrants. Raids have scared off many of these workers. Already there are reports of produce rotting in the fields in California due to a lack of workers. Large farms in Arizona and Pennsylvania have shut down for the same reason. What if? And find most of the shelves empty?
you decided to go down the street to one of your favorite restaurants to enjoy a nice lunch… and found it closed? In America today, more than half of all of those doing the hard work of cooking and washing dishes are immigrants. What if?
when driving down the road you notice something disturbing? POT HOLES! Nearly 30% of road construction workers in America are immigrants who do the hard work of filling and paving. What if?
you decided to build a new home for your family? What if? In some areas a majority of construction workers are immigrants! Even a small loss of workers will force costs to escalate dramatically.
if you needed emergency medical attention but could not get it? In the USA, 20% of all medical doctors are immigrants. Without them our already shaky health care system would collapse. What if?
Since the mid-1990’s, spending and investments by immigrants have created hundreds of thousands of new jobs each year. If large numbers of workers are deported, and many others decide to leave due to the anti-immigrant environment, those jobs will go with them. What if you lost your job?
The partial wall being planned now will cost nearly $50 BILLION! It will cover only about 800 miles out of a total of 7,525 miles of land border, and does not even begin to address the 88,633 miles of shoreline border of the USA.
To wall our entire border would cost more than $20,000 for every man, woman, and child in our nation (including the immigrants, of course). Would we really want to wall ourselves in if we could?
… this is the safer America that we end up with? What if?
There must be a better way!
What if we just realized how much we really do need each other?
Then we truly would have a SAFER America!
Safer, Richer, More just, More workable, Better!
Let’s form a united community of many cultures – where all people of good will are welcomed and treated with respect.
FaithAction International House 705 North Greene Street Greensboro, NC 27401 www.faihouse.org
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